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Thread: Old Gibson pick guard removal?

  1. #1

    Default Old Gibson pick guard removal?

    Anyone have tips for removal of stuck pick guard without cracking or igniting? Pins seem rusted in. Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Old Gibson pick guard removal?


  3. #3
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: Old Gibson pick guard removal?

    The first step is to protect the top, remove the clamp, and try and get a thin tool between the pickguard and the fingerboard next to one of the nails. When you get some space, you can insert a small shim in the space, and rock the guard slightly. When you get some more space, insert a larger shim on the other side of the nail, perhaps remove the first shim, and rock in the other direction. Rock back and forth gently and gradually, using gradually larger shims to help you. Repeat as necessary. You'll have to figure out the best way to proceed as you go-- sometimes you will want to take a shim out, sometimes not. The shims act as fulcrum points, and you're trying to lever the guard in and out of the gaps.

    If a nail pulls out of the guard, don't worry about it-- that can be fixed later. Just make sure you don't damage the mandolin, and cross your fingers that you don't break the guard.

    The worst one I ever encountered took perhaps 2 hours to get loose. Shims, wedges, rocking, repeat, repeat again, etc.
    I thought about heating the nails, but was afraid the celluloid guard or the bindings would catch fire.

    If all else fails, you could try to open it just enough to clip off the nails, pull the guard off, and replace the nails. But be aware that if you clip the nails too short, you won't be able to pull them out of the fingerboard.

  4. #4
    Registered User Tavy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old Gibson pick guard removal?

    I ended up making wedge shaped thingies and um... basically hammering them in, nails came out a fraction of a mm at a time, even once I could get pliers on them I couldn't shift them and had to go back to making more wedges. It does ruffle up the edge of the pickguard a little, but other than that there should be minimal damage. Once the nails had the rust cleaned off them, they slid back in very smoothly, though I suspect they may "grab" again with time.

  5. #5
    Teacher, repair person
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    Default Re: Old Gibson pick guard removal?

    I'd call that 100% success.

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