Workshop: Banjo Mandolin Pickguard

I sold this teens-era Vega Style K instrument (unbranded but exactly the same as a style K) a little while back and it came back to me for a light setup (action had drifted from 1/16" to a hair under 3/32" down in the sweet sunny South) as well as a repro-style pickguard and some side dots.

I cut the pickguard per some photos of vintage customers the customer sent to me. Fortunately, this new plastic pickguard material is stiffer than the old celluloid stuff. I can see why he wanted a pickguard on this... it's so nice to be able to plant a pinky if needed and not mute the head.

Some new pearl side dots went in quick...

It took me a while to figure out what to do for brackets but I settled on modifying these old archtop guitar pickguard brackets to have the original hooks fit through them and "clamp" them to the flesh hoop.

I "antiqued" the pickguard a bit so it would fit in with the somewhat-rusty, worn-in original hardware but while tightening that second bolt to the bracket it slipped and I put a tiny scratch in this "wing" area... we'll see if I need to cut a new guard, now...!


Anonymous said…
This is the "customer" speaking... nice job, Jake. It's hard to find true craftsmen these days. I think the little Vega is coming along nicely and can't wait to have it back in my hands again. I'll "inflict" it on my fellow musicians from time to time.