Lashing Celluloid Nitrate Strat Pickguards
Attention: There have been some people claiming to sell my brand of product (mostly Ebay) who are selling substandard imitation. Unfortunately, people have fallen for it and received ill fitting, poorly made guards. These are not mine. The only way to get my guards is from NosGuitar.com. The price is the first clue. If it seems to good to be true - it is!
Q: Are these real celluloid?
A: Yes. All 3 layers are Cellulose Nitrate. Not PVC or vinyl
Q: Do you take Credit Cards or Paypal?
A: All retail sales are now handled by NosGuitar.com. They take paypal and Credit Cards. UPDATE: some cuts are sold out and no I am not making any more. This was a one time only project. The italian celluloid factory has closed. Its gone - history!
Q: I notice Allparts guards are thinner than vintage ones. Are yours the same?
A: No. Allparts uses PVC. They also use widely available sheet goods which the standard gauges have changed over the years. That's why all today's guards are around .090" thickness. I had to get the original Italian factory to make blocks of celluloid in order to get the color. Those blocks were then sliced into sheets in the correct thickness. In the end I have produced a correct .100" guard. This was not cheap nor easy. That's why no one else has done it. This is what I do. It might take money and time but Lashing Guitars is a specialty business for those who want EXACT vintage correct results.
Q: Others claim to have .100" guards and what's the big deal about this?
A: First of all what they have isn't celluloid. As for thickness, this is an increasingly frustrating trend in all industries. Sellers take any sheet thickness close to .100" and call it so. However when you measure them its .090 or .095". Confront them they'll come back with the "close enough" excuse. Lashing guards actually measure .100" with calipers. Tolerance is 2 one thousands so our guards will measure from .100 - .102". Vintage Fender guards had a looser tolerance and can be anywhere from .098 - .102". We found no reason to spend all this money manufacturing a product that wasn't totally correct. Again, we didn't just slap off the shelf sheet good together for one reason - it wouldn't result in the correct thickness or color. We had to make our own. Lashing Celluloid is EXACTLY the same stuff on vintage Fenders. The point of the whole exercise was EXACT vintage recreation for those who demand the best.
Q: Will your guards shrink and/or yellow?
A: Yes. Its the same material and will react the same as vintage guards with the passing of time. There are no real trends with Celluloid. It does what it does depending what its exposed to. It will take years but one of my guards will do all the same stuff the originals have done over the last 50 years.
Q: How do you age your guards
A: multi step methods. I recreate what I think happens to guards in time. Celluloid takes dyes quite well. It can be colored, stained, cracked, warped. This is why I made them. You can make them look exactly like the originals because they are originals. It takes a little time and expereince. I age these new guards quite significantly and they end up looking great. There is no easy method, you have to know the material and go with it. I get asked the "how" all the time. Good aging is a skill like anything else. You have to have the hours of hands on to get it right. I cant just tell somebody how in 3 easy steps. There is no secret - time and experience, thats it.
Q: Can you make me a lefty, Tele, Pbass guard?
A: No. This was a difficult project with some customs issues. The big blocks of celluloid from Italy had to be processed into sheets in the USA. I am in Canada and there was confusion with customs as to whether the laminated sheets were a "finished good" or "Raw Material". This project was 2 years in the making at that point and I needed to get this wrapped. So all the sheet was cut into the 3 Strat varieties as those were the templates I had 100% ready. Cut into guards the classification was "finished good" thus problem free for border crossing. An important note as this also applies when shipped to you. Cut guards are finished musical instrument parts and there are no problems with import/export as such.
The plan was to do another batch later for Tele, Lefty, Pbass etc. Unfortunately the Italian factory has now closed. That's it for real celluloid. I have a small selection of white and black I use to recreate vintage Gibson stuff. That's a made to order thing.
Q: Why are your guards so much $
A: See all the above. We made these from raw materials on up. Its not a simple process to manufacture, ship and process the raw materials let alone develop it into a finished good. There is a reason why we are the only ones to have done it since the 60's. Acquiring real vintage pieces, destroying one to get the color perfect, heck just getting the raw material across borders .... this project cost tens of thousands and took 2 years. There is a reason even Fender has not done it - its very expensive and time consuming for just a small amount of product. Larger company's look at the time and cost then toss the idea. I am not making $ from this project to date. Not even breaking even yet. Hundreds were made, not thousands. Its like fine cigars and cigarettes. For every one fine cigar thousands of cancer sticks are sold to those who cant tell the difference. My clientele want the real deal. Fine product will never come cheap. I have no desire to be another huge factory pumping out "almosts".
Q: Why did you make these?
A: I do lots of restoration work and replicas. You cant have a pre CBS strat without a celluloid guard. When I do something I go all the way. In order to get the old Italian factory to make me the raw celluloid, I had to order a minimum. I kept what I needed for my work and put the rest out for sale. When I started this project real vintage guards were selling for 2k and up. No one had done a proper replica. If was simple. I was either going to have to substitute inferior materials or do it myself. I chose to make these myself. When they sell out that's the end of it for me. You snooze - you loose.
Q: How much if I buy 2?
A: It cost the same to ship 4 as it does one, so you can save shipping. As for the purchase price, unless you are buying 10 and paying by cash there isn't much I can do for you. I get this question alot and quite frankly its insulting. If you want a cheap PVC guard with a story there are people selling crappy spray painted guards all over Ebay. Those guys are taking offers I am sure.
Q: So and So claims to offer Celluloid Guards ...
A: Lashing Guitars and my ONE agent NosGuitar.com are the only place with my guards. I control the inventory strictly. We have seen others claim they have it, especially on Ebay. We are actually in the process of legal actions in regards to repeat offenders. If you see someone with lower prices than my official dealer, well that's your first clue. If anyone else had these I would have bought from them. Would have been much cheaper than making them. I am still the only one who has done this since Fender in the 60's period. I had some people buy guards off me then resell more than they bought. Sad but true. I have one legit dealer - Nosguitar.com If anything changes I will list others here.
Q: I'd like to be a dealer of your products
A: Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). There are people all over the world who would appreciate a supplier close to home. Of course, I ask for certain minimums and business ethics.
We get some good and odd questions daily. Don't be afraid to add yours to the list. We do not mention where the questions come. Chances are someone else has the same curiosity so fire away. I will update this page as new questions come in.
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