I have a customer with a guitar that I installed a 355 pickguard on in the mid 70's. He says it is crumbling apart. I've seen this on older (30's and 40's) guards but not on any this new. Any ideas on how it could be preserved? It's on an instrument with a strong heritage and would like to preserve rather than replace.


Bob Harris  

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On older Gibson fingerrests that were self-destructing I have let thin CA wick into all the nooks and crannies to stabilize the thing. I have no idea how successful this tactic is in the long run.

Thanks Greg. 

I asked a similar question several years ago on another repair site, about using CA to re-secure old Celluloid inlay. Paul Hostetter ( Paul Is deceased now, a loss to the lutherie community but his website is still up; responded that it would work to stick it back down but that CA is also slow death to celluloid. However, in your case CA will actually buy you some time. Once they start going there is no reversal, replacement will be looming down the road but the CA will slow it down.

Thanks much Paul, the guitar is in a collection actually and the heritage will likely prevent replacement. The players name is on the guard. I'll pass this info along to the customer and thanks again.


I’d be concerned about it’s effect on other instruments in the collection or on the guitar itself if kept in the case. Celluloid gas is corrosive. I just found a ziplock bag of finger and thumb picks I put aside a long time ago. Several of the thumbpicks were celluloid and they were in the process of decomposition. There were a number of steel fingerpicks in the bag and they’re all corroded— nearly black. 4 of them are Nationals, which can be worth a little cash.  I suspect that they aren’t recoverable. 


Yes, great info Larry. Thanks

Yup. The CA can only postpone the inevitable. At some point the guard will have to be replaced. So your work only held up for 40 years? Shameful!

Yea and I'm not calling gibsons choice of materials "my work" anyway. Appreciate the input Greg



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