Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Chet’s Original Pickguard

1

I was studying this old picture of Chet with his first Gretsch and noticed the cool cellulose tiger stripe pickguard. When first delivered, the "Streamliner Special" Chet received had a "Chuckwagon Beltbuckle" tailpiece instead of a Bigsby (notice his temporary addition of a Kaufman Vibrola) and that early pickguard. The guard appears to have a steer head imprint and I can almost make out CHET ATKINS printed along the center edge. Does anyone have a close-up of this picture? I think it would be cool to reproduce one of these if I can find some tiger stripe pattern nitrocellulose material.

2

I made this one from 99 cent tray I bought off Ebay, somewhat similar.

4

Tiger stripe acetate in the right thickness is hard to find. Guitar supply vendors usually only stock it in acoustic guitar thickness, and if you're lucky enough to find the gorgeous Italian "Mazuchelli" stuff ( used for sunglasses), it's usually a little too thick.

That's a great looking pickguard on Chet's guitar!

5

That's brilliant JBJ, using that tray. Great shot of Chet; I can see the Melitta. I wish someone would make the light tortoise binding/pickguards you find on blonde Synchros. IIRC Chet thought the original 6120's were too over the top design wise. The gold pickguard seems more glitzy than the tortoiseshell pickguard.

6

I think it might be possible to make some using 2 part epoxy and trans tint dyes, never tried it though.

7

That's brilliant JBJ, using that tray. Great shot of Chet; I can see the Melitta. I wish someone would make the light tortoise binding/pickguards you find on blonde Synchros. IIRC Chet thought the original 6120's were too over the top design wise. The gold pickguard seems more glitzy than the tortoiseshell pickguard.

– lx

I too thought the gold was too glitzy. I put a cheap tortoise shell guard on my DSW, and some day I want a better one, at least one that's cut for Dynas rather than FilterTrons.


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