Monday, April 21, 2008

The scratchplate

It would have been really easy (and pretty cheap) to just buy a standard Stratocaster scratchplate (pickguard), but I wanted to make my own.
You could buy a blank rectangle of scratchplate material at your guitar shop (or mail order one from somewhere like, but I went for the absolute cheapest option and used a piece of plastic I found in the street one night.

Here it is:

And this is my scratchplate plan:

I used the same technique as I did with the body of the guitar, which was to tape the plan onto the plastic, then cut around it. Again, I would recommend that you do this a different way. Print it onto card, then draw an outline around this onto the piece of plastic itself.

Anyway, the cutting was pretty easy compared to the wood. A hacksaw for a rough outline, followed by filing and sandpaper. Oh yeah, and the sign was cleaned up by sanding the "Associated Weavers" decal off. The small screw holes were drilled (and finished off with a tapered countersunk drill bit), and the pickup holes were drilled out and filed, then sanded into shape. One more thing. Instead of cutting out a slot for the five-position pickup selector switch, I decided to make three small holes for toggle switches (one for each pickup). This would later allow me to choose any possible pickup combination, which would not normally be possible (more on the customised electrics later).

Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the finished scratchplate, but you can see a very bad picture of it here without the pickup holes:

EDIT: Actually turns out I did take a photo of the scratchplate, though sadly it's a bad one. Anyway, here it is:


Anonymous said...


you should have used the written side of the iold sign for a totally unique scratch plate :)

stu said...

Ha ha. Yeah, special edition "Associated Weavers" Strat.