Vinyl LP Pickguard - What's your experience?

LedZepconcertvet

Strat-Talker
Jan 23, 2022
156
Sinks Grove, WV
Anyone had experience of using a 12" vinyl LP as material for a pickguard on a strat?

I'm aware that a 12" record isn't quite large enough to provide a single blank for a standard strat pickguard shape, but I'm not worried about that. There are ways around it.

What I'm concerned about is the thickness of the material. So, some guys have said single-ply pickguards aren't robust enough, and three-ply is better, and record vinyl would be similar to single-ply in my estimation.

So, does anyone have any experience? Did you see any warping or bowing in the vinyl? Or did it hold out just fine?

Considering it for my next build... Cheers folks!
Thicknesses of the old albums was reduced over time for the companies to save money. Early 70s probably your best bet. Good luck!
 

Bob the builder

Dr. Stratster
May 2, 2016
10,701
Cranston, Rhode Island
Maybe a router table will work, the ones in the photos look like they were probably cut on a router, probably with a template and a flush trim bit. You might luck up and have a good speed on the first try but my bet is you're going to need to experiment with the speed--either by changing bit size or with a router speed control. My router gets hot and I suspect too hot for cutting vinyl records.
Couple easy cheap solutions,
Run a couple layers of blue tape on the template where the bearing rides.
Do a first cut
Peel the tape and run it again.
Or buy another bearing 1/16" bigger diameter for the first cut and swap back to the flush bearing for a 2nd cut . 🙂
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,559
Sante Fe, NM
Anyone had experience of using a 12" vinyl LP as material for a pickguard on a strat?

I'm aware that a 12" record isn't quite large enough to provide a single blank for a standard strat pickguard shape, but I'm not worried about that. There are ways around it.

What I'm concerned about is the thickness of the material. So, some guys have said single-ply pickguards aren't robust enough, and three-ply is better, and record vinyl would be similar to single-ply in my estimation.

So, does anyone have any experience? Did you see any warping or bowing in the vinyl? Or did it hold out just fine?

Considering it for my next build... Cheers folks!
All you can do is try it out and see for yourself if it works or not.
 

Jimi Lightning

Most Honored Senior Member
Dec 21, 2016
6,490
Ontario, Canada
Great idea but as A long time Vinyl collector…Why……? :whistling:

Okay, here’s a thought. Records scratch. Look at an old miss-treated album.
Do you have a heavy hand? Do you beat up your smooth
pick-guards?
Records have grooves and are easily scratched.…
My 2 cents that with inflation is worthless….YMMV :)
 

Green Craig

Senior Stratmaster
Oct 15, 2012
2,340
Michigan
XwGxUL3.jpg

Oh, hi there.

The first ones I made, I traced my outline, heated the vinyl with a heatgun, then cut it a few inches at a time with a razor. Those wobbled and got all weird around the edges and didn't sit nicely. Eventually, they cracked. I did this one on a bandsaw, which came out quite rough-cut, but sanded off easily enough. If I were to do it again, I'd definitely locate the label a little lower - between the pickup and the bridge, so you could read it and see all the old country steez and mojo that it adds.
 

dasherf17

Strat-Talker
Nov 1, 2021
121
25 miles SE of Rogers Mn
With the size, I've seen this done a couple of different ways.

One is to simply use a different shaped design from the regular strat pickguard shape, like this from Squier-Talk, which I think looks really cool. The forearm chamfering is echoed beautifully by the shape of the record.

View attachment 364352

The other is to do it in two pieces, a bit like this, which I like because it's the original shape, but I'd want to achieve a much neater join than this for it to really work for me.

View attachment 364351

As to warping, that's what I figured. I guess there's only one way to find out.

Yep, I didn't want to use an LP that I'd actually want to listen to (although Shaky gets close; he had some good tunes early on...).

I was therefore thinking of printing a label of my own and sticking it over the original, and maybe sealing that in with some kind of lacquer so as to resist scratching.

BTW, the images aren't mine, but I've provided links to the sources in case you want to see them in their natural habitat...

Do it with an Apple record! That's class! Beat up ones exist...I'm sure they'll polish out...100 points if it a red Apple Let It Be or the gray/green Lennon's Imagine...
I have to admit, I rolled my eyes when I first read it, but seeing it? Yeah, cool indeed!
 

dasherf17

Strat-Talker
Nov 1, 2021
121
25 miles SE of Rogers Mn
Great idea but as A long time Vinyl collector…Why……? :whistling:

Okay, here’s a thought. Records scratch. Look at an old miss-treated album.
Do you have a heavy hand? Do you beat up your smooth
pick-guards?
Records have grooves and are easily scratched.…
My 2 cents that with inflation is worthless….YMMV :)

Long time record collector here, too...
Don't use new ones, polish the daylights out of it to shine it up (or, don't) and don't feed it to your turntable...it saves styli...
Don't worry about mileage, it's a hot rod...just sayin' with all due respect, Jimi!
My take for both sides...
Example, my hot mix of Led Zeppelin II will never see a guitar as a pickguard...
 

alfonso

New Member!
Sep 9, 2010
3
Italy
Anyone had experience of using a 12" vinyl LP as material for a pickguard on a strat?

I'm aware that a 12" record isn't quite large enough to provide a single blank for a standard strat pickguard shape, but I'm not worried about that. There are ways around it.

What I'm concerned about is the thickness of the material. So, some guys have said single-ply pickguards aren't robust enough, and three-ply is better, and record vinyl would be similar to single-ply in my estimation.

So, does anyone have any experience? Did you see any warping or bowing in the vinyl? Or did it hold out just fine?

Considering it for my next build... Cheers folks!
I don"t know if there is something more prone to statics than vinyl discs. It could be a crackling hell.
 

wooders

Senior Stratmaster
Nov 19, 2021
1,185
Kent
You could use a standard black guard and let your compass loose on it, put a sticker in the middle?
 


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