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Thread: Pick Guard Fit

  1. #1
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    Question Pick Guard Fit

    Hey there,

    Just getting going on my ST kit and super excited. I'm only sanding and getting ready to finish the body atm, however I've noticed that I can't get the pick guard to sit flush in my test build, if I wanted to screw it in it would fit, but it seems like the pickups don't want to sit all the way in their cavities, leaving a good few mm of a gap. Seems like a dumb question but I'm hoping everyone on here is welcoming of shit like this and can tell me whats stopping it, or if this is normal. I've made sure wires are out of the way and the cavities are all at least 10mm bigger than the pickup needs.

    Thanks anyway for giving this a read
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  2. #2
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome.
    I can't see by the photo, but how high/low are the pickups adjusted currently?

    I find the top of the pickup covers (not the pole pieces) end up about 3mm above the pickguard once I've dialled in the proper height for the string action.

    Try adjusting the pickups up until the pickguard sits flat and see how they are in relation to where the strings will pass over them.

    I hope that makes sense. I'm getting called away for dinner right now!
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

  3. #3
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Hi Matt, and welcome.

    Getting Strat scratchplates to fit can be a problem, even if you've done it a few times before. There is always a wire that moves, even though you are sure you've aligned everything perfectly.

    Which particular ST kit is it? Most come with loaded scratchplates. And with the 22-fret neck kits. the scratchplate has to be fitted before the neck is screwed on.

    From the photo, the pickups seem to be sitting quite low, but the screws should still be protruding more than anything else. I'd measure the cavity depth and the length of the pickup screws beneath the underside of the scratchplate, just in case the factory have fitted longer screws than normal.

    It would also be helpful if you could post a picture of the underside of the scratchplate, just in case anyone can spot something out of the ordinary.

    I've got a loaded scratchplate from a GST-1 handy that I can compare it with.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice guys

    I've taken a picture of the underside of the plate. Also measured the lengths of screws and the cavities and there's plenty of room for everything, this feels like a ridiculous issue! Thanks for the help it is much appreciated.

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  5. #5
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    I've been fiddling and its close enough that i would consider screwing it in, but just feel like it should sit in place without having to be held down.

  6. #6
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    All looks normal.

    I normally tape the neck and middle pickup wires together just after the point the wires come out of the middle pickup. This keeps them neat and makes sure that those wires (at least) always run down the central channel.

    Here's my scratchplate and you can see that they've tied the pickup wires together.



    It may be an idea to snip the big cable tie you have and try and rearrange the wires so that they all sit between the pots and the switch, using smaller cable ties or tape as necessary.

    One benefit or doing all the wiring yourself is that you can use stiffer wire and run them just where you want them to go, and not have any excess loops.

    Of the three long unconnected wires, the yellow and one of the black wires (doesn't matter which) will go to the output jack, and the other black wire is the ground for the trem claw. So it's worth poking them through the appropriate holes to get them out the way.

  7. #7
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    Thanks a lot for that Simon, very helpful. After some further fiddling and sorting the wiring to be a bit neater, I'm beginning to think the scratchplate is just bowing slightly. it now sits flush at the top and bottom, even around the knobs and switch where the bulk of the wires are, but refuses to sit flush around the middle, looking like the only thing able to stop it is the middle pickup, which I'm positive is clear of the bottom of the cavity and the wires are sat in their channel. I'll continue with finishing the body, and I'm sure when the time comes to screw the plate in, I'll get it to sit as desired! If not, you'll see me crawling back for help in the future aha!

    All the best,
    Matt

  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Scratchplates can easily bend if they get hot. Never work on one out in direct bright sunlight as it doesn't take much for it to warm up and start twisting. I ruined a whole sheet of black scratchplate material because I'd put it down outside on a Workmate for 20 minutes and it turned into a Daliesque work of art. Even a lighter-coloured mint-green pickguard had a slight warp in it after a few minutes in hot sun.

  9. #9
    Overlord of Music McCreed's Avatar
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    ...I'm beginning to think the scratchplate is just bowing slightly. it now sits flush at the top and bottom, even around the knobs and switch where the bulk of the wires are, but refuses to sit flush around the middle...
    If you're certain that everything's clearing the routing, and you're able to push is flat in the middle with light pressure (like with one finger) I wouldn't worry about it. It will be fine once you screw it down at final assembly.
    Making the world a better place; one guitar at a time...

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