DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

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Dimitree
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DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Dimitree » Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:23 pm

so I built an olympic white Jazzmaster, and I'd like a red tortoise shell pickguard.

Ideally I like a material like this:

Image

those available for sale nowadays are pretty bad, except for Spiftire of course, but it is too expensive for me right now.
So I started experimenting with DIY methods.
The first experiment was using clear epoxy resin and liquid pigments, and initially this is what I got (using only 2 colors, so not really deep color variation):

Image

not bad for the first try (not really tortoise shell, but still I prefer this to printed tortoise pickguards)
but by the time the resing was cured, the colors were all mixed togheter and it resulted in a plain/single color layer. So the method is not quite right.

Do you have any suggestion?

I think next I will try using acrylic colors on a thin layer of plastic, and cover it with clean resin only once the colors are dry.
Or maybe try again with resin but using colors only once the resin is almost cured.

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jvin248
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by jvin248 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:26 pm

.

I needed a tort Strat pickguard to finish off the matching pair.
$11 for one of those printed tort jobs (with the reverse Hendrix angle bridge pickup) but it works. The Tele is a printed one too but at least five years of sunlight fading and yellowing so the shades are slightly off.

Image


Look into 'swirl painting guitars' on youtube. Process is a garbage can full of water, with oil paint dripped on top and swirled. Then the item to be painted is slowly dipped in and once submerged newspaper is used to clear away remaining paint so when lifted out no second coating happens.
Then over paint with clear. Start with 1/8th inch hardboard/masonite structure as that's cheap to do then cut after with your router/cnc/hand-tools.

.

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Mechanical Birds
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Mechanical Birds » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:37 pm

I posted a thread with a link in it to a thread somewhere where a guy gives detailed instructions on what to do and he used epoxy. I don’t have the time or patience or drive anymore to do it but if it’s something you have fun with you definitely should give it a try! If you do and end up making them I’d even buy some off of you :)

Let me see if I can find it real quick

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Mechanical Birds » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:41 pm

I think you have the right basic idea but if I remember correctly it’s a process of doing a layer/waiting till it’s solid and then doing other layers over top of it, I think?

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Mechanical Birds » Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:43 pm


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Amon 7.L
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Amon 7.L » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:57 am

It looks rather promising, as I'm very interested, please keep us updated, we need this quality alteratives :)

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by lhwarp » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:35 pm

Chemical experiments ! :o ... Good Luck 8) - I wouldn't be able to go that way... :derp:

On a similar way - but material carving experiment only / no chemical skills ;) - I tested Acetate material to make vintage 40s Archtop pickguards in "Flakes" and "Flamestripes" patterns with a good success...

The reference pictures I took for "Flakes" and "Flamestripes" patterns on 40s Gretsch Acoustic Archtops :

Image
Image

Here's where I ended...

Raw material from Mazzuchelli (Italy), one of the specialist of acetate for glass mounts and other stuff :

Image

Once cut and polished :

Image

Once installed on my 2 Gretsch Archtops G400 and G100, in "Flakes" pattern :

Image
Image

Electric Attachment variant on my G100, using the "Flamestripes" pattern :

Image

The thickness I used was 6mm. Some patterns are available in 3mm and 1.5mm IIRC - interesting for more conventional pickguards, then...

-lhwarp

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by solfege » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:15 pm

lhwarp wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:35 pm
Chemical experiments ! :o ... Good Luck 8) - I wouldn't be able to go that way... :derp:

Once installed on my 2 Gretsch Archtops G400 and G100, in "Flakes" pattern :

The thickness I used was 6mm. Some patterns are available in 3mm and 1.5mm IIRC - interesting for more conventional pickguards, then...

-lhwarp
So is there any chance you have a template for those pickguards you could share? I happen to have a Gretsch Synchromatic from that period that's lost petty much all of its original hardware, but I've been dying to get it a pickguard.


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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by lhwarp » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:38 pm

solfege wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:15 pm
lhwarp wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:35 pm
Chemical experiments ! :o ... Good Luck 8) - I wouldn't be able to go that way... :derp:

Once installed on my 2 Gretsch Archtops G400 and G100, in "Flakes" pattern :

The thickness I used was 6mm. Some patterns are available in 3mm and 1.5mm IIRC - interesting for more conventional pickguards, then...

-lhwarp
So is there any chance you have a template for those pickguards you could share? I happen to have a Gretsch Synchromatic from that period that's lost petty much all of its original hardware, but I've been dying to get it a pickguard.
You welcome, solfege ;)

Yes, I got a vectorial file (.svg) readable with InkScape (vectorial freeware) and also IE, for both G100 and G400.

