Kramer Restoration - Part 3

It was time to make the Kramer a little more special. A custom pickguard, along the lines of that fitted to the trailblazing Gibson Explorer, was called for. I only had a few hours to knock this up after work before dashing out to the public access laser cutter, so I had to work fast. Mocking up the pickguard with an inkjet printer.

Using the power of Google, I looked up photos of the classic Gibson design, and, knowing the Kramer was very similar in shape, used it as a guide for my own drawing. I took a photo of my Kramer from above as square as I could, then imported this into Inkscape to trace a pickguard over. I needed to be sure the pickguard would fit first time, as laser cutting is expensive and access is infrequent. So, I printed several revisions on my inkjet in order to ensure everything fit. Once the design was finalised, I headed for the workshop.

Cut-outs fresh from the laser cutter. Left, acrylic final piece, right, MDF test piece.

After a short argument with the laser cutter on what was considered vector and raster, a test piece was produced out of 3mm MDF. Everything now in order, 6mm black acrylic was cut and now I have a pickguard!

Test fitting the pickguard.

It fits beautifully, though I could have moved the screw holes slightly inwards to make them less likely to crack the acrylic when tightened. I put a light bevel on the edges with a file and cleaned them up with a light buffing, and the pickguard was complete. Using the laser cutter was a dream once things were working. It's very refreshing to be able to produce parts so quickly and easily. Start to finish, I completed the pickguard in 4 hours including a half hour travelling into town. Not bad!

Stay tuned for the next installment, the completion of phase one of the Kramer project!