Tortoise Pickguard Material for Archtop Instruments

  • 18 Reviews
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.080-.090" (2.03-2.29mm) thick

Item # 1700
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $20.67

.120-.130" (3.05-3.30mm) thick

Item # 1701
In stock, ready to ship!


3 or more $30.04
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Tortoise Pickguard Material for Archtop Instruments

About This Item

Beautiful handmade solid acrylic tortoise for making an elevated guitar or mandolin pickguard.

The pattern is swirled throughout the gloss-surface material, not printed on a layer like many other pickguards, producing a handsome dark traditional color depth. Made of acrylic, with better stiffness and resistance to warping than celluloid when suspended over a carved-top guitar or mandolin.

Available in 6-11/16" x 11-13/16" (170mm x 300mm) sheets. Add your own edge bindings for a traditional finished look.

Note: This is a solid non-laminated material; translucency will vary with the darkness of the instrument body. Because this tortoise is handmade, individual thicknesses may vary slightly.

Trade Secrets!

Trade Secrets!

Rotten old vintage plastic: fabricating replacement parts from pickguard materia

After nearly 60 years, old celluloid parts start to crumble. The pickup risers on a '55 Gretsch are rotting away, and Dan Erlewine builds new replacements from a sheet of tortoiseshell pickguard plastic.

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  • 4.67 average rating from 18 reviews
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Excellent, yet brittle

(Customer's Reviews)

I recently bought a sheet of this to make a Les Paul style pickguard. It is beautiful material and definitely looks better than laminated options. It can be dark when placed over dark finishes, but cutting a white sheet of paper that is slightly smaller than the pickguard and affixing it to the bottom will solve this, and be unnoticeable. The material is brittle, so make sure it is heated and well supported when cutting.


Poor sizes

(Customer's Reviews)

Great stuff, but You could stock larger sizes!


My first Tortoise shell pickguard.

(Customer's Reviews)

I have recently attempted my first second and third pickguards. One ea for a Les Paul, 335 and vintage L5. While I like the material in general, I have found that the color varied greatly between the two sheets I had bought. One very dark so that it appeared black when installed on the guitar. Also after having made a pickguard that I was proud of I peeled the protective plastic off and found a bubble in it. I too would like to see larger sheets at a more economical price. No wonder they don't put this material on low end guitars if it really costs that much. I would also like to see laminated binding offered. It's very labor intensive to make your own and hardly cost effective.

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