Is it OK to Drill Replacement Pickguard Holes on a Danelectro ‘59 12-String?

Danelectro 12-string

No, it isn’t ok to drill holes in someone else’s guitar.  This is unless they specifically authorize you to do so, whether it be for a repair or an improvement.  If you’re the owner, do what you want, but be informed that your expensive vintage guitar may no longer be in its original condition to fetch top dollar, if that’s what your objective is.

An Easy Guitar DIY Project During the COVID-19 Lockdown

As we continue to explore guitar DIY projects in our bunker during the COVID-19 lockdown, an easy project abounded.  A simple cosmetic restoration to a 12-string Danelectro electric.  Exact model cannot be confirmed but it’s definitely a ‘59 series.

My son’s friend left his Danelectro 12-String electric here for several months.  Everything about a Danelectro is beautiful:  The shape; the feel; the neck; the pickups; the headstock.  To really sweeten things, this 12-string is just as tame and lush when you play it, amplified or not.  It’s been in our house for about six months now and I started feeling guilty about its dishevelled look so I suggested to Andrew that I buy a pickguard on eBay, clean up the guitar, so to surprise Max when he returns for it.  

Max had painted it and applied decals to it and the pickguard, which is of thick MDF material.  On quick glance, I couldn’t find anything as to why Danelectro offers this kind of pickguard material (the top surface is peeling now).  

Couldn’t find our trusty Goo Gone so my younger son, Josh, began rubbing the paint off with a damp,  teflon-based cloth.  It took him about 15 minutes and lots of elbow grease.  

The Wrong Pickguard? How Can This Be?

Josh volunteered to replace the pickguard and he quickly noticed the hole patterns didn’t match.  I hadn’t paid much for the new plastic pickguard ($18CAD total including the pickguard and shipping from China) so it didn’t break my heart.  

I tested my son’s temperament in offering to drill the new holes when he looked at me aghast and said, “Dad, you’re not drilling holes in Max’s guitar.”  “OK, let’s ask Andrew to contact Max and see if he agrees.”  

Of all the Danelectro photos I stumbled upon while Googling, I could not find one with the same hole pattern.  The pickguard I ordered on eBay shows the same hole pattern as the item I received, and other Danelectro ‘59 models.

In the meantime, the pickguard is held by one screw, and a little piece of transparent tape.

Stay tuned.

About Grasshopper James 35 Articles
Hi I'm Grasshopper James from Montreal. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting. I've been rocking it here since 2007 with my Fender Stratocaster American Standard, Fender Telecaster American Standard, Fender Blues Deluxe '57 Reissue, Ibanez TS9, Boss TU-3, Boss ME-25, Boss GT-3, Boss OD-1, Ernie Ball Slinky 10-46, Jim Dunlop Jazz III Pick, and a Parkwood PW-510.

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