Is there a plastics color or standardization guide?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Cysquatch, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    Speaking specifically for cream in this case, but it seems to me that a huge spread of off-white colors have major variance in what they actually are. Trying to find a cream pickguard and cream cupcake knobs that match the cream of my SD pickups seems to be an exercise in both wasting money and amassing quite the box of plastics I'll likely never use.

    There has to be some sort of plastics industry color guidelines somewhere, right? Manufacturing keeps consolidating into larger and larger mega-factories for things like this it seems, so one would think you could source all matching colored parts as long as they came from the same production floor.

    I've had a harder time divining whose cream is parchment, parchment is eggshell, aged white is cream, eggshell is white, and mint is aged white than I think I've had trying to match seafoam and surf greens at this point. Sheesh.
     
  2. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Meister

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    None of this matched on the real deal vintage ones either...
    So ummm their is that...
     
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  3. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Not only is there no consistency between different manufacturers, but even with the same maker there can be huge differences. When I was a neon glassblower, the sign builders in our shops would complain all the time that the plastics for sign faces would vary. Making it worse, plastic can appear to be identical until you light it from behind (like a channel letter sign) and then the variations would stick out like a sore thumb.
     
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  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Why, that’d be too easy, and restrictive to the plastic arts, sir. Why would companies share their color secrets? See, they want you to pay high prices for the PERFECT gray-green mint 4-ply, so you can distinguish yourself from the MASSES, with their day-glowing mint green stuff that importers provide.
     
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  5. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

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    Waste of money is right. I've ordered 3 sets of cream humbucker pickup rings and 2 are more orange and one is yellow.
     
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  6. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    If you want standardised colours you need a Pantone shade or a RAL number. A name like ‘cream’ can be almost anything...
     
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  7. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    Normally I'd not care much, but it's an orange flake FSR Affinity I bought to mod out and make into a creamsicle guitar. I got the -sicle part down, but none of the cream, dangit. May need a plan B.

    Well, that's disheartening. Guess I'll have to forego my plans of a backlit pickguard now, too. :p

    Interesting job you had there. Certainly not one I'd have thought of in a billion years. Just fall into from learning to blow glass or is there more specific qualification to that?
     
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  8. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    You could just do what I do and order about 8 pickguards for every project...

    BTW, Musiclily parchment is my favourite aged nitrate approximation.
     
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  9. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Back when dinosaurs walked the earth, there were these things called "newspapers", and people who actually worked as "reporters" for them. I was working a job I REALLY HATED, and there was a full page story, including pictures, of an old-time neon glassblower who ran a school for the trade. (and "school" is being very generous) I saved the paper and article, and six or eight months later, when I just HAD to change professions, I checked it out. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I was completely ignorant about the sign trade, and the old guy was very deceptive about neon job prospects. I cashed in some of my accrued retirement money from my last job, and went "back to school". It was a long and arduous road, at starvation wages for a while, but I LOVED it. I got good, and attained a pretty good reputation, and did it for twenty years. Unfortunately, around 2007 the neon business collapsed, with the coming of LED lighting. Neon was very labor intensive and a bit more expensive than LEDs......plus, LEDs could be installed by a trained monkey, they were so simple. So that's when I started teaching school, in Special Ed classes, and I enjoyed that.....but I'm lucky. I got to work for twenty years at a trade that I loved. Many people never get that kind of luck. ;)
     
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  10. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Right you are.

    Molded plastics are made from hard resin chips that are melted and injected into a mold. Typically, molded plastic parts have a generous tolerance for color, as they are made to a price point. One could pay a premium to have a molding company hit a precise Pantone color by blending and testing until they got the correct blend of different chips, but that lot of 5000 knobs is going to cost a lot per knob. They would need to blend and test for each new lot of chips that was purchased, as any give SKU of chips is going to vary within its own tolerance.

    Almost no one does this because almost no one wants to pay for it.
     
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  11. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    One of the reasons I don't like plastic for binding or anything else. And I remember seeing a web page where a guy was making vintage correct pickup rings to match the color of a '59 'burst and charging several hundreds of dollars for them.

    And to add insult to injury (or actually something that I think is kind of cool), both the plastic and the lacquer over it will change color with age - I've had a lot of fun trying to match old white binding with lovely amber lacquer on top.
     
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  12. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    you could try pantone.
     
  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    There is no industry standardization in the coloring of plastic guitar parts.

    Duncan in particular makes things difficult by using slightly darker off whites than Fender does. Duncan's parchment is darker than Fender's parchment, and Duncan's cream is darker than Fender's aged white.

    Add in normal batch to batch variation, and it makes things more maddening.

    Better to get your Duncans in parchment, and let them work up to a darker cream color naturally over the years. It'll look better when arrived at naturally anyhow, rather than starting out as cream.

    Best to just forget about the idea of perfect color matching from part to part. Might be nice in theory, but doesn't matter much at all in practice IMO. If you get close, you're good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    You would not believe the amount of work that goes into matching the interior colors of an average, even budget model, interior plastics of cars/trucks/suvs.
    Any color will have undertones of other colors. Months of grading and color matching with specific light bulbs and background mat colors ensuring that two parts from two different suppliers with yet again different material suppliers can match in the end parts. Color, grain, and gloss all interact. Next time you sit in your car, stop and go traffic, marvel at how close the fifty suppliers and hundreds of parts were in getting consistent colors from the door across the dash to the other door, even after the plastics age for five to ten years at elevated summer temperatures that can exceed 185degF for days.

    .
     
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  15. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    That extra-dark cream is just the problem. It's really annoying that they use it, though it is a very nice looking hue. I suppose I'll just have to take the horseshoes-and-hand-grenades approach and call it good.

    That's really interesting. I'm glad you ended up getting swindled into an opportunity to do something like that, vice the more common opposite. It's good knowing that some people do get to just do the things they like in life.
     
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  16. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    The only standard is to buy everything from one company. But I've seen different 'eras' of the same company not match, although that might just be product aging.
     
  17. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I have stacks of pickguards and blank sheets for the same reason. Musiclily has a nice 3-ply cream-black-cream as well...
     
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