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Thread: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

  1. #1

    Default Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    I just received a new Kentucky KM 950 that I will be using as a practice instrument. My performance Mandolin is a Collings. I have debated weather to install a pick guard on the 950 or not. I started to build my own pick guard but the recessed Florida feature leaves little room for attachment. I'm not a fan of pick guards or of drilling holes in the neck, but since I will be using this instrument every day and beating it up I might want to protect it a little. I have velcro strips with a light adhesive on both parts. I could attach one part to the Mando and the other to a small light guard. Have any of you ever tried something stupid like this before?
    I'm going to try this idea on my old KM150.
    My local luthier say's scratches and dents add character!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    I've seen several mandos, including Collings and Sullivan's with a clear piece of thin, self adhering plastic added to protect the finish. Much easier to install.
    Play it like you mean it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    If you want it to be (at least) semi-permanent, I don't think velcro is gonna cut it. Unless of course, if you play very lightly, it could work but mandolin is meant to be spanked every now and then. Then there's also the problem of residual adhesive from the velcor. Who knows what that would do? There are better options out there imho.

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

  4. #4
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    The adhesive that Velcro uses makes a mess on solid surfaces. You might be able to get it off with WD-40 or GooGone, but I've found it hard even with those liquids, plus then you have to clean them off. And, in heat, the adhesive can melt and even run. Messy!

    I would recommend biting (and I have bitten) the bullet and do the proper installation. The last thing you want to worry about is your pickguard rattling or moving around and scratching the top. If your plan is to resell your 950 or your 150, a tastefully made and properly installed pickguard should add to the mandolin's value. And you can also go with an abbreviated pickguard if desired. In my experience, the locations of the metal posts that go into the fingerboard can easily be adjusted to fit with or without a Florida.

    I won't waste the bandwidth here, but as an example, both of my F-style mandolins have add-on pickguards. They are viewable by clicking on the Gibson F-9 and MK LFSTB links in my signature line.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  5. #5

    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    My wife showed me a product last night made by 3M (Command) that folks use to attach pictures etc. to the wall. They claim it can easily be removed from most surfaces, but after your input and a good nights sleep I have solved the problem. I purchased the Kentucky 950 to be my daily practice instrument and I can either keep it safe and warm in the case or play and enjoy it!
    I've chosen to play it and lovingly except the scratches and dents!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    Quote Originally Posted by MandoPiper1 View Post
    My wife showed me a product last night made by 3M (Command) that folks use to attach pictures etc. to the wall. They claim it can easily be removed from most surfaces, but after your input and a good nights sleep I have solved the problem. I purchased the Kentucky 950 to be my daily practice instrument and I can either keep it safe and warm in the case or play and enjoy it!
    I've chosen to play it and lovingly except the scratches and dents!!
    Your wife had a great idea. I use the Command products extensively in my RV, and it has yet to damage any of the wallpaper/panels. I hang pictures, knife racks, spice racks, etc. successfully and can remove it anytime I like. That said, the adhesive may react with your finish. You may want to try a small piece of the adhesice side on your mandolin to see how it works.

  7. #7
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    I agree with your decision and think that having a backup mandolin is a very good thing, but you don't like to practice with the instrument you perform on???
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” “Accidentals”

  8. #8
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    I agree 100% with having a backup mandolin, that's why I have my MK... But, I like my backup mandolin to be setup the same as my primary mandolin so I can go from one mandolin to the other without having to adjust my playing style. For me that means my backup mandolin also has a pickguard, armrest and ToneGard. Because all of these make a difference in posture and attack while playing, they also make a difference in sound.

    I have to say though, it's all too easy to rationalize using my primary mandolin because I like playing it so much. I need to stop that and get into the habit of using my backup mandolin in harsh environments like windy desert venues. Cleaning fine desert dust off of nice instruments is tenuous. The same goes for wet and hot or cold venues.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  9. #9

    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    I love to practice using my Colling's and it's all I played for 12 months after delivery, but I've had to have the top five frets replaced recently. My local luthier asked how often I played and I told him every day for about 1 hour. (I'm not a picker but a cord player while singing in a small Celtic group.) My luthier said if I keep that schedule up I will have to replace the frets every year. I've been using a KM150 for practice but it's not even close to the Colling's in sound quality, thus the purchase of the KM950. It sounds a bit brighter than the Collings, but sweet and very close.
    I've just returned from Northern Ireland where I had an opportunity to perform in a real Irish Pub. I played for free, but I did collect 12 pounds in tips and 2 pints of Guinness. A dream come true for an amateur musician!!
    Happy Trails

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Attaching pickguard w/ velcro

    I asked a couple luthier about a pickguard for my km900 and they said they would have to add wood at the position where the attachment pins for the guard are normally drilled in and it would be a nontrivial amount of work to make it aesthetically ok. Then i got the idea to mount it to the top on 3 blocks of cork but i couldn't figure out how to attach it securely but reversibly without damaging the finish (I think mine might be lacquer).

    When i was looking at mandos in the Builders Room at Wintergrass there was one that had a pin into the Florida and a small cork block holding pickguard off the top near the bridge and it seemed pretty secure, but I don't remember if that was on a Pava/Ellis, an Austin Clark or Andrew Mowry build, they were all in the room (pretty phenomenal collection of instruments!)
    The Keepers: Kentucky km900, looking for next one
    Yamaha piano, clarinet, violin
    Stage1 pedal steel, some banjos and a dobro don't get played too much

    Shopping/monitoring prices: Yamaha brass, single/double reeds

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