Archtop Bound Pickguards

Sometimes nothing but the real deal will do

Traditionally crafted pickguards with real binding applied

We make customised bound pickguards and finger rests for any instrument; these completely hand-made bound pick guards are the real deal. We build them exactly the same way they used to be made, by building up real layers of binding that are carefully attached and then matched in a perfect mitre join- resulting in a pickguard that looks great from every angle.

Any outline, pickup configuration, electronics mounting holes, support brackets or mitre joints can be catered for.

Most often the centre is a special type of transparent tortoiseshell that lets light through which can be very hard to source these days. As it’s see through of course the paint job on the guitar influences the look. We can guarantee a fit to any guitar and please feel free to discuss custom materials or shades of tortoise shell!

Pick guard with binding

From £250

Talk to us today about your bound pickguard

Bound Pickguard

Materials Available

making pickguard with binding

Making a Replica Bound Scratch Plate

This old one from an old Gibson ES355TD has started to degrade. The celluloid is slowly letting off gasses and starting to crack – it leaves a mist on the guitar’s finish whenever the owner opens the case! Some celluloid guards even give off nitric acid as they degrade, which will absolutely destroy your guitar’s hardware, covering it in a nasty green rust.

old pickguard is cracked due to age

So let’s start making the new one-

see through archtop scratcplate

We’ve have made the replacement pickguard, subtracting the thickness of the binding

old archtop pickguard damaged

We have made ourselves a special jig to help glue on the binding. The pickguard sits on a riser and the nails, when combined with wedges, supplies inward pressure to hold the layers of binding on.

how to apply binding to edge of pickguard

Now we put the binding layers in the right order- this particular guard will have 5-ply layers (white/black/white/black/thick white), but it’s common for archtop guitar bound pickguards to have 3 or 7 layers!

bound archtop pickguard

The small wedges we have made here supply pressure to the binding and make sure it sandwiches nicely and glues to the pickguard material

cream/black/cream/black/cream pickguard

Here’s the new one versus the old knackered one – got a long way to go still…

bound scratchplate

We have added the straight edge to the pickguard already – now we’re cutting the Mitre Joint using a very sharp chisel

cutting a mitre joint on the binding

Time to remove some of that excess binding… a Stanley blade that we have altered the blade edge on to be a scraper is a handy tool for sure

5 ply black and cream tortoiseshell finger rest

Here’s the pickguard now all the excess binding has been removed from each side of the new floating pickguard. That was quite a lot of work…!

shaving down binding for bound pickguard

Now we’re going to start bringing the new scratchplate to a high shine – firstly by sanding with various grades of wet/dry paper.

The whole plate is flat sanded up to 1200 grit paper, and then it’s ready for the buffing wheel.

replica epiphone casino pickguard

On the buffer!

Reprodution tortoiseshell scratchplate maufacture

This is always the “magic” stage that really brings out the high lustre shine!

high gloss Gibson ES335 pick guard
Celluloid Tortoiseshell finger rest
Bound Scratchplate

This is the real deal, made just how they were back in the day, and still are by top-end manufacturers. 

Pick guard with binding

for an authentic pickguard, get in touch today