The 000 Perry Bechtel Special
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I Saw Stars
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Original Correspondence
-> Installing the Pickguard
What Happened to the Original?

Installing a pickguard on a
Martin Guitar 000 Perry Bechtel Special

The Martin Guitar 000 Perry Bechtel Specials arrive here at Gryphon Stringed Instruments without a pickguard. We chose to order the guitars this way so Martin would not have to make a special die just for this run. We also wanted to have more control over the color and material of the pickguards. The pickguards are made by hand right here in our shop by your very own Frank Ford.

If you haven't heard too much about Frank Ford it is because you have spent more time playing guitars than working on them. Frank is widely known in the world of guitar repair and restoration. One of his projects is to put everything he knows about guitar repair on his website Frets.com. It is an immense, constantly expanding site you can lose yourself for days in.

Right now, let's walk you through Frank putting a pickguard on one of the first batch of Berry Bechtel 000. Feel free to click on the images wo see a large view of them.

TracingWe want to be accurate about the shape and size of the pickguard. First, Frank traces the pickguard of an original 0M-28 from early 1930 that we had about the shop.

TemplaeFrom the tracing we have a metal template made so we can accurately cut time and again . Frank is going to post this operation on frets.com so he takes a picture as he compares the template to the original.

CuttingCarefully, Frank cuts around the template. We are using real cellulose nitrate for our pickguards, just like the original Martins.

ScrapingOnce cut, all of the edges need to be beveled. Frank scrapes away the excess material...

Scraping...afterward he wet-sands the beveled edges to just the right smoothness.

RoundingA quick spin on this custom, beveled sanding drum insures the roundness of the inside curve.

BuffingThen the pickguard is buffed to a shiny finish.

AdhesiveNext, Frank places the pickguard on a special double-sided adhesive material and cuts around it. The adhesive is bonded to the back of the pickguard and and has a protective backing...

placement...which allows Frank to properly position it on the guitar.

StickingWith the pickguard hinged into place with some tape, Frank peels off the protective backing and then firmly presses the pickguard down in position to assure a tight bond.

FinishedPickguard complete, Frank puts the strings back on and tunes it up. Ah, now that is a nice sounding guitar!

Gryphon Stringed Instruments

The 000-28 Perry Bechtel Special
is a custom run of guitars made by the C.F. Martin Custom Shop
and commissioned by Gryphon Stringed Instruments
toll free: 888-493-2131

211 Lambert Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

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