I am working on a Melody maker, approx 1965, that a friend got from a pawn shop. Previous owner took out the original pickup and put on some outboard off-brand pup. In doing so, he cut a small notch into the main slot for the pup and used 3 self tapping screws and a tiny screw & nut to hold the pup in place.
I have an original Melody maker single pole pup coming in from e-Bay to replace the junker.
My question is, has anyone successfully repaired a pick guard (any pick guard) by plugging up the holes? I was thinking, if I scrapped some of the plastic from the back side of it, putting in a spoon or small metal container and melting it, then dropping small amounts into the holes and the cut out section while the pick guard lies on a flat surface.
Hopefully, the melted plastic would fill the very small holes and using a block of some sort to make the notch round, let the plastic cool and harden. Then, I could sand and polish to try to match the surface.
Anyone try something like this? Or, does anyone have a successful way to fill on the drilled out holes?
Most of the pick guards on e-bay are going for $100-$200 and the guy doesn't want to spend a lot to fix it.
I've never done anything like what you're suggesting, nor do I know of anyone who has done so. If you try this, you'll definitely be the guinea pig!
But I seriously doubt that your proposed fix would work to your satisfaction. First of all, there were several different types of plastic used "back in the day", and without knowing what the original material is, drawing any conclusions is going to be a crapshoot. Some guards used to be made of a nitrile-type plastic which would definitely not "melt and fill" as you propose, and would be toxic to melt.
I foresee you having problems with getting your patches to adhere to the original material, with the patch "shrinking away" from the original guard as it cools, and with matching the color if it's anything other than jet black. And, even if you clear those hurdles, trying to sand out imperfections is likely to mess things up more.
Bear in mind that, regardless of the type of plastic it is, this guard wasn't melted to form it, as it would be in a blow-molding process or some such. It was cut from a sheet of plastic that was rolled and "cured" during the manufacturing process. Those plastics generally don't re-melt very well.
Of course, you can always try it, and if you mess it up, then look at replacements. The prices quoted on Ebay are, I assume, for NOS replacements, and if this was a '59 Goldtop LP, you would need to bite the bullet for one. But a Melody Maker isn't very collectable, and I doubt if a modern replacement guard would affect the value very much.
Pickguardian will make a replacement for about $50, depending on the material, so no need to spend hundreds if that's not in your friend's budget. There may be other replacement options which are even cheaper, I didn't look around.
Be aware, however, that pickguards for the recent reissues of the MM are unlikely to match the vintage ones exactly and probably won't fit.
Im 2nd-ing what newey said. I reckon its most likely to end up going wrong - or at least not being quite right. Id be more inclined to try some very soft filler material - like a putty and not try to fully hide it - its part of the guitars history
I guess I'll third that. Trying to melt a pieces from the back is going to be a lot of work for a return you will probably not be happy with.
Newey offered the easiest option in purchasing a replacement guard. There may still be some rework on the project, but it will be minimal and the end result will be unnoticeable to just about anyone but a Melody Maker disciple.
You could attempt to make a replacement, using the guard you have as a template, but that requires some special tools.
If you're not terribly concerned in keeping the guitar "stock", filling the bad holes\routes, re-routing to accommodate your replacement pickup and finally covering the pickguard in vinyl material will work. Check out the thread "Mockingbird" Stratocaster and Dying a white strat pickguard black for the details. Here's a quick shot of one such outcome:
"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power." - Benito Mussolini
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." - Sinclair Lewis (1935)
"History, in general, only informs us of what bad government is." - Thomas Jefferson
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde