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  1. #1

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    Greetings,
    I am new to the forum. I just purchased a Gibson ES 775. Unfortunately, the previous owner removed the pickguard. Are there any forum members who have one they could make a tracing of so I can have one fabricated?

    I have contacted several custom pickguard makers, and they are able to. Just need a pattern...

    Thanks..
    Be safe and stay well

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by apell
    Greetings,
    I am new to the forum. I just purchased a Gibson ES 775. Unfortunately, the previous owner removed the pickguard. Are there any forum members who have one they could make a tracing of so I can have one fabricated?

    I have contacted several custom pickguard makers, and they are able to. Just need a pattern...

    Thanks..
    Be safe and stay well
    It's quite easy to make one yourself. Just make a cardboard outline of the pup locations, and those can easily be transferred to a 175 or other pg you like. From there anyone can make one for you.

  4. #3
    Thanks....It does sound pretty simple...Knowing me, though, I am leery of doing anything that might mess it up..I'll give it a go, though..
    A

  5. #4

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    Pickguardian | Quality Handmade Custom Pickguards

    I have worked with this guy previously. You might want to see if he can help.

  6. #5
    Thanks....I will definitely check them out.. I appreciate it...

  7. #6

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    The positions for the ES-775 humbuckers are wider apart than the ones for the ES-175. Be aware of that. The L-4CES might be similar to the ES-775 in the positioning of the humbuckers. You might want to look for an L-4CES pickguard.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    The positions for the ES-775 humbuckers are wider apart than the ones for the ES-175. Be aware of that. The L-4CES might be similar to the ES-775 in the positioning of the humbuckers. You might want to look for an L-4CES pickguard.
    Yeah, in looking at pictures I see the similarity with L-4 pickguard. I also did some checking on measurements. The ES 175 pickguard is 8" and I'm thinking the ES 775 is the same. I am awaiting arrival, so I'll sit tight until it gets here before ordering anything...This guitar weighs in at a hefty 8+ #, so, we'll see how it goes. Almost the same weight as my Gretsch CC...
    Stay safe, folks.
    a

  9. #8

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    I also believe the 775 had a fancier 5ply tortoise pickguard gold brackets and as mentioned already wide pickup spacing.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    I also believe the 775 had a fancier 5ply tortoise pickguard gold brackets and as mentioned already wide pickup spacing.
    o
    Thank you for the help....I'll find what I need....I appreciate it...

  11. #10

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    I'd think anyone that works on archtops can make a bound pickguard one for you. The supplies from Stew Mac are less than $50.
    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-screen-shot-2018-09-14-9-37-50-pm-png

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    I'd think anyone that works on archtops can make a bound pickguard one for you. The supplies from Stew Mac are less than $50.
    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-screen-shot-2018-09-14-9-37-50-pm-png
    Great to know...thanks..

  13. #12

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    The materials aren't especially expensive, but making a quality bound pickguard requires a significant investment of time, and I once heard that time is money. Don't be surprised if the quote is a lot more than $50, or if the person decides it's just not worth the trouble.

  14. #13

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    I made L5 and all types of pickguards and the materials are expensive as such. They sell really nice replacement L5 pickguards between $55-$85. For me to make one for $75 is not really a great deal for myself. The materials cost about approx $25 per guard and it takes me at least two hours of work in total time. So getting $25 and hour sounds like a lot to some but not something that is a big money maker. The person still has to drill the holes in many cases and put the guard on. To really make it worth my time need to get $100. Making pickguards is not complicated but it just does not seem to flow either. Compared to a fret dressing or crack repair it is much more hassle. Certainly I am not the most proficient either.

    I think those of us making these custom do better on specific request like a D'angelico Pickguard or some shape that is not quite up to specs. Another option is the material, as I found a source for really nice tortoise that is thick. It is 3/16's thick and looks fabulous but really best used on guitars that are acoustic archtops with a floater. This stuff holds up under the mounting of pickup and volume control on the guard much better. I also use these for the D'angelico style. The thicker material is much better to bind.

    For the run of the mill L5 guard you can't beat ebay and those sellers selling them for really inexpensive amounts. I have not idea how they do it and make a profit. I had to hunt down some binding cement directly from manufacture. I am glad is US made otherwise probably could not ship the stuff.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I made L5 and all types of pickguards and the materials are expensive as such. They sell really nice replacement L5 pickguards between $55-$85. For me to make one for $75 is not really a great deal for myself. The materials cost about approx $25 per guard and it takes me at least two hours of work in total time. So getting $25 and hour sounds like a lot to some but not something that is a big money maker. The person still has to drill the holes in many cases and put the guard on. To really make it worth my time need to get $100. Making pickguards is not complicated but it just does not seem to flow either. Compared to a fret dressing or crack repair it is much more hassle. Certainly I am not the most proficient either.

