tortoise celluloid sheets

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Jim Bonnell
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tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

Does anyone know where to find sheets of tortoise pattern celluloid suitable for electric guitar pickguards? I think most of it is produced in Italy and I'm sure it won't be cheap. I've done a number of searches and have turned up empty handed. I would really appreciate any leads.

Bob Orr
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Bob Orr »

You could try here but it is a UK supplier

http://www.touchstonetonewoods.co.uk/pr ... lates-109/

CHeers, Bob

Jim Bonnell
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

Thanks Bob. I'll try there.

Ron Belanger
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Ron Belanger »

try Stewart Macdonald

Ron Belanger
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Ron Belanger »

also try Bezdez ebay store

Jim Bonnell
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

Celluloid is different than the standard plastic pickguard material.

David King
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by David King »

The places I'm seeing have 300kg and 50Kg minimums.

Michael Lewis
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Michael Lewis »

Check out Delmar Plastics.

I suggest using some material other than celluloid due to expense and instability over time. There are lots of possibilities in industry that are better candidates than celluloid.

Arnt Rian
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Arnt Rian »


Jim Bonnell
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

Thanks guys. I'll check them out.

David King
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by David King »

You can pour your own if you're willing to experiment.

Jim Bonnell
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

I haven't the slightest idea how to do that. Any information?

Michael Lewis
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Michael Lewis »

You can 'cast' epoxy to make a guard. The expensive imitation tortoise material that stew Mac and LMI sell is pretty much that, made in sheet form. Pour it out and let gravity flatten it.

Laminated plastic used for making name signs for doors and desks is available in several configurations.

Jim Bonnell
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

That idea really interests me Michael. Do you or anyone else have any information on how it's done?

Michael Lewis
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Michael Lewis »

It's epoxy, what's to know? You need a smooth flat pan, as that will be the surface, and your epoxy and colors. A light amber might be a good start for the lighter areas, and a couple different shades of brown/red or even black for the darker areas. pour the amber in the pan, then sprinkle the colors and figure out how to spread them or not so they look like what you want. It will take a bit of practice, juggling the pot life, colors, scrambling, or whatever you come up with. Look at LMI website for their examples of imitation tortoise pick guard material. Mario Proulx makes the stuff that Stew Mac sells (not the celluloid). It's not rocket science, but if it was very easy everyone would be doing it.

This stuff is usually used as a layer over a substrate, not so much as a structural material, though you COULD go that way if you put some fiber (glass, kevlar aramid, carbon, etc.) in it.

David King
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by David King »

If you can figure out how to get rid of the bubbles, let me know. The only proven method is to not mix them in in the first place. I would cast on a glass sheet I think. Use a silicone dam if you want the same exact outline each time but I'm sure the pros are cutting out the PG afterwards. Anything you add to the epoxy will weaken it significantly. You need to mix a different batch of epoxy for each color obviously but I'm sure you figured that out already.

Jim Bonnell
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

I already figured I would need to use plate glass with a small dam, coat all with several coats of paste wax and PVA mold release. I just wasn't sure what type of epoxy or coloring to use. All the color I've used before with epoxy have been solid pigment. David, try misting a light coat of alcohol over the epoxy or applying heat from a blow dryer or heat gun to bring the bubbles to the surface. That works on table top resin.

Michael Lewis
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Michael Lewis »

Polyester resin would be an attractive medium as there is a rainbow of colors available, though they are mostly opaque or meant to be opaque. Ask at a fiberglass supply shop, often an automotive finish store.

If you are going to cast a thin layer make sure your surface is level or the resin will settle toward the downhill side.

Jim Bonnell
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by Jim Bonnell »

Thanks guys.

David King
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Re: tortoise celluloid sheets

Post by David King »

The trad home brewed tortoise is tabletop epoxy and transtint in various ambers and browns, stuff you probably already have on the shelf. Polyester may be too brittle. It is dirt cheap if you don't mind the smell of styrene and the potential of melting your eyeballs with MEKP.

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