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View Full Version : Has anybody successfully removed Epiphone pickguard?



Brydon
08-29-2013, 03:17 AM
Got me a nice Epiphone Ukulele and it's fine, maybe need a tweak or two though. The only thing is the pickguard which looks chunky with rough edges. All tutorials i see are for thin type pickguard removal and not thick plastic like this. It's a shame to have the Vintage burst ruined by a rubbish pickguard which is pointless on a Ukulele anyway.

fernandogardinali
08-29-2013, 04:02 AM
I wouldn't do it.

Brydon
08-29-2013, 04:18 AM
Yeah i know it's risky but i'm struggling with the demon on my shoulder!

mikelz777
08-29-2013, 04:31 AM
I'd be on the side of not doing it either. Who knows what's under there and if it would even be possible to clean it up so it looked and felt nice. My thoughts are that if you are going to do it then be prepared to refinish the entire top.

UkeKiddinMe
08-29-2013, 04:43 AM
Yeah i know it's risky but i'm struggling with the demon on my shoulder!

I would be thinking just like you. Stuff like that bugs me to the point that I can't resist. :)

Those Epi's look great, and they'd look even greater without the pickguard.

[I never understood pickguards, even on guitars. Totally unnecessary, and often detracting from the beauty of the instrument.]

Brydon
08-29-2013, 05:17 AM
One thing that is for certain is that the strings that she came with were awefull! Totally dead sounding with no ring to speak of. She was completely transformed when i changed her out to Aquila's... 10 minutes ago. Man they go out of tune fast when new!

ChaosToo
08-29-2013, 05:21 AM
I've just got some LWS to go on, once I receive the bone nut and saddle blank that's on it's way.

Totally agree that the stock strings sound completely dead!

As for the pick guard, from some gentle prying off of the edges, it seems to be stuck on with some rubberised contact glue, which should come away easily enough as long as you do it slowly.

Mine also has some shabby edges, so I plan to remove it, see what the finish is like underneath and then, if required, I can tidy the edges up and glue it back on - no harm done, but more aesthetically pleasing.

Let us know how you get on! :D

jwieties
08-29-2013, 05:52 AM
I've taken them off guitars. You should be able to get it off without any damage. I used a combinations of softening the glue with a hair dryer and then using naphtha (lighter fluid) to work off the guard. To get started, soak some floss in lighter fluid to work up an edge. However, it is very likely that you will be able to see a footprint from the guard. You can always add a thinner one if you are not happy with the result.

Brydon
08-29-2013, 06:03 AM
I've deliberately not played it much and kept it boxed so as not to get a tan line as I knew as soon as I saw it that it would keep bugging me. This is the perils of mail order, I probably would have thought twice about buying it if I saw it in the flesh so to speak.

Brydon
08-29-2013, 06:55 AM
I can confirm that it comes off without to much problems other than a bit o left over glue that came up with the lighter fluid. No tan line so i'm very happy with the result. I have a controllable temperature plastic welding air gun with a small nozzle though which helped keep the heat low and where i needed it. I'd be careful using a hair dryer to direct the heat away from the bridge area. I worked from that side so as not to affect the glue on the bridge. I had a bridge pop off my exotic mahogany Kala with it sitting doing nothing and i never tampered with that at all. Nothin some good wood glue couldn't cure though.

To Sum up, it can be done and be done well but i wouldn't try it with one that's been in the light for too long.

Brydon
08-29-2013, 06:58 AM
I forgot to say thanks for the advice, i know i didn't listen to some of you but i think you all knew i'd try it anyway.

UkeKiddinMe
08-29-2013, 07:33 AM
Sweet. Pictures?

oh_wrd
08-29-2013, 09:44 AM
[I never understood pickguards, even on guitars. Totally unnecessary, and often detracting from the beauty of the instrument.]

Hmm... have you seen Willie Nelson's guitar "Trigger"? And there is another guy that is MUCH worse. those are the reasons for pick guards, I think... :D

UkeKiddinMe
08-29-2013, 10:47 AM
Hmm... have you seen Willie Nelson's guitar "Trigger"? And there is another guy that is MUCH worse. those are the reasons for pick guards, I think... :D

Yeah, I get a kick out of Willie Nelson's guitar.

But, those are the rare exceptions to the rule. Most guitars don't take a beating like that.
Personally, I think some scratches look great. It shows that the instrument gets Played, not stared at.

greenie44
08-29-2013, 11:12 AM
Hmm... have you seen Willie Nelson's guitar "Trigger"? And there is another guy that is MUCH worse. those are the reasons for pick guards, I think... :D

You mean this one?

57888

It's Glen Hansard's Takamine.

UkeKiddinMe
08-29-2013, 11:31 AM
Now *That* guitar's been played. :D

iamesperambient
08-29-2013, 02:51 PM
I actually like the pick guard on mine it adds to the classic les paul look and plus I play on my les paul with a felt pick so it may help protect little Lester haha prob not but I think it looks nice

coolkayaker1
08-29-2013, 02:58 PM
Nice problem to have, Brydon. Nice uke.

Brydon
08-29-2013, 10:10 PM
5790457905

Brydon
08-29-2013, 10:15 PM
I know pickguards serve a purpose on some instruments but i can't see it on mine. I would have left it on but it was poorly cut and really detracted from the look of the instrument. Also i set this uke up as low G for an experiment. I'm not sure if i like it yet but it is growing on me.