    I think those of us making these custom do better on specific request like a D'angelico Pickguard or some shape that is not quite up to specs. Another option is the material, as I found a source for really nice tortoise that is thick. It is 3/16's thick and looks fabulous but really best used on guitars that are acoustic archtops with a floater. This stuff holds up under the mounting of pickup and volume control on the guard much better. I also use these for the D'angelico style. The thicker material is much better to bind.

    For the run of the mill L5 guard you can't beat ebay and those sellers selling them for really inexpensive amounts. I have not idea how they do it and make a profit. I had to hunt down some binding cement directly from manufacture. I am glad is US made otherwise probably could not ship the stuff.
    I found something on ebay and jumped, then learned that the material should be tortoise, not black. THere are a few others out there on Reverb and ebay..I think I'm putting the cart before the horse, anyway. I need to have the guitar in hand first. Then, I can do some measuring....
    But, upshot is I think I'll probably go with something already made rather than have one custom-made. It isn't worth the $$ to me...
    THanks for the help.

  16. #15

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    This is the material I used for the pickguard in post #10. It was enough to make two pickguards.

    Tortoise Pickguard Material for Archtop Instruments | stewmac.com

    Even if you don't make the pickguard yourself, this video will show what is involved, though everyone does it a little different.

  17. #16

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    WD® Custom Pickguard For Gibson® L-4C®

    #05T Tortoiseshell Solid (Semi-Transparent) $49.95.

    It is unbound and you will have to make the cutouts for the humbuckers yourself. In a pinch, this will do very well.

  18. #17

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    Gibson L-5CES electric guitar pickguard dark tortoise shell with 5-ply binding | fox-guitars.com

    You might want to measure between the pickups of the ES-775 and see if the spacing matches that of the L-5CES pickguard.

    You also could ask Paul Fox for a quote on a custom job.
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 04-02-2020 at 05:07 PM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    This is the material I used for the pickguard in post #10. It was enough to make two pickguards.

    Tortoise Pickguard Material for Archtop Instruments | stewmac.com

    Even if you don't make the pickguard yourself, this video will show what is involved, though everyone does it a little different.
    I don't do it that way I use strips and binding tape. One layer at a time and there are even other ways to do it.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    This is the material I used for the pickguard in post #10. It was enough to make two pickguards.

    Tortoise Pickguard Material for Archtop Instruments | stewmac.com

    Even if you don't make the pickguard yourself, this video will show what is involved, though everyone does it a little different.
    Looks pretty cool to do...If I had the inclination, I might go for it...A few years ago I would...Now, I just want to spend time toodling around on my guitar. I did order one (black) for a seller on ebay. If it works out size way, I may use it as a template to attempt to make one. I did pick up some tortoise plastic a few years ago for something or other...It's sitting in the attic amongst all my other guitar-fabricating (never used) junk... Cool stuff. Thanks..

  21. #20

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    apell, I have been down this route before. In trying to save money I tried to craft my own solution. What I ended up with was a bunch of botched up materials to show for it that could have paid for a proper custom made pickguard. No savings and I still had to shell out for a proper one.

    You need a buffing wheel to give the tortoiseshell celluloid a nice shine. Not trying to discourage you but I see you going down the same path. Just leave it to the guys who do this for a living. Less frustration for you unless you wish to learn to do it for a living or have many guitars which require pickguards. Of course, if you are not particular, a black pickguard with no binding and cutouts made by a coping saw will suffice at low cost. But I get the feeling that you want a nice pickguard.

  22. #21

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    Well said, Jabberwocky.

    Also, when buying one: Caveat emptor. The quality of some of the ‘homemade’ pickguards on reverb and eBay is horrible. Go with a known supplier or builder. Apart from having the correct materials and tools, it takes knowledge, skill and experience to have a good quality outcome. Not saying it’s beyond any of us, but unless this is something you plan to do a lot of, my feeling is it makes much more sense to buy from someone with a good reputation. I have a couple simpler pickguards (ES-175, Epiphone Emp Regent) from Pickguardian and they are excellent. But for a bound pickguard, go with quality. If you want an off-the-shelf option, I haven’t found any better than the Allparts L-5 pickguard. Stock comes and goes (be patient) but they are top notch.

