After reading an article about the humble pick, the history, various materials used, shapes, etc, and the predicted affect on tone, I decided to use a piano key top I’d found on the ground near the site of a piano demolition many years ago, and give it a whirl. The piece in question was of course too narrow to make the most common shape, but lent itself to making two teardrop shaped picks on the theme of the fender 358. A bit of shaping, sanding and polishing later, one is done. Photographed next to a common fender pick for scale. Sounds pretty good, bringing out a bit of a sharp bite at the start of a note compared to plastic, it’s also more sensitive, requiring less effort than a fender medium, and far less than a fender thin. 

Anyone else made their own?

Views: 249

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Nice looking. 

I still respectfully submit that a dense hardwood works. Square it up, large piece against the fence. a zero clearance insert does help, sometimes the thin piece wants to slip under a regular insert, and pulling it out near the blade is not an option. Anyone ever try bocote? comes from mexico, they still cut it down the same way. two mules going back and forth with a long chainsaw blade flat. very dense. Will not accept a oil based finish, won't dry. (ask me how I know) .Brian, my off color remark was because I believed Bruce's ivory is real Sorry, it was late. Here's a piece of zebra wood i cut thin, for a shim. Not for picks, just had this photo. 

Argh! It is real ivory. 

I know Bocote. Pretty, self oiling if I remember right. Like cocobolo, Sand to 1000 and polish with dry cotton wheel. I used to do gun grips and knives, as well as precision small boxes. I’ve used lots of exotics.  If I still had a table saw, I’d make a sliding insert with its own fence that only had a blade kerf slot. 

had to reply to the bocote. very dense, and beautiful, because the pretty pieces are sapwood, creating the outstanding grain. "self oiling" because of the sap. although the sap is as hard as a rock as well. make great gun grips and knives. my brother gifted me a large piece he picked up in Washington, Dc. i cut a fretboard. there was a scratch, have one of those stew mac flat sanders, after a half our of off and on sanding, the scratch was still there. then i decided to cut plugs from the same wood for fret markers, and cross the grain. talk about smoke. then put a poly finish on, like i said, wouldn't dry, sap repelling the oil. Used it for my special tuning macing invention, the bocote was hard enough to drill and tap. If anyone finds some, use it. one pic, gotta take a good one of the fretboard.

About 20 years ago, when I was doing little dovetail top pill boxes, a few jewelry boxes, etc, my dad picked up a box of exotic end cuts from a local dealer (they sell online now, at astronomical prices). They were cheap then, considers too small for cabinet makers to buy. I had bocote and Purple Heart, cocobolo, bubinga, etc etc. a box as big as a case of liquor for like $30. I kept a brand new cotton buffing wheel for the stuff like bocote and Purple Heart and cocobolo. The wheel would warm the piece and bring the oil up, and if sanded to 1000 first, shined like French polish. 

Nice. You were making dovetail boxes?! Dovetails are something I haven't tried, just to me seem like a Chinese puzzle. Just can't get it in my mind how the pieces fit together. Especially without one of those speciality jigs, which I don't understand either, unless I had one in my hand. Purple Heart is another "as hard as rock" wood. I used it the full length of one of my necks for static reinforcement. Martin used a steel T shaped piece for static reinforcement until around 1976, and still now sometimes. Do you use truss rods? 

I did the dovetails using a tapered dovetail cutter and the Sherline milling machine. Done right, the fit is amazing. I’ve done “bar of soap” looking pill boxes that for all the world look like a rounded off block of wood. I’ve handed them to people and they don’t understand that it’s a box, until I slide the lid open with my thumb. Did a Purple Heart jewelry box sanded to 2000 grit and waxed with butchers bowling alley wax, that was literally a mirror finish like metal. It was fun. 

Yep i cut my own ,i have a pickcutter ,i use old credit cards and get 4 -5 out of one card ,it depends on the quality card how long it lasts, but in general pretty good .
so its defentive worth to buy a pick-cutter.

yup, much easier than cutting them with scissors.

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Forum

Preping boxes

Started by White Raven in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans 19 hours ago. 2 Replies

This month's installment of "WHAT THE HECK IS IT?"

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by the anonymous pick yesterday. 11 Replies

couple more pix

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by James Pobog yesterday. 3 Replies

Blog Posts

Tab for Ry Cooder

Posted by Keith Gibson on September 30, 2019 at 12:44pm 2 Comments

Ducktail Run in James Dean Country

Posted by Rick Tish on September 29, 2019 at 9:57pm 1 Comment

Tiki mask guitar

Posted by Phil Stickings on September 27, 2019 at 12:39pm 5 Comments

Festival in the land that time forgot

Posted by Rick Tish on September 23, 2019 at 10:09am 2 Comments

Latest Activity

Kate Carter posted an event
Thumbnail

"Stacy Mitchhart" live at "The Barn at Hart's Grove" in Windsor, OH at Northeast Ohio

November 22, 2019 from 7pm to 9:30pm
Stacy Mitchhart is returning to Northeast Ohio for a debut performance at beautiful new event…See More
6 minutes ago
Keith Gibson commented on Gregg Allen's video
Thumbnail

My First Cigar Box Guitar Build

"Hi Gregg,as i reside in the UK but am a member of CBN may i ask of you HOW i can watch/listen to…"
11 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Poorness Studios's video
Thumbnail

Lucy Long (a Lou LaManna cover)

"Good song and performance Poorness!! Miss Lucy cat likes!!! Meowwwww^..^"
13 minutes ago
Jittery Jay posted photos
21 minutes ago
Profile IconKate Carter, Jimmy James, Chris Curtis and 5 more joined Cigar Box Nation
21 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Dave Lynas's video
21 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Dave Lynas's video
Thumbnail

Gettin it Down

"Marvelous Dave!!! Meeeowwww^..^"
21 minutes ago
3 String Guitars posted photos
23 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Duane Piltz
"Welcome to the nation Duane, plenty of build info located in the Resources tab, here’s a…"
24 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Kristen D Egger
"Welcome to the nation Kristen, plenty of info in the Resources tab, here’s a little gem if…"
26 minutes ago
Greg Tiffany commented on cbgkent's video
Thumbnail

The versatile Baritone ukulele

"Great Lesson Chris, Thank you!"
29 minutes ago
BrianQ. left a comment for Michael Koszler
"Welcome Michael :)"
32 minutes ago

Music

Loading…

© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->