PhilUSAFRet
08-30-2013, 12:36 AM
Thanks Brydon. I have this on my "to do " list (it's a long one). Bone nut/saddle and a tortoise replacement pick guard. I found some blanks at "amazing prices" on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_1?rh=n%3A11091801%2Ck%3Apickguard+blank&sort=price&keywords=pickguard+blank&ie=UTF8&qid=1376334431

camperman
08-30-2013, 12:59 AM
Nice job. I've been waiting ages to see one without the pick guard. Mine's a few weeks old now and I hadn't considered the possibility of a tan line.
Any chance you could post a bigger picture please? Maybe in the Epiphone Les Paul Group?
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/group.php?groupid=255

consitter
08-30-2013, 01:08 AM
Only problem with doing it is, it will instantly void your warranty. This issue was visited once before in a past thread.

Brydon
08-30-2013, 01:33 AM
For 79 i'm not too worried about the warranty. I'd rather have it sounding and looking good than worry about affecting the warranty. It was a very low heat, not even enought to feel hot (but i am a welder so my hot may be different to others). The guard went soft very quickly and nearly got all the glue to come off with it but some stayed on. The lighter fluid tip worked perfectly to remove the residue.
Sorry on the picture size, i was worried that i'd have a limit on this board, here's some better ones.5790657907

camperman
08-30-2013, 01:48 AM
For 79 i'm not too worried about the warranty. I'd rather have it sounding and looking good than worry about affecting the warranty. It was a very low heat, not even enought to feel hot (but i am a welder so my hot may be different to others). The guard went soft very quickly and nearly got all the glue to come off with it but some stayed on. The lighter fluid tip worked perfectly to remove the residue.
Sorry on the picture size, i was worried that i'd have a limit on this board, here's some better ones.5790657907

Thanks for the bigger pictures. Once again..Nice job

UkeKiddinMe
08-30-2013, 02:56 AM
5790457905

Ahhh. Very beautiful. Nice job.

UkeKiddinMe
08-30-2013, 02:59 AM
For 79 i'm not too worried about the warranty. I'd rather have it sounding and looking good than worry about affecting the warranty. It was a very low heat, not even enought to feel hot (but i am a welder so my hot may be different to others). The guard went soft very quickly and nearly got all the glue to come off with it but some stayed on. The lighter fluid tip worked perfectly to remove the residue.
Sorry on the picture size, i was worried that i'd have a limit on this board, here's some better ones.5790657907

Looks gorgeous, and looks like it's worth 5x the price that way. Now I'm getting some UAS for one. ...walking away... :D

Brydon
08-30-2013, 03:08 AM
Thanks guys, i think it looks a lot better also. I think Epiphone should take it on board and offer a naked Uke option as i think more people would opt for that.

UkeKiddinMe
08-30-2013, 03:23 AM
Thanks guys, i think it looks a lot better also. I think Epiphone should take it on board and offer a naked Uke option as i think more people would opt for that.

If they offered a naked Tenor size, I would have to get it.

Bonus points for a naked Tenor gold top. :)

ChaosToo
08-30-2013, 08:19 AM
Taken mine off tonight - easy peasy! Seems it was stuck with nothing more than double sided tape! Simply prised the edge off with a pick and gently eased the rest off!

Need to clean up the bit of glue left over, but no damage underneath.

To be honest, I reckon I'll just clean up the edges of the pick guard and put it back on - maybe even put some thin spaces underneath to give it a more authentic look?

I've got a bone nut and saddle blank to fit too - and then the LWS strings and it should hopefully be a far better player!

Oh - and a big yes to the Gold Top! In fact, I'd love a collection of the iconic guitars in uke form - an Explorer, one of those 'Mandobirds' that I seem to have missed the boat on - and wouldn't an Ibenez Iceman just finish off a nice collection? Oh - and maybe a Rickenbacker?

Brydon
09-01-2013, 04:59 AM
Yeah i found it very easy aslo. I still think it needed the heat as it's be a bit risky for the surface of the wood in my opinion.

My first though was that something looked missing on it but i soon got over that. As Jwieties said, you can always put another one back on and mine looked hellish so it needed to go.

I think we've started something here, you can almost hear the sound of hundreds of pickguards be torn off in the distance...

UkeKiddinMe
09-01-2013, 06:56 AM
Two successes. I imagine more soon to follow. :)

Can you guys describe a little more how you did the glue clean up without damaging the finish?

Brydon
09-01-2013, 10:39 AM
That method would work if you want to preserve the pickguard but as i say i wasn't worried about that. I still think it'd be safer to have a bit of warmth but i honestly don't know and it clearly worked for the Captain with no problems.

I used Swan lighter fluid which is Naptha and a scratch resistant fleece pollishing cloth (the same kind you would wax a car with). I soaked the cloth then let it rest on the glue to soften it before wiping off. There was a couple of streaks of glue left and i repeated the action but being careful to use a clean bit of cloth so as not to replace any of the glue or scratch the surface.

I tried a small amount of naptha on the back to make sure it didn't affect the lacquer 1st. Whatever glue cleaner you use i would recommend checking this before going too far as some cleaners could be too harsh.

UkeKiddinMe
09-01-2013, 12:40 PM
I have been doing lots of reading on this outside the forum.

Sounds like a whole lot of people have used the Goo Gone with Citrus on guitars successfully.

UkeKiddinMe
09-01-2013, 12:54 PM
I was just reading some of the other threads here on this uke, and one of the threads has a video of
someone adding a white pickguard to a naked Mahalo Les Paul. Go figure. :)

UkeKiddinMe
11-03-2013, 12:57 AM
I don't understand why anyone puts a pickguard on an acoustic instrument. I feel that it inhibits the top from vibrating properly.

Agreed. I think all pickguards, even on solid bodies, are unnecessary and ugly.