  23. #22

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    You may want to contact Joe over at Archtop.com. A few years ago he made up an excellent ES-175D pickguard for my 1961 model which had none when I bought it a few years earlier. The service was fast and the quality high. I've seen a few 775s on Archtop.com over the years so I would expect Joe has probably made up a template "just in case".

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    apell, I have been down this route before. In trying to save money I tried to craft my own solution. What I ended up with was a bunch of botched up materials to show for it that could have paid for a proper custom made pickguard. No savings and I still had to shell out for a proper one.

    You need a buffing wheel to give the tortoiseshell celluloid a nice shine. Not trying to discourage you but I see you going down the same path. Just leave it to the guys who do this for a living. Less frustration for you unless you wish to learn to do it for a living or have many guitars which require pickguards. Of course, if you are not particular, a black pickguard with no binding and cutouts made by a coping saw will suffice at low cost. But I get the feeling that you want a nice pickguard.
    Yes, I certainly don't want to wind up with a glooey mess, like one of the model cars I used to make when I was a kid. Thanks

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen
    Well said, Jabberwocky.

    Also, when buying one: Caveat emptor. The quality of some of the ‘homemade’ pickguards on reverb and eBay is horrible. Go with a known supplier or builder. Apart from having the correct materials and tools, it takes knowledge, skill and experience to have a good quality outcome. Not saying it’s beyond any of us, but unless this is something you plan to do a lot of, my feeling is it makes much more sense to buy from someone with a good reputation. I have a couple simpler pickguards (ES-175, Epiphone Emp Regent) from Pickguardian and they are excellent. But for a bound pickguard, go with quality. If you want an off-the-shelf option, I haven’t found any better than the Allparts L-5 pickguard. Stock comes and goes (be patient) but they are top notch.
    I believe I contacted them yesterday, and they ARE indeed waiting for bound tortoise to arrive. I have them on my radar (now, if I can only remember to check on them in a month.)
    Again, thanks for all the help, folks.
    Be safe..

  26. #25

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    Years ago, I got one custom made by Cris Mirabella. It was a pre-emptive replacement for the original bound tortoise guard on my Byrd, which had not yet begun to deteriorate. (That original guard is now tucked away safely in a sealed plastic bag.) Cost $300 including the labor by my luthier to mount the block and hardware and do a little custom fitting to the guitar itself (I believe he ordered it without pickup cutouts and did those himself to ensure proper fit to the specific guitar.) Expensive, yes, but is a dead ringer for the real thing and is impeccable in workmanship.

  27. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Years ago, I got one custom made by Cris Mirabella. It was a pre-emptive replacement for the original bound tortoise guard on my Byrd, which had not yet begun to deteriorate. (That original guard is now tucked away safely in a sealed plastic bag.) Cost $300 including the labor by my luthier to mount the block and hardware and do a little custom fitting to the guitar itself (I believe he ordered it without pickup cutouts and did those himself to ensure proper fit to the specific guitar.) Expensive, yes, but is a dead ringer for the real thing and is impeccable in workmanship.
    Well, that is way out of the ball park for me to afford. But, I bet it's beautiful. I'll see how the one I order looks... I think it will have to do...
    Thanks..

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    I don't do it that way I use strips and binding tape. One layer at a time and there are even other ways to do it.
    Yes, in fact I tried something different with the one in post #10 since that is a Korean guitar; no tape or nails. I used very fast drying glue. Almost like acetone in a tube. I just held the strips in place until dry with my fingers. Construction was very fast.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    Yes, in fact I tried something different with the one in post #10 since that is a Korean guitar; no tape or nails. I used very fast drying glue. Almost like acetone in a tube. I just held the strips in place until dry with my fingers. Construction was very fast.
    I use acetone for the real thin strips those go real easy although I tape them. Then the thicker one usually at the end I use binding cement I get from supplier I believe it is same stuff Gibson uses. I tape that real tight. Once made a D'a pickguard and the last white bind what really thick almost twice the normal. I had to use a heat gun to sort of get it in place at first. A real pia.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by apell
    Well, that is way out of the ball park for me to afford. But, I bet it's beautiful. I'll see how the one I order looks... I think it will have to do...
    Thanks..
    Yep, the entire guitar, not just the pickguard, was a splurge :-) I did buy a cheap guard to use while I was waiting for it and there was no comparison in terms of looks but the cheapo plastic one offered just as much protection as the purty one.

  31. #30

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    Can you post pictures of your guitar?

