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: 217

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

We build guitars

Started by Wal Callaby in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Blind Doughboy 53 minutes ago. 19 Replies

Looking for Builders and Players in Florida!

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Fests and Concerts: Organizing and Promoting. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner 10 hours ago. 17 Replies

Fretless cbg

Started by Caleb D Bennett in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans yesterday. 3 Replies

One Finger Lesson: Take Me Home Country Roads - VIDEO & TAB

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Chuck otto yesterday. 2 Replies

Box fiddle #1

Started by Gervase Gallant in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Gervase Gallant on Monday. 6 Replies

Nut and #1 fret spacing.

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Monday. 2 Replies

Zero fret/nut idea

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Sunday. 8 Replies

Rescued ss can.

Started by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner on Saturday. 15 Replies

Fun with a 2x4 Bass - Build Your Own

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Mike Parker Jun 20. 24 Replies

Blog Posts

A Tale of Two Ukes

Posted by Poorness Studios on June 25, 2019 at 10:00am 1 Comment

Adventures in headstock-making

Posted by Sean Murphy on June 15, 2019 at 4:41pm 2 Comments

site bugs

Posted by the anonymous pick on June 13, 2019 at 8:05pm 6 Comments

Cheesecake Banjolele

Posted by James Matthews on May 21, 2019 at 7:14pm 3 Comments

Latest Activity

Blind Doughboy replied to Wal Callaby's discussion We build guitars
"Agree 100% There is a lot of hype that comes from guitar companies . . . just like there's a…"
53 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's video
Thumbnail

Fiddle Thing

"Thanks Richard. Ya, I have to reboot almost every time I use the FM app. It freezes when I try to…"
2 hours ago
Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner posted a discussion

WELCOME To the 30 sum new members from yesterday

My inbox sounded like a fire alarm from all the new members(30) UK, CANADA, CHECK REPUBLIC, MEXICO,…See More
3 hours ago
Murray Macleod left a comment for Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner
"Cheers ... glad to be here !"
3 hours ago
Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner left a comment for Josh Dimmick
"Welcome to the hood! You will have a wealth of resources for any stage in your journey. Plans,…"
3 hours ago
Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner left a comment for Murray Macleod
"Welcome to the asylum!"
3 hours ago
Eero Tapani Lehtinen liked Dave Lynas's photo
5 hours ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Andries D. EKER's video
Thumbnail

Walking the Dog VooDoo & Futura Guitar BCB Guitars

"Oke Danny ! All day long ! wauw that plenty of like there ! appriciated "D"thanks &…"
5 hours ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Andries D. EKER's video
Thumbnail

Walking the Dog VooDoo & Futura Guitar BCB Guitars

"better check whit your dentist then ,cause hurting theeth aint no pleasure! yep i know it does not…"
5 hours ago
Andries D. EKER commented on Andries D. EKER's video
Thumbnail

Walking the Dog VooDoo & Futura Guitar BCB Guitars

"Hi a Bob  ! Glad  you liked it ! appriciate your kind comments ! Greeeeettszzz A.D."
6 hours ago
John Welsh added a discussion to the group Introduce Yourself!
Thumbnail

Hello from Adelaide, South Australia...

Hi folks...I'm new to Cigar Box Guitars, but already love them...I have 2.. One from Rob's in the…See More
6 hours ago
John Welsh joined Shane Speal shanespeal.com's group
Thumbnail

Introduce Yourself!

We wanna know who you are! Where ya from? What'cha buildin'? This is a place for new members to…See More
6 hours ago

Events

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 -->