Gibson Guitar Board: pickguard disintegration and corrosion of gold parts - Gibson Guitar Board

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pickguard disintegration and corrosion of gold parts Pick guard disintegration out gassing

#1 User is offline   MaxiumburnN 

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 10:39 AM

I am really pissed off due to the issue of pickguard disintegration for archtop gibsons in my possession that have been in storage and I open the case and
the gold hardware is corroding and the pickguard is turning into plasic soup. I have had to take off the pickguards on a 70's l5 a 70's super 400 and now
a recently bought 2006 L4 that was a NAMM show guitar that is showing corrosion. WTF! I have put in a contact to Gibson. Cant they design the plastic so it
does not do this??????http://www.es-335.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/offgassing.jpg

This is not my guitar but what would happen if I did nothing.

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#2 User is offline   LPS1976 

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 12:45 PM

dang...where did you store them?
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#3 User is offline   hpharley90 

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 02:50 PM

If it was in some of the storage units I see around here where there outside....I'll bet it can get to over 150 degrees Fahrenheit at this time of year...no problem....like a car sitting in the sun on a 95 degree day with the windows closed...
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#4 User is offline   LPS1976 

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 03:31 PM

View Posthpharley90, on 10 August 2015 - 02:50 PM, said:

If it was in some of the storage units I see around here where there outside....I'll bet it can get to over 150 degrees Fahrenheit at this time of year...no problem....like a car sitting in the sun on a 95 degree day with the windows closed...


yeah. I can only imagine they had to be stored in bad conditions. looks like they may have been stored in a unit close to the ocean!
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#5 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 04:07 PM

Severe temperature and humidity changes may cause corrosion of gold and nickel parts when just very little traces of sweat are left on these parts. The nickel-plated Grover machine heads on my 1978 S-G are covered by a whiteish powder. The chrome platings of all the other hardware look like new although the pickup mounting and adjustment screws are rusted and the bridges look greyish on their tops.

Pickguards made of nitrocellulose are a different story. Sweat is no problem for them, but high temperatures might cause disintegration and even self-ignition - that's no lie. They don't even need oxygen since it's a chemical decomposition of the material itself.

Sadly such bad things may happen. Take a look at this Ibanez guitar: http://www.thegearpa...-artist.697735/
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#6 User is offline   Aster1 

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 04:25 PM

Good night ladies!!! You must have been eating salty potato chips and put it away in a damp basement. :rolleyes: Those strings are a dead give away it AIN'T Gibson, or any other manufacturers fault!!!

Seriously, do you have a handle on the Humidity levels and have measured them accurately with a Hygrometer?

Shouldn't be over 50% for humidity 40-45% is what I shoot for. Cap is sure right on the metal. Gold & chrome both need protection from the acids & moisture too. I've used stuff for my Harley chrome to protect for 10 yrs now and it really does the trick for me. Just be very careful with anything with ANY abrasive in it on the GOLD. It's so thin you can rub thru it just looking at it I think. [biggrin]

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#7 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 10 August 2015 - 08:52 PM

View PostMaxiumburnN, on 10 August 2015 - 10:39 AM, said:

I am really pissed off due to the issue of pickguard disintegration for archtop gibsons in my possession that have been in storage


The pickguard disintegration you describe is known as "off-gassing". It is simply the chemical decomposition of the celluloid material that the pickguards are made of. There is nothing that can be done to stop it, although certain "habits" will slow it down, and others, as in your case, will highly accelerate the process.

The worst thing you can do to any guitar is leave it sealed up in it's case for long periods of time. Between the glues used in the plywood, tolex, and cat fur lining, plus the synthetic fibers of the cat fur, add to that the nitro guitar finish, the plastics used in pickup rings, knobs, switch tips and tuners, and then put a celluloid pickguard in there, your guitar is living (dieing) in a sealed up toxic chemical cocktail.

Normal fluctuations in temperature and humidity have nothing to do with this. The accelerator here is simply lack of fresh air due to long term storage. As for the '06 guard showing signs of deterioration, the gasses from the older guards have acted as a catalyst and "infected" the new guard.

Remove and dispose of these guards immediately, let the guitars and cases breathe some fresh air for a few weeks and give them all a good cleaning, especially removing the green oxide from everything (the gold plating is gone, no need to worry about it now). None of the damage is reversible, so time to move on with damage control and/or restoration.