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Yep, the entire guitar, not just the pickguard, was a splurge :-) I did buy a cheap guard to use while I was waiting for it and there was no comparison in terms of looks but the cheapo plastic one offered just as much protection as the purty one.
    Well, the one I received yesterday is nice and thick. Nicely bound. I am a little leery cutting out the pickup notches...I may attempt it...Maybe not. It may just be yet another project to be done....

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    Can you post pictures of your guitar?
    Will do...It's in FedEx hands right now...Scheduled to arrive tomorrow...

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by apell
    Well, the one I received yesterday is nice and thick. Nicely bound. I am a little leery cutting out the pickup notches...I may attempt it...Maybe not. It may just be yet another project to be done....
    Go slow. It’s easy to break the binding. My experience is that it works best to find a short section of a 2x4 stud to use as a template. (USA standard studs are actually ~1.5” x 3.5” and the narrow edge is serendipitously the correct size for a Gibson humbucker cutout). After you’ve rough-cut the pickup cutout, wrap the narrow edge of the 2x4 with sand paper and use it to clean up the cutout. If you’re slow and careful, it’ll turn out looking like a factory job.
    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-a481935e-b844-482a-9466-66acafaabdbc-jpeg

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen
    Go slow. It’s easy to break the binding. My experience is that it works best to find a short section of a 2x4 stud to use as a template. (USA standard studs are actually ~1.5” x 3.5” and the narrow edge is serendipitously the correct size for a Gibson humbucker cutout). After you’ve rough-cut the pickup cutout, wrap the narrow edge of the 2x4 with sand paper and use it to clean up the cutout. If you’re slow and careful, it’ll turn out looking like a factory job.
    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-a481935e-b844-482a-9466-66acafaabdbc-jpeg
    That is they way next time I have one of those Rolijen you are coming over to do the finishing work for me..............assuming the Covid 19 has lifted!

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    That is they way next time I have one of those Rolijen you are coming over to do the finishing work for me..............assuming the Covid 19 has lifted!
    It’s a deal! Looking forward to it!

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    That is they way next time I have one of those Rolijen you are coming over to do the finishing work for me..............assuming the Covid 19 has lifted!
    On the way to my place in NY...First you, then me... That is sweet.

  38. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen
    Go slow. It’s easy to break the binding. My experience is that it works best to find a short section of a 2x4 stud to use as a template. (USA standard studs are actually ~1.5” x 3.5” and the narrow edge is serendipitously the correct size for a Gibson humbucker cutout). After you’ve rough-cut the pickup cutout, wrap the narrow edge of the 2x4 with sand paper and use it to clean up the cutout. If you’re slow and careful, it’ll turn out looking like a factory job.
    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-a481935e-b844-482a-9466-66acafaabdbc-jpeg
    Beautiful work....A question....There is a screw or bolt I see just north of the neck pickup on the edge of the pickguard; what does that attach to? Is there a little bracket on the edge of the fingerboard? I had an old East German archtop that had that arrangement....

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by apell
    Beautiful work....A question....There is a screw or bolt I see just north of the neck pickup on the edge of the pickguard; what does that attach to? Is there a little bracket on the edge of the fingerboard? I had an old East German archtop that had that arrangement....
    On this particular guitar, the upper end attaches via a screw straight down through the top. I used a small spacer (poly tubing) between the guard and the guitar top. I drilled the hole through the pickguard using a small Dremel bit for the hole and a larger special bit to create a counter sink for the screw head. Slow and steady on this material or it’ll crack.

  40. #39

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    A couple close up pics:

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-977cb1d3-fc29-47eb-aca5-90a840385f09-jpeg
    Pic of neck pickup showing forward mounting screw, pickup cutout and adjustment screw notch. The cutout is shaped using the edge of a 2x4 wrapped in sandpaper. You can see how it perfectly fits a standard size humbucker. (The adjustment notch is not quite as precise due to freehand cutting with my Dremel tool).

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-3b0282da-968d-4127-87e2-67c2632609fe-jpeg
    Bridge pickup cutout and adjustment screw notch.

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen
    A couple close up pics:

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-977cb1d3-fc29-47eb-aca5-90a840385f09-jpeg
    Pic of neck pickup showing forward mounting screw, pickup cutout and adjustment screw notch. The cutout is shaped using the edge of a 2x4 wrapped in sandpaper. You can see how it perfectly fits a standard size humbucker. (The adjustment notch is not quite as precise due to freehand cutting with my Dremel tool).

