fender 60s pickguard question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bon viesta, Feb 28, 2021.


  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i know there were mint and tortoiseshell pickguards in the 60s, but were there just white ones? i swear i’ve seen white pickguards on 60s basses, but maybe they were just mint.
     
    bassdude51 likes this.
  2. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    For the time period associates with mint, that was that era's white.
     
  3. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    bumparoo
     
  4. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    just wondering if there’s any more info or insight into this because i could have swore there were white pickguards on 60s basses
     
  5. MObasshead

    MObasshead Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Missouri
    They were white. The green hue came from the black in between the two layers of white which gave the appearance of a "mint green" color as the original pickguards aged. Some aged different than others depending on environment.
     
    iiipopes likes this.
  6. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I've read up on this a good bit. IIRC the whole "black layer" theory has been proven incorrect in favor of the white material they were using at the time itself having/aging to have a greenish tint.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  7. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    The below is from: The Making Of Many more details starting here and in subsequent pages as well.

    "Putting to rest the myths of the nitrate pickguards used on Fender Stratocasters 1959 - 1965.

    upload_2021-2-28_18-8-51.png
    1963 pickguard. While the color is hard to capture in photos - it is very clear the top of the guard has changed drastically and the Bottom has not. Note the yellow stains left by the pickup "donuts". Also note the acetone cleaning in the top left corner. It is possible to clean/renew Celluloid to a point.

    upload_2021-2-28_18-9-2.png
    This back shot shows the "white" layers of Mint guards are only slightly mint. The modern PVC guards are way to fake looking green. The "mint" is actually the effect of UV light, oxygen and natural toxins. Celluloid, like lacquer, yellows with time."
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
    hypercarrots and RhythmandRotgut like this.
  8. MObasshead

    MObasshead Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Missouri
    I yield to your expertise. Given your explanation of UV light and to answer the OP’s question it is not out of the realm of possibilities that some would stay mostly white given it’s exposure or lack there of to environmental elements.
     
  9. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    so... mint guards are just reliced versions of the 60’s white pickguards? or in other words 60’s pickguards WERE white, and mint is just the result of aging.
     
  10. Greg75

    Greg75 Supporting Member

    Yes, sort of. The white-ish celluloid pickguards before 1965 look or turn mint-ish, some more than others, and tend to shrink or get wavy over time. The white vinyl/ABS pickguards from 1965 on pretty much stay white and do not shrink.
     
    RhythmandRotgut likes this.
  11. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    Though in some environments they do turn a creamy version of white. Less so since smoking was banned in bars.
     
    Greg75 likes this.
  12. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    There, I fixed that for you. :laugh:

    I've been similarly interested in the past, and the site I referenced seems to have the best evidence by a long shot - it's a fun read.
     
    RhythmandRotgut likes this.
  13. Greg75

    Greg75 Supporting Member

    Yes, mine is a bit creamier than it once was.
    20210211_153200.jpg
    Precision 1965 white on the left; Jazz 2020 CS reproduction mint on the right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  14. MObasshead

    MObasshead Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2012
    Missouri
    Your Google fu is stroooong. Hahaha
     
    Kro likes this.
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    If you ever wanted to know what actual mint looks like, it's the green one. Fender mint is the color of Altoids. Some people call it white.
    upload_2021-2-28_20-41-26.jpeg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTrVflMFOKbCeCE0CoKZYGFiyxndsUS76h_yg&usqp=CAU.jpg
     
    murphy likes this.
  16. Are those guards on your P gold plated ?. Never seen that before.
     
  17. Greg75

    Greg75 Supporting Member

    Yes, all the hardware is gold. All the bits seem original or 1964/1965 correct, though I have had no way yet (or likely never will have) of telling whether the gold-tone hardware came that way from Fender. I have seen purported original gold hardware on an even earlier originally Firemist Gold Strat, so I guess it's possible. Could not guarantee it. Never selling or trading this bass, just holding it for my son, so it does not matter.

    Some of the gold has worn off of the centers of the tuner "clovers" and the knobs, of course, otherwise it has held up fairly well during the 12+ years I have owned and played it.

    16145683560376301407407360174617.jpg 16145683951513350853329538961791.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  18. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    That's amusing, but even good, subtle mint pickguards tend to look noticeably green when compared to white or even parchment side by side.

    Besides, which is easier to say? Mint, or super faint barely noticeable green. ;)
     
    Killing Floor likes this.
  19. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    I bought a used 1966 CAR P Bass (about 15 years ago) and the guard is stark white. It did not yellow or go mint. The guy at Pickguardian told me that the white guard was old stock from pre-CBS as Fender would clear out old hardware items from time to time.

    Of interest too is that the white guard on my '66 is thicker than the standard 3 ply and it also has a sharper angle bevel cut on the edges.

    It has shrunk in size with time so that there is a gap where it's pulled away from the neck.
     
    Greg75 likes this.
  20. For basses, Fender used Tortoise from 1959 onwards on their sunburst, white & blonde models. The custom colours (Candy Apple Red, Black, Shoreline Gold,...) of 1960 & 1961 also came with a tortoise guard, but that was changed to a nitrate "white" guard in 1961 for those colours, which was in fact very light green. Around 1964 Fender started to notice that nitrate wasn't the best material for pickguard as it tended to discolour, warp, shrink and was also downright dangerous (extremely flammable), so they reverted back to stark-white ABS plastic for all their pickguards, and that change was implemented in 1965. The tortoise motif however is impossible to recreate in ABS, so that layer was still nitrate. The pickguards of 1965 and later were a smidge thinner than the nitrate ones, and had a bevel cut at 45°, whereas the nitrate guards have a 30° bevel. That makes for a very wide white edge on the tortoise pickguards.

    Guitars follow the same timeline, but there are exceptions for the models (Stratocaster & Telecaster had white guards on all their models, except a few that shipped with a tortoise guard, or were ordered like that)
     
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  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 17, 2021

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