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Thread: Pickguard repair

  1. #1

    Default Pickguard repair

    This is the slightly later 20's guard style that screws into the side of the mandolin. The plastic block under the guard broke down and cracked, and also affected the part of the guard over the block.

    Could this be fixed so it can be mounted on the mandolin again? Who does this sort of work?

    Maybe the old block of plastic could be carefully removed and another piece attached with a tapped hole for the mounting bolt.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Since no one has replied, I'll give you my 2 cents.

    The block is a thick piece of celluloid. I see a green coloration. Is that some glue from a previous repair? Let's hope the break was caused by physical impact, not because of weakened, deteriorated celluloid. The real question is whether the celluloid is deteriorating. If not, it could be possible to re-glue it with Duco cement, then re-tap the hole. If that's old green glue, then the surfaces should be cleaned carefully before re-gluing.

    If the celluloid block shows any sign of being crumbly or shrunken, then it should be removed and replaced. I'd probably cut the block close to the surface of the pick guard and file it down carefully the rest of the way. If the block has deteriorated then you have to also wonder about the integrity of the rest of the pick guard (a.k.a. finger rest). A replacement block could be fabricated from celluloid or plastic. I think I would use superglue to attach a new block, as the solvent in Duco cement could possibly lead to cracking/shrinkage of surrounding celluloid. I'd be glad for additional comments from other who have experience with old celluloid.

    Steve

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Thanks for taking a look.

    The green stuff is corrosion from the metal bolt that was in the block. The block is crumbly and not good anymore. I'm not much good at fixing this type of stuff and need to find somebody that could work on it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Maybe you could tell us where you're located and someone could recommend a repair person in your area.

    When celluloid start to deteriorate it gives off fumes that can spread the problem. It's very possible that the rest of the pickguard is also starting to self-destruct. You want someone who can give it a clean bill-of-health before fabricating and attaching a new block.

    There are people who can build you a replica guard, but it won't be inexpensive. Hopefully someone will chime in with details.

    Steve

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    I'm in Florida but shipping it wouldn't be a problem. Definitely open to suggestion on a repair person.

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Might want to try this person, who does some AMAZING celluloid repair work.
    PJ Doland
    1923 Gibson Snakehead A

  7. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Black dyed wood seems to work well too, seems like celluloid goes off over time..
    wood is more contemporary..it is the underside of the pick guard after all ..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Wood, I like that idea. That would probably be easier, to just get a small chunk of wood tapped to the right size.

  9. #9
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Hello there FL Dawg.

    I have tried on numerous occasions to perform a repair of this nature. They have never worked pout correctly when trying to use celluloid and acetone base adhesives. They make the problem worse Once the material has deteriorated due to the loss of camphor base the plastic will not re-amalgamate into any workable solution.

    You best bet is to carefully work the underside flat and reattach an ebony block to it. I would probably recommend epoxy so that you get no reaction with the existing material. Super glue/cyano may work, but my experience is that it does attack the area somewhat. It seems to me that epoxy would help stabilize the area more than other adhesives

    Good luck
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
    www.f5journal.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Thanks for all the help, Darryl's going to fix it for me. I'd probably just ruin it if I tried to work on it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    I can say that the ebony block + a touch of clear epoxy did the job. Looks very clean and sturdy enough to play again. Thanks Darryl!

  12. #12
    Formerly F5JOURNL Darryl Wolfe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pickguard repair

    Actually I opted to put a celluloid block on it

    dw
    Darryl G. Wolfe, The F5 Journal
    www.f5journal.com

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