In today's example,we've got a guitar with the original plastic pickguard covering still poking out from under the volume and tone knobs. This can look pretty ugly and as you can see it's started to attract dirt and grime. It's got to GO! Sometimes,that knob just doesn't want to come off. For you aspiring guitar techs out there,you'll want to pick up the knob and bushing puller, invented by Schatten Design and available from Stewart MacDonald. The newest version is even clear so you can see what going on inside. This is also what I use to extract Gibson style bridge and tailpiece bushings. This baby will set you back about $45 from StewMac.
Not working on guitars all day? If your budget can't justify a tool just to remove a knob,don't worry. Simply take an old t-shirt or a polish cloth and slide it under the knob. Try to pull directly UP,without tilting the knob. Gently,please;pull too hard and you can actually pull the shaft of the potentiometer right out!
What do you do if the knob is crammed right down on to the guitar so tightly that a cloth won't fit under? A bit of waxed dental floss can do the trick. It's skinny enough to work under most knobs. Once again,be gentle,go slowly and try to pull directly up. Once you've got a bit of "wiggle room" proceed with the polish cloth trick.
As always,if any of this scares you,please support your friendly neighborhood guitar tech!