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Advanced Member
Username: kimberly

Post Number: 365
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 11:48 am:   Edit Post

Hi Guys, :-)

I've a problem that I'd like to get some input on please. :-)

My plucking hand 'style/technique' has worn through the finish and literally into the wood on both my 5 and 6 string Epics between the bass and treble p/u's.

I don't see doing a factory refinish, (too much money and mainly because I'd probably wear through it again), but it's really disturbing to see more and more unfinished wood appearing, not to mention I'm wearing further into the wood itself. :-(

Also, as I'm so 'set in my ways' changing my technique doesn't really appeal, especially as I'm really 'digging my playing style' here of late.

Sooo...(finally eh?) what could I/should I use to 'reseal the bare wood' and keep some kind of protection in this area? As much as I hate the thought, I'm kinda resigned to having to put a pick guard of some sorts for the 'final solution'. seems I really should reseal the bare wood before covering the wear area up.


Thank you in advance! :-)

Best Regards,

Kimberly :-)

PS. In re-reading this I believe I'll be talking with Mica to see about a 'replaceable' wood pick guard. Replaceable 'cause I suspect I'll be needing a new one every year or so. Life, ain't it just grand? ;D
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 499
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post

You could try some protective film there. There's a company called ZAGG that sells a heavy polymer film to protect personal electronics that is transparent, thin, and super-tough. They don't have a die-cut version for your Epic(!), but you can measure the space and find something that you can trim to size, maybe an iPhone cover if it's large enough to cover the space or an iPad if you want it bigger.

It's coated with a liquid-activated adhesive that lets you slide it on with no bubbles, holds on pretty tight after it's dried, but still pulls up cleanly later.

There's a similar material from 3M (I'm sure they make the ZAGG material too) with a permanent adhesive which you can buy at motocycle shops (people apply it to their gas tanks to protect the paint job).

This will only cost $15-30 to try out and will probably work pretty will in this case.

Since this is a high contact area, you probably want to do something there to prevent damage to the bare wood that will be harder to refinish out in the future. If you had this probably on your headstock, it wouldn't be worth doing anything.

If you wanted to go premium here, I guess you could have the area between the pickups routed down slightly, then you could have a replaceable plate installed there at the surface of the instrument. This wouldn't be too expensive unless you wanted some really exotic plate there.

David Fung
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 636
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 1:48 pm:   Edit Post

Kimberly -
Personally I believe that custom wear marks are sought after and should be cherished. It's almost like a 'battle scar' and it gives the instrument more character.

However if it is troubling to you - I think the custom wood pickguard is the way to go. Terry made a couple of very cool custom wood back plates.
His pricing is decent.
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1928
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 2:00 pm:   Edit Post

Kimberly , Perhaps if you go the way of a pickguard , in my opinion it would be prudent to use little machine screws with inserts rather than little wood screws to attach it. The screws could even be countersunk so that they are out of your way.
Advanced Member
Username: thumbsup

Post Number: 327
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 - 9:29 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Kimberly,
I agree with pauldo...guitar makers such as fender have gone as far as selling the distressed look!
You have the original created by your own efforts and time...
Have you ever seen Willie Nelsons Classical Guitar!
Just my 2 cents. nuff said!
Advanced Member
Username: kimberly

Post Number: 366
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 12:17 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Guys, :-)

I appreciate the input, thank you very much! :-)

Good ideas, one and all. :-)

I'm actually kind of surprised, as locally I've run into the "leave it alone, adds character, mojo, etc.", much more than I was expecting. So, for the 'ultimate solution' of repair/re-enforce, I'm gonna have to ponder on this a bit more.


Kimberly :-) <---walking away muttering to herself, 'What to do, what to do? What does it all mean? Hmmmm...' ;)
Username: bob2

Post Number: 23
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 10:09 pm:   Edit Post

well, i'm chiming in a little late, but i would suggest talking to someone at alembic before going ahead with anything. they are professionals and see this kind of thing all the time, so they may have an instant solution. they would also better be able to talk with you about your playing style and come up with an appropriate course of action, something that you'd be happy with.
Intermediate Member
Username: garth4664

Post Number: 144
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 10:54 pm:   Edit Post

Hello Kimberly,

The instruments that appeal the most to me (and say the most about their owners) are those that are well made, old, in good condition and with deep/long term wear marks. This not only shows that the owners love their instrument but also that the instrument is enjoyable enough to be played a lot. I think its beautiful that the bass remembers your hands.

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