A slick fix for an annoying problem with my Traveler Guitar
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Last year I purchased a Traveler Guitar EG-1 in the mahogany finish, and I have enjoyed it tremendously—it’s great for rockin’ it out in my room at the Marriott while on the road. One tiny issue has marred what I would consider a perfect instrument: the sharp ends of the strings dig into your T-shirt and belly when you are playing.
I decided once and for all to fix this problem, and I hope that other Traveler Guitar owners can use this approach to save themselves from getting jabbed by sharp guitar strings. Read on for my cheap and cheerful solution.
It’s a fun little electric guitar with a full-length scale, built-in amplifier, and headphone jack. The best thing is, it fits in an airplane overhead compartment—I have traveled by air several times with my guitar and nobody has even lifted an eyebrow.
They achieve this diminutive size by removing the head and putting the tuners in the center of the guitar body. You can see the strings starting at the tip of the fingerboard and then wrapping around little pulleys at the base of the instrument.
From this view of the back of the guitar, you can see that the tuning machines are flush against your belly when you play the instrument. Unless you have some superior string wrapping technique that does not expose the sharp tip of the string, you will get jabbed as you play. And don’t think you can arrange things so the pointy bits are all on the inside—as soon as you tune up, the sharp ends will rotate around.
My Simple Fix
Today over lunch I stopped by my local music store and asked the guitar tech if he had some nice looking pick guard material lying around. He found a very attractive piece of laminated tortoise shell plastic which he cut roughly to size for me. He sort of squinted at it and said “How’s ten bucks sound?”, which was fine by me.
Here’s a drawing with measurements.
I used a belt sander and a smooth file to put the finishing touches on the shape, checking squareness with a try square as I worked. I then rounded the corners and put a slight bevel on all edges.
I hit Home Depot and bought some strips of Velcro, which I trimmed to size and attached to the back of the guitar and the new back plate.
The Finished Product