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Mastering the Art of Cutting Metal Pickguards: A Guide on How to Cut a Metal Pickguard with Precision

Are you a guitar enthusiast looking to add a touch of personalization to your instrument? Well, look no further! In this guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of metal pickguards and uncover the secrets behind cutting them with unrivaled precision. Whether you’re a seasoned guitar technician or a passionate DIYer, mastering the art of cutting metal pickguards will not only enhance the aesthetics of your beloved guitar but also showcase your creative flair. Join us as we embark on a journey filled with technical know-how, artistic finesse, and innovative problem-solving skills, all aimed at transforming your guitar into a true masterpiece.

how to cut a metal pickguard

How to Cut a Metal Pickguard

Whether you’re looking to make a custom metal pickguard or modify an existing one, mastering the art of cutting metal pickguards is an essential skill for any guitar enthusiast. With the right tools and techniques, you can create precise and aesthetically pleasing pickguards that perfectly complement your instrument. In this guide, we will explore various methods for cutting a metal pickguard with precision, allowing you to unleash your creativity and customize your guitar to your heart’s content.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before we dive into the cutting techniques, let’s start by gathering the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Metal pickguard blank (choose a suitable metal such as stainless steel or aluminum)
  2. Template (either pre-made or custom-made to match the shape and hole placements of your guitar’s original pickguard)
  3. Cutting tool (options include nibblers, snips, or a jeweler’s saw)
  4. Sandpaper or metal file (choose a grit suitable for your desired finish)
  5. Safety goggles and gloves (to protect your eyes and hands while working)

With these tools in hand, you’re now ready to dive into the world of cutting metal pickguards.

Cutting a Pickguard by Hand and on a Budget

If you prefer a more hands-on approach and are looking to cut a pickguard on the cheap, using affordable hand tools is the way to go. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Start by securing your metal pickguard blank firmly to a sturdy workbench or table.
  2. Place the template on top of the pickguard blank, aligning it with the desired position.
  3. Use clamps or adhesive tape to secure the template in place, ensuring it doesn’t shift during the cutting process.
  4. Begin cutting along the template using your chosen cutting tool. Take your time and make steady, precise cuts, following the outline of the template.
  5. As you approach the curves or delicate sections of the pickguard, consider using tape support blocks in the horn area. These will help support the router and maintain stability while cutting around the intricate curves.
  6. Once you’ve completed the cutting process, remove the template and inspect your pickguard. Use a metal file or sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or imperfections.
  7. Finish off by polishing the pickguard to achieve a professional and flawless appearance.

“Cutting a pickguard by hand allows you to have complete control over the process, enabling you to create personalized and unique designs.”

“Remember to take your time and stay focused while cutting, as even the slightest mistake can affect the overall quality of your pickguard.”

Creating a DIY Sheet Metal Pickguard

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and want to dive into the realm of DIY, creating a sheet metal pickguard from scratch can be a rewarding experience. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Begin by selecting an affordable metal sheet that fits your desired style and preferences.
  2. Trace the shape of your guitar’s original pickguard onto the metal sheet using a marker or pen.
  3. Carefully cut along the traced outline using a nibbler or a metal-cutting bit on a rotary tool like a Dremel.
  4. Pay extra attention to cutting any holes or openings the pickguard might have. A template can be helpful in guiding your cuts, or you can use tools like a jigsaw or files/sandpaper for more intricate designs.
  5. Once the cutting is complete, use sandpaper or a metal file to refine the edges and smooth out any imperfections.
  6. Finally, give your newly crafted pickguard a polished finish by sanding and polishing the surface.

“With some patience and creativity, you can craft a one-of-a-kind pickguard that reflects your unique style and showcases your DIY prowess.”

“Experiment with different materials and textures to create a pickguard that’s as visually stunning as it is functional.”

Tips for Modifying a Pickguard

Sometimes, all you need is a little modification to transform your existing pickguard into something special. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Assess the pickguard and identify the areas you want to modify.
  2. Use tools like a hack saw or utility knife to carefully remove the unwanted sections.
  3. Sand down the modified areas to ensure a smooth and seamless finish.
  4. Consider adding new holes or cutouts as needed, making sure to align them with your guitar’s hardware or electronics.
  5. Give the pickguard a final touch by sanding and polishing it to match the rest of your instrument’s aesthetic.

“Modifying a pickguard allows you to tailor it to your specific needs and preferences, ensuring it enhances both the functionality and visual appeal of your guitar.”

“Remember to double-check your measurements and take your time during the modification process to avoid any irreversible mistakes.”


Cutting a metal pickguard requires a delicate balance of technical expertise and artistic finesse. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you can confidently embark on your metal pickguard cutting journey. Whether you choose to cut by hand, craft a DIY sheet metal pickguard, or modify an existing one, remember to embrace the process, let your creativity guide you, and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your vision come to life on your beloved guitar. So go ahead, grab your tools, and start mastering the art of cutting metal pickguards today!

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How to Cut a Metal Pickguard

Cutting a metal pickguard for your guitar can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it becomes a piece of cake. If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to cut a metal pickguard, look no further. We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive tutorial. From choosing the right type of metal to the best cutting methods, we’ve got all the insider tips and tricks to help you achieve a professional-looking result. So, don’t wait any longer. Click here to learn more about cut metal pickguards and unlock the secrets to perfecting your instrument’s look.


Question 1: Can I cut a pickguard by hand using affordable hand tools?

Answer: Yes, it is possible to cut a pickguard by hand using affordable hand tools. With the right technique and tools such as a jigsaw or utility knife, you can achieve precise cuts on a pickguard.

Question 2: How can I provide support while cutting around the delicate curve of the horn area?

Answer: To provide support while cutting around the delicate curve of the horn area, you can use tape support blocks. These blocks will help stabilize the router or cutting tool as it moves along the curve, ensuring a clean cut without any damage.

Question 3: What is the importance of using the right template for cutting a guitar’s pickguard?

Answer: Using the right template is crucial when cutting a guitar’s pickguard. The template serves as a guide, allowing you to create a precise and accurate shape for your pickguard. It ensures that the cut aligns perfectly with the guitar’s body, resulting in a professional-looking finish.

Question 4: How can I create a DIY sheet metal pickguard using affordable materials?

Answer: To create a DIY sheet metal pickguard, you can start by picking out the metal of your choice, such as aluminum or stainless steel. Then, trace and cut the desired shape on the metal sheet. You can use a nibbler or a metal cutting bit to achieve clean and precise cuts. Finally, sand and polish the edges to smooth out any roughness.

Question 5: What are the steps for making a custom metal guitar pickguard?

Answer: The steps for making a custom metal guitar pickguard include:
1. Picking out the metal material of your choice.
2. Tracing and cutting the desired shape on the metal sheet.
3. Using a nibbler or a metal cutting bit to achieve precise cuts.
4. Sanding the edges to smooth out any roughness.
5. Polishing the pickguard to give it a professional finish.

Please note that these steps may vary depending on the specific materials and tools you use. Always prioritize safety and follow manufacturer guidelines when working with cutting tools and metals.

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