1. #1

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    The original pickguard on the 1948 L-7N I just acquired is pretty significantly warped. I've already replaced it with a repop tort guard, and would like to flatten the PG out and tuck it away. It's a 5 ply BWBWB type piece.

    A bit of Googling on turns up quite a few different theories and methods, involving hot water, hair dryers, heat guns, and baking in the oven among other things. Most methods when discussed mention the possibility of shrinkage occurring.

    I'm in no rush for this to straighten, as again, it's just getting tucked away. So, the "least invasive" would be sufficient.

    Do you think simply using a couple pieces of 1 x 6" wood, screwed together with the guard between them to clamp it flat over an extended period of time might reverse the warp? No heat of any kind, just simple pressure to flatten it out.

    Here's a couple pics of it;

    Other Fun with Pickguards;  Flattening a warped one.-20190505_114524-jpgOther Fun with Pickguards;  Flattening a warped one.-20190505_114506-jpgOther Fun with Pickguards;  Flattening a warped one.-20190505_114257-jpg

    Thanks in advance.

    1948 Gibson L-7N
    1981 Epi Emperor T (MIJ Matsumoku)
    1998 Epi Zephyr Regent (Peerless)
    1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio
    2004 Gibson SG Special Faded
    2006 Epi G-1275 (MIK, Unsung)
    2013 Squier Affinity Telecaster, BSB
    (among others)


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I don't think clamping it flat with no heat applied is going to work. But I would be very cautious about applying too much heat to that old pickguard. Here's what worked for me:

    For my1961 ES 355 with a warped pickguard similar to yours, I made a simple wooden clamping jig to hold it flat and placed it in my shed, where the temp gets to about 100 on summer days and then cools down at night. After a week or so, I gradually altered the jig to apply more pressure to the warped part until I ended up bending it very slightly the other way. I checked it every once in a while and when the shape was right I put it back on the guitar, where it retained it's shape.

    I think the key points are:

    Go slow
    Apply heat but not too much (maybe a heating pad or sunny window would work)
    Bend the pickguard when it's warm. Wait till it's cool to remove it from the clamps the final time.

  4. #3

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    Need a heat gun and work slow then clamp. It can be a disaster if you are not careful. Proceed with caution I have done it on many guards.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  5. #4

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    I use a clothes iron on a low setting, applied through a cloth to the rear of the guard, with guard facing downwards onto a stone kitchen worktop. Then cool under pressure. Might need to repeat several times. Safer than a heat gun I think.