Friday, December 30, 2011

My pickguard attacked Grampa's Gibson L5!!!

On the bench today is a Gibson L5 with a classic example of something called "outgassing". The celluloid used
to make some pickguards can emit a chemical that will corrode metal. Metal like your pickups and frets for instance! This is condition gets much worse if the guitar is left in it's case for a long time...a good reason to actually PLAY those vintage guitars. Today's L5 is about a 5 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of damage. It sat in it's case for too long before Grampa  handed it down.

You can see the bits of rust and corrosion everywhere. When it's gotten to this stage,there will be some loss of the gold plating but thankfully,all the electronics are fully functional.

Here's another "before" shot for you. The pickup selector nut is actually green!

Our bridge pickup,"before". I'll clean it gently with de-ionized water. That will help pull the oxidation and dirt away from the pickup. I'll also polish it with some swirl remover.

...and "after". This was the worst part in terms of plating loss but it would have been a shame to replace the pickup just so it would look "pretty".

As you can see,our frets weren't immune to the oxidation

.Here's a single fret polished,in between two others for contrast.

The nifty file brush Stewart MacDonald sells made quick work of that nasty pickup selector nut.

A new pickguard and we're (almost) good as new!
Have your own Gibson L5 ( or whatever) from Grampa? Take it out and PLAY IT! 

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