Tortoloid pickguard material

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

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Dan Erlewine - Stewart-MacDonald]

Dan Erlewine: This is Tortoloid. It's an imitation tortoise shell pickguard material that looks like the real thing. Many of the pickguards in use today are actually photographs of a tortoise shell kind of look printed on plastic.

If you look close, you can see it. To me, they look unnatural and they're often too red. I like Tortoloid better. It was invented by a Luthier, Mario Proulx from Ontario, Canada. They're made from poured resins and dyes that are swirled into a pattern by hand. Each pickguard is a little different from any other, just like natural tortoise shell. It's thin and durable, and it's flexible, which means it resists shrinking. Shrinkage is what makes pickguards curl up and come loose in the first place.

I'm warming this piece a little before trimming it to shape. This makes it easy to cut the Tortoloid with scissors. The edges scrape and sand easily without chattering like plastic does. We apply the Tortoloid with adhesive backing. Here are the four Tortoloid styles, light brown tortoise, dark brown tortoise, light brown swirl, dark brown swirl. Tortoloid. It's thin, flexible, good looking, and easy to use.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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