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-3b0282da-968d-4127-87e2-67c2632609fe-jpeg
    Bridge pickup cutout and adjustment screw notch.
    Mighty sweet work. I did get a bound black pickguard, like yours, that I could use..If it works out, terrific... I also discovered that the pickguard on mine is also attached on the front end with a screw into the top, with a spacer.... I am going to post some a picture of my guitar. I leave the strings uncut on the tuning machines, in case I want to remove them and reuse them. I can this can create sympathetic vibrations, but since these are TI's (GB round wounds) no sense throwing $30 out the window...
    Thanks again for the great pictures. Looks good.

  42. #41
    Here's the guitar..
    .In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-es775-jpg

  43. #42

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    Wow! She’s a beauty. Good luck. To avoid sympathetic vibrations, I typically use plastic or rubber tubing as a spacer under the front mounting screw (between guitar top plate and underside of pickguard). Then, I affix self-adhesive black foam to the underside of the pickguard to rest against the pickup mounting rings.

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-966a4da8-3bda-419e-ba50-757bb4ef3e42-jpeg

    This stuff is a miracle. I buy it at the shop my wife goes to for her craft supplies. Adhesive backed. Fairly dense foam. Many uses, but it eliminates the annoying vibrations from a pickguard.

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-54937a18-f2d1-43df-a686-6c498a4fa0ed-jpeg
    Note tubing used as spacer (Screw loosened to show spacer). Be sure to check to ensure the spacer doesn’t react with your nitro finish.

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-9b84ce6e-88b2-48d3-a221-2b50ccbad5f5-jpeg
    Here is a pic of the foam between pickguard and the pickup ring. Look closely and you’ll see a thin strip of black foam right in the center of the photo. Works amazingly well to make the pickguard rock solid and not permit buzzes or unwanted vibration. I typically run it along the whole edge of the pickup cutout. Invisible from above.

    Roli

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by apell
    Here's the guitar..
    .In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-es775-jpg
    Your ES-775 appears to have an ebony fretboard, knobs, and tailpiece insert. Although it wouldn't look original, having someone like luthier Stephen Holst of Oregon make you an ebony pickguard (he will do any shape/style) would look pretty nice on your guitar!

  45. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by helios
    Your ES-775 appears to have an ebony fretboard, knobs, and tailpiece insert. Although it wouldn't look original, having someone like luthier Stephen Holst of Oregon make you an ebony pickguard (he will do any shape/style) would look pretty nice on your guitar!
    Thanks...yes, the ES775 was all duded-out in ebony. My understanding is that the original pickguard was tortoise. So, I think that's what I'll go with (although an ebony pickguard would be cool).

  46. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen
    Wow! She’s a beauty. Good luck. To avoid sympathetic vibrations, I typically use plastic or rubber tubing as a spacer under the front mounting screw (between guitar top plate and underside of pickguard). Then, I affix self-adhesive black foam to the underside of the pickguard to rest against the pickup mounting rings.

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-966a4da8-3bda-419e-ba50-757bb4ef3e42-jpeg

    This stuff is a miracle. I buy it at the shop my wife goes to for her craft supplies. Adhesive backed. Fairly dense foam. Many uses, but it eliminates the annoying vibrations from a pickguard.

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-54937a18-f2d1-43df-a686-6c498a4fa0ed-jpeg
    Note tubing used as spacer (Screw loosened to show spacer). Be sure to check to ensure the spacer doesn’t react with your nitro finish.

    In Search of Pickguard for Gibson ES-775-9b84ce6e-88b2-48d3-a221-2b50ccbad5f5-jpeg
    Here is a pic of the foam between pickguard and the pickup ring. Look closely and you’ll see a thin strip of black foam right in the center of the photo. Works amazingly well to make the pickguard rock solid and not permit buzzes or unwanted vibration. I typically run it along the whole edge of the pickup cutout. Invisible from above.

    Roli
    Looks like a cool trick....

    I was really lucky to run across this guitar. THe more I play it, the more I realize what a find it is. And it is in awesome condition (barring the missing pickguard, which is no biggy....I play fingerstyle anyway.)

  47. #46

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    The last guitar on my bucket list is an L-4 CES. Your ES-775 is beautiful. I love the neck pickup placement being like the L-4. Nice guitar.

  48. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by rolijen
    The last guitar on my bucket list is an L-4 CES. Your ES-775 is beautiful. I love the neck pickup placement being like the L-4. Nice guitar.
    Yes, an L-4 CES would be a fine guitar indeed....
    I really lucked out on the ES-775...The internet is a fine thing..
    thank you for the input