High quality replacement guards for these guitars are marketed through AllParts (an their dealers). I have found the "AllParts" branded guards to be of equal or superior quality that the Gibson originals. There will, of course, be some hand fitting required for the pickup notches.
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#8 User is offline   Kaiser Bill 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 07:14 AM

This is the reason I now have a pair of '72 ES355 pups. I just removed the covers, and buffed them out. Are they perfect?? Not really, but they work!! They guy wanted an arm and a leg for the guitar, but he gave me the pups thinking they were unsalvageable. Now if I could just figure out how to get them into my Joe Pass........
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#9 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 07:43 AM

View PostKaiser Bill, on 11 August 2015 - 07:14 AM, said:

.... I just removed the covers, and buffed them out. Are they perfect?? Not really, but they work!! ...


24k Gold electroplating is NOT very expensive to have done. The shop I use has a minimum charge of $30 or $40, and I have to save up enough parts to get my moneys worth.

If you can find a shop that keeps a gold bath going all the time, the piece charge for a couple of pickup covers would be very reasonable.
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#10 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:54 AM

View PostL5Larry, on 10 August 2015 - 08:52 PM, said:

The pickguard disintegration you describe is known as "off-gassing". ...


+1

I've seen this often enough on vintage guitars that have sat in the case to long. The off-gassing chemicals can rot everything, including the finish, which is usually what you see - some finish softening/rot right under the pickguard, which slowly disintegrates. In the pic below you can see the finish damage as well as damage to the upper fretboard too.

Posted Image . Posted Image

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Posted Image
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Life.. is.. short,.. buy.. the.. guitar.
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#11 User is offline   MaxiumburnN 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 09:02 AM

OK for all you guys that said that I had the guitar in the water or something and that's what caused the corrosion you know that's a crock of ****.

Of the three honest commenters acknowledge now is that this is a problem. Why can't Gibson the manufacture make a Pick guard plastic that doesn't do that !!there are other plastics that they can use.!!!

At a minimum GIbson should replace all the parts and the pick guard if this does happen..
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#12 User is offline   MaxiumburnN 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 09:07 AM

These guitars it worth over $10,000 it doesn't make any sense that they manufacture a part that is defective under certain conditions meaning it's in its case too long???which is ridiculous. Maybe they need to design a case that lets oxygen in and vapors out at while making it waterproof at the same time. Have you thought of that?
It's just too much money to be spending on something that you have to replace that you thought was a luxury item but it falls apart it's not right!
I want to know what Gibson is going to do about it?
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#13 User is offline   LPS1976 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 10:19 AM

View PostMaxiumburnN, on 11 August 2015 - 09:02 AM, said:

OK for all you guys that said that I had the guitar in the water or something and that's what caused the corrosion you know that's a crock of ****.

Of the three honest commenters acknowledge now is that this is a problem. Why can't Gibson the manufacture make a Pick guard plastic that doesn't do that !!there are other plastics that they can use.!!!

At a minimum GIbson should replace all the parts and the pick guard if this does happen..


no one said you had the guitar in water. everyone was wondering the conditions in which the guitar was stored. care to enlighten us?
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#14 User is offline   CR9 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 10:51 AM

View PostMaxiumburnN, on 11 August 2015 - 09:07 AM, said:

These guitars it worth over $10,000 it doesn't make any sense that they manufacture a part that is defective under certain conditions meaning it's in its case too long???which is ridiculous. Maybe they need to design a case that lets oxygen in and vapors out at while making it waterproof at the same time. Have you thought of that?
It's just too much money to be spending on something that you have to replace that you thought was a luxury item but it falls apart it's not right!
I want to know what Gibson is going to do about it?


My "guess" is that Gibson will do nothing about it. They made a guitar to play, not store, and a case to carry it in, not to store it. It is obvious that it was stored for a time in poor temp/humidity conditions. Gibson did not make or suggest those conditions. I am sorry for your loss on such great instruments. Check the warranty card on those instruments from when you purchased them new or ask your dealer about a warranty claim.
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#15 User is offline   MaxiumburnN 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 10:52 AM

View PostLPS1976, on 11 August 2015 - 10:19 AM, said:

no one said you had the guitar in water. everyone was wondering the conditions in which the guitar was stored. care to enlighten us?


