A little conical (or is it comical?)
Pickguard Sander
© Frank Ford 2003; Photos by FF

We make a lot of guitar pickguards at Gryphon, and install quite a few "stock" ones as well. It's particularly annoying to get the pickguard all made, or to reach for a new precut one to find that the circular cutout area doesn't quite fit the appropriate diameter soundhole ring. So, for years, we've looked around the shop for a can, bottle, or roll of tape that happened to be about the right diameter so we could use it as a hand sanding block to make a tiny adjustment in the curvature of that inner cut.

I finally made up a little tool that does the job perfectly, and, as so often, it took about as long to make this tool as it does to find the right diameter thingy to use as a sanding block. I stacked up some plywood and turned a conical section that's about 5 inches long and tapers from 4 to 5-1/2 inches in diameter, so it will handle virtually any soundhole or rosette diameter.

Just for fun, I ordered this cool balanced handle from McMaster-Carr. There's no need for a sophisticated bearing, so I just used a hunk of brass that fits my Versa Vise. That's some self-sticky 120 grit sandpaper on the drum, by the way.

In use, the slow cranking drum won't ever overheat the delicate celluloid, and it takes only a few quick passes to get the diameter just right by trial and error:

We're on Easy Street now!

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