Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pickguard Creation for Ko'olau Tenor by Gavin Ono


Today I would like to give a brief demonstration of how we would outfit an ukulele with a custom pickguard. Pickguards are used by many people, especially those who use picks or their nails a lot. This pickguard was fashioned out of solid ebony. The ebony plank was cut into thin veneers, and then further sanded down to get them very thin. The panels need to be very thin so that they don't kill the sustain of the instrument. After the panels are at proper thickness, then the shaping of the panels can begin. The panels must be hand traced and shaped as each ukulele varies slightly. Shaping is done with a utility tool, and with sand paper of various grit. When a rough shaping is done, the panels are temporarily mounted onto the instrument to make sure that the lines will match up. Final shaping and sanding then takes place, and when the panels are of satisfactory thickness and smoothness, they are mounted onto the instrument "permanently". I hope that this helps the readers to understand this process a little better. Mahalo.

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