Tortoloid Pickguard Material

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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Antique tortoise

Antique tortoise

Item # 2093
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$29.90

3 or more $25.41
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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Red swirl

Red swirl

Item # 2096
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$29.90

3 or more $25.41
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Tortoloid Pickguard Material Amber tigerstripe

Amber tigerstripe

Item # 2097
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$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

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.

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.

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!

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
  • 3.85 average rating from 27 reviews
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5.0

Beautiful!

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(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

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(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

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(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.

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Shown on page 39 of our latest catalog.