The Scratch Pad

Posted on November 7, 2010

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Does the back of your guitar look like this?

Well, alright that look worked well for Stevie, but for most, what’s commonly referred to as buckle rash is not desired.  Even pocket rivets can damage your instrument’s finish.  Maybe your guitar isn’t near that bad, maybe you still want to be able to wear those rockstar belt buckles when you play or maybe you sold the farm to buy your dream instrument and you want to keep it in pristine shape.

Well never fear, your friends at Scratch Pad have your back!

What Is It?
Scratch Pad is a non-adhesive, removable and reusable guitar finish protector for the back of your guitar.  It comes in one size, but many different patterns and prints for players all across the board.

How Does Is Work?
First thing you’ll see when reading the directions is to carefully clean your guitar so it is free from dirt, sweat, oils or any sort of other build up.  I used my favorite cleaner Dunlop Formula 65, took an old shirt to wipe the guitar down, then I buffed the guitar with the Dunlop supplied lint-free cloth.

Next after you’re sure the guitar is dry, peel back the reusable backing from the Scratch Pad and apply it to the back of the guitar where it is most vulnerable to become scratched.  The Scratch Pad covered a good chunk of the back of my Telecaster.

I’m not certain what the Scratch Pad’s patented “Sof-Cling” technology is, but it reminds me of an indoor window decal.  Straight from Scratch Pad, “The Scratch Pad’s Sof-Cling technology is a specially formulated material that seemingly clings by magic without static vinyl or adhesive.”  Worried about how long your Scratch Pad will last?  “If Scratch Pad’s Sof-Cling material ever becomes contaminated by oil, guitar polish or debris, the Sof-Cling properties can be renewed virtually forever by simply cleaning the Sof-Cling material.”

To Scratch Pad or Not To Scratch Pad
The Scratch Pad was developed with Polyurethane finishes in mind, since that is one of the most commonly used guitar finishes.

It is not recommended to use the Scratch Pad on French Polish Finishes.  I never heard of French Polishing, but from what I gather it is a hand rubbed shellac finish mostly used on high end or handmade classical guitars.

Nitrocellulose finished guitars are recommended at least one year of the curing process before you can safely use the Scratch Pad.  To properly cure, Nitro finishes need to be exposed to air.
If you are uncertain what type of finish your instrument is, it’s worth looking into, but if it is a current, mass produced guitar it is more than likely Polyurethane.

Playing With The Scratch Pad
The Scratch pad is very thin, no thicker than the average coin.  So I didn’t notice my guitar sticking out anymore than without the Scratch Pad.  The outer material that presses against your shirt or pants is a velvet feel.  It does slightly anchor your guitar making it not as easy to slide around.  This effect may or may not be desired by people, but after a few minutes I completely forgot the Scratch Pad was on my guitar.

The Scratch Pad fit easily and inconspicuously on all of my guitars and basses.  I could not rip the material easily with my bare hands, but it was easy to cut with scissors in case you wanted to use it on a smaller instrument.

Long Term.
I’ve only had the Scratch Pad a few days, but it hasn’t left any imprint on the back of my guitar nor has it fallen off on its own.  If you don’t feel comfortable with it, you can remove it after playing and put the backing back on it to keep it clean until the next use.

Overall it’s a great product to protect you investment.  If you try to resell your instrument with buckle rash you will lose at least the cost of a Scratch Pad off of your investment.

With a desk as crowded as mine I used one of the other Scratch Pads the company sent as a DIY mouse pad!

Web: scratchpadusa.com
Street Price: $19.95

*Pictured is the Rock Hand graphic and above on my Telecaster is The Skull graphic

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