Tortoloid Pickguard Material

  • 26 Reviews
  • Write a review

The look of vintage pickguards!
Make your own pickguards with the look of vintage tortoise shell.

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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Antique tortoise

Antique tortoise

Item # 2093
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $25.41
Tortoloid Pickguard Material Red swirl

Red swirl

Item # 2096
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $25.41
Tortoloid Pickguard Material Amber tigerstripe

Amber tigerstripe

Item # 2097
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $25.41
Tortoloid Pickguard Material Red tigerstripe

Red tigerstripe

Item # 2098
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $25.41
Quantity Discount Prices apply when you buy multiples of the same item number.
Total: $0.00
Quantity: 20


Tortoloid pickguard material

Dan Erlewine demos Tortoloid. Like natural tortoiseshell, every piece of Tortoloid is unique.

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The look of vintage pickguards!
Make your own pickguards with the look of vintage tortoise shell.

Tortoloid is a handsome pickguard material developed and handmade by luthier Mario Proulx. Poured resins and dyes reproduce authentic tortoise shell patterns: tigerstripe, tortoise, and swirl. Tortoloid is a popular choice for making vintage-style guitars look even more vintage. Unhappy with modern "printed" pickguards? Tortoloid is a great alternative.

Each Tortoloid sheet is individually made. Just like natural shell, no two have exactly the same pattern. The highly durable material is 0.025" thin, flexible, and resists shrinkage.

Supplied in a 4-3/4" x 7-1/2" x 0.025" (120.65mm x 190.50mm x 0.64mm) sheet. This includes sufficient usable material for cutting most traditional pickguard shapes.

Available in these vintage styles:

Antique tortoise
When the pickguard is installed on a typical spruce guitar top, the color and 3-dimensional depth closely match actual antique Hawksbill tortoise shell used by Martin in the '30s. (Antique guitar picks were used for sampling the colors). Semi-transparent amber areas intensify the color of the soundboard to complement your guitar's appearance. Antique tortoise is also available in vintage Dreadnought shape.

Red swirl
The look of early-1940s Martin celluloid pickguards, with red-browns replacing the amber.

Especially for Gibson acoustic guitars. Amber for soundboards with a light sunburst or natural finish, and red to complement typical darker sunbursts.

Tortoloid cuts easily with scissors, but to avoid chipping the edges, warm the material in hot water or with a hair dryer first. The cut edges can be sanded and polished, or beveled with a razor blade (work at room temperature for a sharp bevel, or warm the material for a rounded edge). Bending is easily corrected by placing the material on a flat surface and warming it.

Note: You may notice small abrasions on the underside of the material. These are from the manufacturing process and will become invisible after installation with our Pickguard Adhesive Sheet.

Trade Secrets! Newsletter

A shrinking pickguard cracks the guitar top!

In Dan Erlewine's shop: This Martin D-35 has a cracked top due to the pull of a shrinking plastic pickguard. Dan fixes the problem and shows how to keep this happening from happening again.

Ratings & Reviews

Tortoloid Pickguard Material

  • Based on 26 Reviews
Displaying 3 of 3 1 2 3
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Cheap and ugly.

By Judd H. from Knoxville, TN
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We ordered it for an unusual shaped pickguard replacement on a customers guitar. It was very flimsy. It gets unusably thin about 1/3 of an inch from the edge all around. The colors were weak and way off what the photos show. The underside of the pg is heavily scratched all over from them scraping it up off whatever they pour the resin on to make the thing. Its so bad you can clearly see it through the top. The only way to fix that would be to sand and polish it out. That is total BS for something that costs $30. I would pay $5 for this at most.

Pickguard for Martin Backpacker

By Jim K. from Gresham, WI
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Excellent product. I decided to add a pickguard to my Martin Backpacker travel guitar. It doesn't come with one. The Tortoloid material really did the job. It is easy to work with and cut to size.

high quality material for custom pickguard

By Gabe K from Minnesota
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, December 01, 2010

This was my first attempt in applying a custom guard to an acoustic. I bought the sheet as I had no template for the Larrivee parlor's guard. Drawing and cutting out some drafts using some acetate sheets with plain paper really helped create the template. The result was beyond my expectations. Beveling the edge with sandpaper as seen in the video was easy.

Best Pickguard Material Ever!

By Gabe MacDonnell from NYC
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've been using Greven pickguards for many years, and I've always been happy with the quality. However, I recently gave Proulx's material a shot, and I'm glad I did. It is every bit as high quality, (I'm not sure what the Norwegian reviewer was talking about!,) but the thickness is about 1/2 that of the Greven/Tortis guards. When it comes to the top of a fine acoustic, every little bit counts, and you don't want to carry any more weight, or anything to cause dampening if possible. A great benefit over celluloid pickguards is this material won't shrink or distort due to heat, humidity, etc. No more "pickguard cracks!" I definitely recommend this material for anyone looking for a beautiful, vintage-accurate, durable, stable and thin pickguard. A+, and thanks to Mario!

Tortoloid Pickguard Material

By StrandGuitars from Norway
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, July 07, 2010

We bought the tortoloid pickguard material to try it out and to compare it to the Tor-tis which we normaly use. Our conclusion is that the Tortoloid has a weeker color and seems a bit cheap. The size of the sheets could have been larger, it fits a standard drop size pickguard but not a dove size.

Tortoloid pickguard material

By Andrew from Japan
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, May 23, 2010

I bought a sheet rather than a pre-cut pickguard because I wanted to be sure it was the exact same shape as the stock black one on my D-28, and I wanted to choose the way I cut the pattern into the shape. This was the first time for me to cut my own pickguard but the material was very easy to work with - I just heated it gently with a hairdryer and, using the stock guard as a template, cut it with a box cutter. The front was shiny but I needed to polish the back a bit. Bevelling the edges with the edge of a blade was part of the fun. The dark tortoise pattern looks great on the guitar, and the material is not too thick or thin. To the naked eye it's about the same as a stock Martin pickguard. I'd like to see Mario Proulx and StewMac introduce some new colours, like a dark-reddish brown. How about it guys? I'm happy with this product and would have no hesitation recommending it to others.

Displaying 3 of 3
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Shown on page 37 of our latest catalog.