Mint Green Celluloid Pickguards
Huge pictures here
Read a little - read a lot; please allow us the opportunity to spell out the exact specifications of our Mint Celluloid pickguards.
Our Mint/Black/Mint guards were manufactured by Lashing Guitars to be exact replicas of the guards used from 1959 - 1965. We are the only authorized web dealer. The material itself is pure Celluloid Nitrate from Italy. In fact the material was manufactured in the same factory Fender used in 59 - 65. It is the only factory worldwide that manufactures authentic material. Since these guards were made the factory in Italy was closed, leaving production to china. Its now or never to get yourself an authentic pickguard.
As mentioned above this material was made from scratch. The color of our pickguards was matched to real vintage pickguards. Our guards are not an off the shelf "mint green". Real vintage guards were cut up, stripped of surface contaminations and then color matched from the inside out. This is how Lashing achieved the real color. While off the shelf shades of "mint green" were available. none were realistic and get less realistic with age. Lashing wanted to start with the pure accuracy of an original. Therefore they age the same and get more authentic with age, not less.
Modern pickguards are .095". This is due the the sheet thickness standards. Pickguards consist of 3 layers laminated together. This is why the phony looking "celluloid" guards on Ebay look the way they do. For one, they usually are only part celluloid. Two, they buy plastic by the sheet in modern standard thickness (and wrong color tint). Their guards end up .095". Vintage guards are .100" thick. Thus why Lashing had blocks of celluloid made in the right color, the blocks then sliced in correct thickness. End result equals .100". Truly a unique and custom product and we are proud to sell them. Stock will not last forever. In fact we only have a few hundred. Since the Italian factory has recently been closed it is the end on the line for authentic strat guards.
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Why were these Made and why Fender has not done it
It is not our intention to slam anyone who is trying to create celluloid pickguards on Ebay nor elsewhere. We tire of the misinformation. Allow us to clear this up. NOSGuitar has purchased every guard out there in hopes of getting a vintage replacement. Until the Lashing guards came along nothing fit the 100% authentic bill. Other products were Celluloid tops on PVC, or stark white, parchment, frog green ..... If anyone wants us to do a side by side comparison please send your guard in and we'll do that publicly. That is how we do business. We'll put up - anytime.
Thankfully Lashing Guitars also had experienced frustration in finding a suitable supplier for his guitars. No one was fulfilling details. And why not? Well, because its well into 5 figure prices just for the factory to consider making custom color Celluloid. Factor in the importation of Celluloid Nitrate blocks (an explosive crossing borders in today's world - paperwork!). Now one must process/slice/laminate the material. Good luck getting that done in a state like California where you cannot even spray nitro Lacquer. Factor in storage of such a material and insurance. Now you can understand why Fender isn't doing it.
At the end of the day Celluloid is not as dangerous as many make out. It is simply obsolete for many purposes and vinyl has taken over. Celluloid is flammable, will yellow, shrink and deteriorate in time. It is very expensive to produce. Modern PVC plastic is cheap, tough, very hard to ignite, has no "safety" limitations for import/export, handling, insurance, and will stay the same forever (including in our landfills). Obviously from a corporate bean counter perspective PVC (vinyl) is the way to go. Unfortunately PVC does not have the beauty and character of Celluloid. Sure you can paint it, dip it in coffee etc and make it look "used". But PVC never looks right on a pre CBS strat - nor will it ever. You have to wonder what some guy in his basement is doing selling $80 PVC guards on Ebay. Like teaching the dog to act like a cat. Why not just get a cat?
Celluloid has a warm glow. Its a natural look on old Guitars and with age it just gets better. Of course, it may deteriorate beyond repair in 50 years just like the originals. It is also biodegradable.
This is possibly the most overblown myth of all time. Celluloid is indeed flammable. But no where near what people claim in web forums. Its clear these people have not actually worked with it. You will not burst into flame by sanding or buffing celluloid. We have power sanded, sawed, and power buffed Celluloid many times and not once has it been an issue. If you expose Celluloid to open flame it will ignite immediately and burn bright. But so will lots of things exposed to open flame. If you drop your cigarette on Celluloid it probably wont burst into flame either. It will burn and I wouldn't recommend it but again - the same is true for your sofa at home. If you go trying to start things on fire they will catch fire. I have not seen Celluloid cause a problem nor has one single event been verified of Celluloid bursting into flame without being exposed to conditions that will burn most household items. In short - don't expose your guitar to open flame, leave near fire, heat to intolerable levels ... and you'll be just fine.
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