DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Talk about modding or building your own guitar from scratch.
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Dimitree
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Dimitree » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:31 am

I did another test this weekend, still using epoxy resin + liquid colors

this is the result now:

Image

it's getting better, of course still not beautiful like the actual material, but better than the printed pickguard I found.
I guess I'll make some other experiments to get a better contrast with the darker tones, and avoid bubbles (those tiny white spots you can see on the surface)

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PorkyPrimeCut
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:40 am

Looking really good!

Trial & error is obviously paying off. It takes me back to the early days of Spitfire's experimentation. He was very open about his methods & eventually came up with something that stood shoulder to shoulder with the vintage stuff. You may be able to find the original thread, if it still exists.

Good luck with this.
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by aliendawg » Mon Nov 11, 2019 5:03 am

That looks really good!
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boss302bass
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by boss302bass » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:27 am

Dimitree wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:31 am
I did another test this weekend, still using epoxy resin + liquid colors

this is the result now:

it's getting better, of course still not beautiful like the actual material, but better than the printed pickguard I found.
I guess I'll make some other experiments to get a better contrast with the darker tones, and avoid bubbles (those tiny white spots you can see on the surface)
Man you are onto something good here! Amazing progress!

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leokula
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by leokula » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:18 am

Man that looks totally boss!
Jaguar > Jazzmaster :)

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kimson
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by kimson » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:55 pm

So where do I send my money?

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Horsefeather » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:35 pm

Dimitree, that looks really good. I see promise with your method. Did you switch to a different formula that cures faster to avoid the running together of the colors or something? Are you willing to share what brands and materials you're using?

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Dimitree
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Dimitree » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:26 am

thank you everyone
I'm not satisfied yet, but I will keep on experimenting.
The idea is to do it with cheap materials, so I'm still using epoxy resin and cheap resin colors (you can get them everywhere online for 1$ each color).
The difficult part is determine when you mix the color, you need to wait the right time when the resin gets more dense so the color blends togheter beautifully. Also this time I did two layers, the first was a solid yellow/orange background, indeed in some spots you can see the yellow coming out. Ideally I'd need a third layer with black/dark brown over the reds.
If next will come out beautifully, I will do a tutorial

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rank
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by rank » Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:56 am

Dimitree wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:26 am
If next will come out beautifully, I will do a tutorial
Subscribed. I have plans for a pickguard I have never seen made before & this might help me achieve it (if it is actually possible).
We are merely moving shadows-PS. 39:4-7

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Trout » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:14 am

Dimitree wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:31 am
I did another test this weekend, still using epoxy resin + liquid colors
What did you put it on? Did you apply it on 1 or 2 layer pickguard or is done from total scratch?
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Dimitree
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Dimitree » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:00 am

I poured the resin directly over an existing pickguard, specifically a Fender 3 layer white/black/white pickguard.
That was a bad idea, next time I will pour the resin separately, and when dry I will glue on an existing pickguard

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Dimitree
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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Dimitree » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:55 am

I had to close all the cutouts on the pickguard, and put some tapes on the edges to act as walls for the resin. If not done this way, the resin would not sit properly on the edges. The problem is that after the resin dries, you need to scrape the excess and restore the edges, but you need to do that before it gets too hard (in my case in 3 days), after that it becomes too difficult to scrape by hand, and you'd need a router.
So it's probably easier to pour the resin on a different surface, then glue it on a pickguard blank, and finally route the shape of the pickguard.

Image

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Re: DIY tortoise pickguard material experiments

Post by Sweetfinger » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:49 am

solfege wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:15 pm
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.
I can make a good looking guard for one of those out of pretty close to correct looking celluloid. Dunno if you're still looking.

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