• Lazy Andy


The next step was to transfer the paper CAD template onto ply wood and cut out a more rigid guide for routing out the plastic pickguard.

The paper template was cut out and spray mounted onto the ply and then roughly cut with my cheap jigsaw. This jigsaw has been a trusty servant, but I would really love the space for a bandsaw for tasks like these. This leaves around 4-6mm of plywood to cut back with the router, which is more to the liking of the palm routers motor.

A few weeks back i bought a cheap aluminium router plate off eBay which allows the palm router to be mounted below a table. This is very useful as it's easier to move the working piece around than it is to wrestle with clamping the working piece to the Workmate and ending up cutting into the wooden jaws of the bench... every time.

Following the rough cut I then reduced the size of the template by gently trimming with the router bit. Now, this is a bit tricky as there is no guide, so this is effectively freehand - and requires a very steady pair of hands. The rule of thumb is that you can always trim more off... it's not so easy to put it back - actually it is, see previous post about the the pickup guide!

This leaves an edge which is slightly bumpy but very easy to sand.

The pickups holes were cut out using the previous template. I drilled out two 12mm holes in each pick up location and cut a rough slot using the jigsaw then screwed the small template to the main piece to use as a guide.

Now I thought I was being clever by using the pick up screw holes, but one went in a bit off vertical and caused a bit of a bump in the rout, hence the third screw hole. Something to remember for future templates.

To sand the edges down I used an old wooden handled hammer clamped in the work mate with some sand paper wrapped around it. This gives a near vertical surface with different radii that can be used to sand the convex sides of the template without rounding over the edges as is so easy to do when sanding by hand.... an oscillating drum sander would no doubt do this job a lot better.

I set the drill press back up and drilled all of the holes in the template with a 3mm bit and then offered up the completed template to the guitar to check for fit. I only did the 3mm holes as I will drill those into the final guard and then open them up to the right size.

The fit seemed pretty good and some matched poked through the template confirmed that alignment with the screw holes below is also good.

I avoided the temptation of setting it alight in a moment of Hendrix inspired madness

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