The guitar was stored in a bed room upstairs closet. The L4 has custom shop case which is super tight and plush. This is probably contributing to the problem.
But It was not just this guitar: A super 400 and L5 did the same thing. stored In a moderate human environmental conditions. I am not going to store them in
direct sunlight or damp basement. If you know these guitars, this is not a random problem. Why can't they fix this? None of the other guitars have this problem
especially the solid bodies or guitars with wooden pick guards. You guys are trying to deflect the problem. It is the pick guard plain and simple!. By the way if happens to my archtop gibson it will happen to yours. So watch out. Oh no, this could never be a manufacturer problem, right so therefore, I had to store them improperly,,? Right..
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#16 User is offline   MaxiumburnN 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:05 AM

View PostCR9, on 11 August 2015 - 10:51 AM, said:

My "guess" is that Gibson will do nothing about it. . It is obvious that it was stored for a time in poor temp/humidity conditions. Gibson did not make or suggest those conditions. I am sorry for your loss on such great instruments. Check the warranty card on those instruments from when you purchased them new or ask your dealer about a warranty claim.

Dear low level staff person, they can do something about these defective pickguards, they can make them from a different plastic, they can make them out of wood if need be. How ridiculous is your statement "They made a guitar to play, not store, and a case to carry it in, not to store it" Just how are you supposed to store it then if not in the case??? If that is so then they might mention
that there is a time limit for storage on the literature.
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#17 User is offline   CR9 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:41 AM

View PostMaxiumburnN, on 11 August 2015 - 11:05 AM, said:

Dear low level staff person, they can do something about these defective pickguards, they can make them from a different plastic, they can make them out of wood if need be. How ridiculous is your statement "They made a guitar to play, not store, and a case to carry it in, not to store it" Just how are you supposed to store it then if not in the case??? If that is so then they might mention
that there is a time limit for storage on the literature.


The majority of purchasers of Gibson Custom Shop guitars prefer as close to vintage materials as possible. Yes Gibson could to use other materials, but have chosen to try to stay true to as close to vintage as possible. What did your selling dealer tell you about a warranty replacement? It sounds more like you came here to start a confrontation rather than gain information.
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#18 User is offline   LPS1976 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 11:54 AM

View PostMaxiumburnN, on 11 August 2015 - 10:52 AM, said:

The guitar was stored in a bed room upstairs closet. The L4 has custom shop case which is super tight and plush. This is probably contributing to the problem.
But It was not just this guitar: A super 400 and L5 did the same thing. stored In a moderate human environmental conditions. I am not going to store them in
direct sunlight or damp basement. If you know these guitars, this is not a random problem. Why can't they fix this? None of the other guitars have this problem
especially the solid bodies or guitars with wooden pick guards. You guys are trying to deflect the problem. It is the pick guard plain and simple!. By the way if happens to my archtop gibson it will happen to yours. So watch out. Oh no, this could never be a manufacturer problem, right so therefore, I had to store them improperly,,? Right..


I don't think anyone was trying to deflect the problem; just trying to get a better understanding and gather information. I've never heard of guitars in storage doing this and that is why I asked. good luck.
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#19 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 02:52 PM

This has been discussed before, including here: http://forum.gibson....ing-pickguards/

In the world of vintage guitars, this is all too common. It has happened to two guitars that I've owned. In both instances, the pickguards were 40+ years old. I've always thought that this had more to do with the age of the guard than anything else. It does make sense that changes in temps/humidity as well as amount of time in storage might contribute to the chemical breakdown starting, but my general advice has always been that if you have an old tortoise-type pickguard, keep an eye on it (regularly) for signs of cracking and crystallization. Once that begins, get rid of the pickguard IMMEDIATELY, because it doesn't take long for the gas to affect metal parts.

So, the guards on your 70's guitars were ticking time bombs. The 2006 L4 is a puzzler. Do you have any photos of the corrosion on that? What part of the guitar did it happen to?
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#20 User is offline   MaxiumburnN 

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Posted 11 August 2015 - 05:07 PM

View PostLPS1976, on 11 August 2015 - 11:54 AM, said:

I don't think anyone was trying to deflect the problem; just trying to get a better understanding and gather information. I've never heard of guitars in storage doing this and that is why I asked. good luck.

What you never heard of could fit in encyclopedia.
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