PM me and I'll send it to you enclosed to my reply.

-lhwarp

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by solfege » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:21 pm

lhwarp wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:38 pm
solfege wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:15 pm
lhwarp wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:35 pm
Chemical experiments ! :o ... Good Luck 8) - I wouldn't be able to go that way... :derp:

Once installed on my 2 Gretsch Archtops G400 and G100, in "Flakes" pattern :

The thickness I used was 6mm. Some patterns are available in 3mm and 1.5mm IIRC - interesting for more conventional pickguards, then...

-lhwarp
So is there any chance you have a template for those pickguards you could share? I happen to have a Gretsch Synchromatic from that period that's lost petty much all of its original hardware, but I've been dying to get it a pickguard.
You welcome, solfege ;)

Yes, I got a vectorial file (.svg) readable with InkScape (vectorial freeware) and also IE, for both G100 and G400.

PM me and I'll send it to you enclosed to my reply.

-lhwarp
Done! Thank you so very, very much.

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by nelsongeets » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:07 am

Chemical experiments ! :o ... Good Luck 8) - I wouldn't be able to go that way... :derp:

On a similar way - but material carving experiment only / no chemical skills ;) - I tested Acetate material to make vintage 40s Archtop pickguards in "Flakes" and "Flamestripes" patterns with a good success...

The reference pictures I took for "Flakes" and "Flamestripes" patterns on 40s Gretsch Acoustic Archtops :

Image
Image

Here's where I ended...

Raw material from Mazzuchelli (Italy), one of the specialist of acetate for glass mounts and other stuff :

Image

Once cut and polished :

Image

Once installed on my 2 Gretsch Archtops G400 and G100, in "Flakes" pattern :

Image
Image

Electric Attachment variant on my G100, using the "Flamestripes" pattern :

Image

The thickness I used was 6mm. Some patterns are available in 3mm and 1.5mm IIRC - interesting for more conventional pickguards, then...

-lhwarp
That Mazzucchelli material is incredible. Do you have a source to purchase the material directly from? I've been hoping to find some of that for quite some time now!! It's just beautiful.

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by lhwarp » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:23 am

nelsongeets wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:07 am
Chemical experiments ! :o ... Good Luck 8) - I wouldn't be able to go that way... :derp:

On a similar way - but material carving experiment only / no chemical skills ;) - I tested Acetate material to make vintage 40s Archtop pickguards in "Flakes" and "Flamestripes" patterns with a good success...

The reference pictures I took for "Flakes" and "Flamestripes" patterns on 40s Gretsch Acoustic Archtops :

Image
Image

Here's where I ended...

Raw material from Mazzuchelli (Italy), one of the specialist of acetate for glass mounts and other stuff :

Image

Once cut and polished :

Image

Once installed on my 2 Gretsch Archtops G400 and G100, in "Flakes" pattern :

Image
Image

Electric Attachment variant on my G100, using the "Flamestripes" pattern :

Image

The thickness I used was 6mm. Some patterns are available in 3mm and 1.5mm IIRC - interesting for more conventional pickguards, then...

-lhwarp
That Mazzucchelli material is incredible. Do you have a source to purchase the material directly from? I've been hoping to find some of that for quite some time now!! It's just beautiful.
Well... I have a retailer here in France. :-[

Maybe you would be able to find one in USA - search for glassmount material dealers / suppliers... Or maybe Mazzuccheli1849 has a representation in USA that can give your adress suppliers if you contact them ?

-lhwarp

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by nelsongeets » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:42 am

Well... I have a retailer here in France. :-[

Maybe you would be able to find one in USA - search for glassmount material dealers / suppliers... Or maybe Mazzuccheli1849 has a representation in USA that can give your adress suppliers if you contact them ?
Ah man! Thanks for the info. I will definitely do some more searching.

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by lhwarp » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:09 pm

nelsongeets wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:42 am
Well... I have a retailer here in France. :-[

Maybe you would be able to find one in USA - search for glassmount material dealers / suppliers... Or maybe Mazzuccheli1849 has a representation in USA that can give your adress suppliers if you contact them ?
Ah man! Thanks for the info. I will definitely do some more searching.
Here are the links to Mazzucchelli1849 in Italia :

https://www.mazzucchelli1849.it/
https://www.mazzucchelli1849.it/collect ... se-acetate

If they don't have US subsidiaries or reps, they seems to have an online shop :

https://www.mazzucchelli1849.it/pages/shop

Hope this helps,

-lhwarp

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