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MaxiumburnN

pickguard disintegration and corrosion of gold parts

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Here's my two cents worth:

 

I had heard all about these deteriorating pickguards years ago, but since my guitar is more that fifty years old, I figured that I had dodged a bullet.

 

A couple years ago, after moving into a historic (100+ year-old) house during a very hot/humid summer, I noticed that one of the strings had broken and that there was a little rust around some of the pickup screws.

 

I mistakenly attributed the damage to the climatic conditions, cleaned the guitar up and put it away again.

 

Just recently, now living in the desert southwest, I opened the case after about a year and, lo and behold, two broken strings and a crapload of rust/green corrosion.

 

After some investigation and reaching out to experts, George Gruhn told me that even a decades-old instrument that has never suffered from this problem can suddenly develop it.

 

So there you go; I only knew half of the story.

 

My advice to anyone who owns one of these guitars with a nitrocellulose pickguard is to remove the damned thing (unless you play the guitar frequently and can monitor its condition).

 

You can also get "replica" pickguards (made out of a non-gassing modern plastic), but they are expensive as hell (one quote was around $200; now, THERE'S the ripoff).

 

(I just checked my '80 Guild X-500, and so far, everything is copacetic. But the Guild has a black pickguard. Does anyone know if this problem is limited to the "tortiseshell" pickguards, or can it happen to any color pickguard?).

 

Good luck, guys.

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Does anyone know if this problem is limited to the "tortiseshell" pickguards, or can it happen to any color pickguard?

 

Although other polymers used in guitar making have their own unique aging properties, the most prevalent being shrinkage and brittleness, I have only ever seen the off-gassing effect from the mock tortoise shell celluloid pickguards.

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I've always stored my guitars in a climate controlled environment and play them all regularly. I can't imagine what kind of extreme conditions led to this kind of issue but the description of what likely happened and what the cause was made sense to me. It seems to me that the original poster felt that the people responding to him were Gibson employees and not musicians. I definitely understand the frustration due to the damage. I think it's a reminder to those reading to check their instruments from time to time and play them.

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I've always stored my guitars in a climate controlled environment and play them all regularly. I can't imagine what kind of extreme conditions led to this kind of issue but the description of what likely happened and what the cause was made sense to me. It seems to me that the original poster felt that the people responding to him were Gibson employees and not musicians. I definitely understand the frustration due to the damage. I think it's a reminder to those reading to check their instruments from time to time and play them.

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I've always stored my guitars in a climate controlled environment and play them all regularly. I can't imagine what kind of extreme conditions led to this kind of issue but the description of what likely happened and what the cause was made sense to me. It seems to me that the original poster felt that the people responding to him were Gibson employees and not musicians. I definitely understand the frustration due to the damage. I think it's a reminder to those reading to check their instruments from time to time and play them.

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so to update you guys it's been a couple years since I made original post. I had to take the pick guard off my L4 and I put it in a room and I haven't had anymore problems with the outgassing that I can see. It's probably outgassing in the room which I can't see it but the guitar is OK. i'm thinking that the sealed case that it came with contributed to the problem. because the reason I say that is because when I was in the case with the pick guard on it I was having these problems. Another reason Gibson needs to fix this thing is because if there is outgassing? that means there might be some kind of gas that submitted that might be toxic to human beings or carcinogenic. clearly it's some kind of plastic vapor which can't be good for you.

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so to update you guys it's been a couple years since I made original post. I had to take the pick guard off my L4 and I put it in a room and I haven't had anymore problems with the outgassing that I can see. It's probably outgassing in the room which I can't see it but the guitar is OK. i'm thinking that the sealed case that it came with contributed to the problem. because the reason I say that is because when I was in the case with the pick guard on it I was having these problems. Another reason Gibson needs to fix this thing is because if there is outgassing? that means there might be some kind of gas that submitted that might be toxic to human beings or carcinogenic. clearly it's some kind of plastic vapor which can't be good for you.

 

I'm sure if you were to directly inhale the vapor; it would be harmful. To my understanding, outgassing would only occur if it was in an enclosed area (like the case). you should be ok as long as there is air flow in the room. i could be wrong.

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This thread always reminds me to open up my cases on vintage guitars; inspect for any corrosion; and keep it propped opened for a few days or so. Is it just the vintage pickguards or any parts like knobs/bindings etc. that we should worry about?

 

I don't have any newer "true historic" guitars with the old tort guard ... so no worries there. rolleyes.gif

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This thread always reminds me to open up my cases on vintage guitars; inspect for any corrosion; and keep it propped opened for a few days or so. Is it just the vintage pickguards or any parts like knobs/bindings etc. that we should worry about?

 

I don't have any newer "true historic" guitars with the old tort guard ... so no worries there. rolleyes.gif

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Oxidation / Outgassing

happened with this 90s SUper 400 left in the case. post-26411-001012100 1533749574_thumb.jpg

Solution take the pickguard off and replace and don't put the old one back in the case.

Either get pickups recovered or clean with toothpaste & toothbrush.

Bruce

Dr Pickup

www.drpickup.com

www.facebook.com/drpickup

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I'm currently having this exact same issue.

79 L-5 CES. Both PU rings melted, all screws corroded, PU covers corroded, pickguard bracket corroded, etc. Luckily the guitar's finish was not. 

A collector left this one in its case for almost all of its 40 years. So now I get the pleasure and pain of restoring the gold metal parts. Not fun and not amusing.

So those of you here say this pickguard will continue this off-gassing? Why will it not ever stop? Seems that it can only put off so much of this gas and then it would be done. Mine has a spiderweb sort of look to it like below. So are you sure I cant replace all the metal parts, reuse my pickguard and just NOT store it in a case?

20190525_191736.jpg

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