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Tortoloid Pickguard Material

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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Antique tortoise

Antique tortoise

Item # 2093
In stock, ready to ship!

$29.90

3 or more $25.41
+
Tortoloid Pickguard Material Red swirl

Red swirl

Item # 2096
In stock, ready to ship!

$29.90

3 or more $25.41
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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Amber tigerstripe

Amber tigerstripe

Item # 2097
In stock, ready to ship!

$29.90

3 or more $25.41
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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Red tigerstripe

Red tigerstripe

Item # 2098
In stock, ready to ship!

$29.90

3 or more $25.41
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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Red swirl, oversized

Red swirl, oversized

Item # 2096-L
In stock, ready to ship!

$37.38

3 or more $31.77
+
Tortoloid Pickguard Material Amber tigerstripe, oversized

Amber tigerstripe, oversized

Item # 2097-L
In stock, ready to ship!

$37.38

3 or more $31.77
+
Tortoloid Pickguard Material Red tigerstripe, oversized

Red tigerstripe, oversized

Item # 2098-L
In stock, ready to ship!

$37.38

3 or more $31.77
+
 
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Tortoloid Pickguard Material

About This Item

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.

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.

Tigerstripe
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.

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.

Two sizes:
4-3/4" x 7-1/2" x 0.025" (120.65mm x 190.50mm x 0.64mm)
Enough material for most traditional pickguard shapes.

4-15/16" x 10" x 0.025" (125.41mm x 254mm x 0.64mm)
Oversized is for larger pickguards, such as Gibson J45s and J50s.

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.


Video

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets!

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.

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4.0
  • 3.92 average rating from 39 reviews
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5.0

Amber Tiger Stripe Pick Guard Material

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(Customer's Reviews)


Works well...take your time...heat it before cutting, otherwise your exact-o knife will slip ! heat a little, cut a little..use a template... i used the backing that came with the pick guard for my template....Pictured is my first custom cut/designed pick guard using this amber tiger stripe material, on a custom Black Walnut with Wudtone clear satin finish...be patient and it will turn out fine! I used a heat gun on low to heat it and then cut...heat and then cut, material cools fast,,but don't overheat it, it gets a little brittle if too much heat is used...Build On!...

4.0

Beautiful!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


The red swirl looks really nice on the top of the guitar. I didn't find any problem cutting it, I kept warming it up in a bowl of water like others say. It is a bit difficult to apply with the adhesive suggested by Stewmac, hard not to get bubbles, but it's not a problem of this product. It's either the adhesive or my ability to do it :) I got some bubbles but it still looks nice.

5.0

Beautiful!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I had never cut a pickguard myself and was somewhat reluctant based on a few of the reviews here about the material breaking. But I cut a form with 1/4" plywood and then put the form and a wooden cutting board in my oven at 200 degrees (F) for about an hour. I sandwiched the pickguard sheet between the cutting board and the plywood form and cut around with an X-Acto knife. It cut easily and smoothly. I smoothed the edges with 1000, 1500, 2000, and 3000 grit sand paper and polished lightly. The result is GREAT. My one regret: be careful with the sandpaper-- you can buff and buff and buff but you'll never get the full polished look back. I wish I'd been more careful to avoid accidentally brushing the top of the pickguard with the sandpaper ever so slightly. Apart from that the result was near-perfect. And beautiful!

5.0

Tortoloid Pickguard Material

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I was able to cut and apply this in less than 30 minutes using the 3M adhesive sheet. Key learnings, keep it warm, I sat it in a plate of hot tap water before cutting. It cools quickly so put it back in the warm water frequently. I sanded the edges to get them smooth. Looks great.

5.0

Awesome Vintage Pickguard

By
(Customer's Reviews)


After restoring my 1941 Gibson J35 with a tobacco sunburst finish top I used the Tortoloid Pickguard Material from Stewart MacDonald to create the very close to original red tigerstripe pickguard. I simply traced my pattern with a fineline sharpie and as Dan showed in his video I softened it with a hair dryer. I then cut it out precisely with my xacto knife and with the 3M adhesive sheet from Stewmac I applied it to my finished guitar. Stewart MacDonald is truly a perfect example of a great American Company.

1.0

UGLY!

By
(Customer's Reviews)


There was no way I was going to put that on a guitar. I sent it back.

4.0

Looks good scratches easily

By
(Customer's Reviews)


I used the dark brown material to replace a couple of awful printed tortoise pickguards that came on vintage reissue Martins. The material cuts easily with scissors and looks great on the aged tops of the Martins. My complaints are that the material scratches fairly easily. It really could use a protective plastic layer like nearly every replacement pickguard you can buy. Also, it would be nice if it were self-adhesive, BUT I suppose that gives you the choice of which side you want to use for the top in case the pattern looks better one way or the other.

4.0

Great product, but use with care

By
(Customer's Reviews)


This material makes excellent pick guards. It is easy to work with and nice to look at. The material comes in a sealed plastic pouch. As I was tearing the pouch, the material flexed just enough, snapped, and broke in two. So, I had to order another piece. At $29.90 (plus eight bucks shipping), this is going to be an expensive pick guard.

3.0

Decent

By
(Customer's Reviews)


Well, it took me two tries, but I'm reasonably happy. On my first try, I did not heat enough, and the material snapped during cutting. I found it best to heat the pickguard repeatedly with a hairdryer during cutting. I heated it enough for it to become slightly pliable and bendy. I practiced on my first ruined piece, and with decent heating (so the material is rather pliable), I found I could cut almost any shape. Once I had made all the cuts, I reheated the piece and pressed it flat between two books to get out any wavers and bends. I was slightly annoyed by the unsightly backside. Like many have said, there are scratches around the edges. It does seem rather expensive (especially since I was forced to re-order), but over-all I am pleased.

5.0

Dark Brown Tortoise Pick Guard

By
(Customer's Reviews)


The material is very nice looking and easy to work with. I traced an outline of the stencil I made on to the tortoloid sheet. Instead of using a hair dryer, I used very warm water to heat the material. I just put the sheet under the faucet until it became pliable and cut with sharp scissors reheating a few times. I finished the edges first with a razor blade and the buffed with very fin grit sandpaper. I used the 3M adhesive sheet also sold by StewMac to apply it and viola.

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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 39 See Tortoloid Pickguard Material
on page 39 of our StewMac Catalog PDF

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