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Guitar Picks - That nice woody sound.

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Project by wellington posted 1447 days ago 2050 views 13 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m an acoustic guitarist, so I have the habit of getting really nerdy about the sound of wood…

Recently, I’ve been trying to think of a congratulations gift for a friend, because he’s about to land a record deal; this is what I came up with.

Five are walnut, and there’s a mahogany one for good luck (having 5 of one, 1 of another is a guitarist superstition thing).

The second picture is the tips of one of the woodies and my standard Dunlop Ultex 1.14mm pick.

Having spent quite a bit of the afternoon playing with these, I’m not going to lie, they actually sound quite wonderful. The edges are very round, and they cut back on overtones, so the sound they produce is very mellow.

It’s probably obvious, but these were made with a bandsaw and sandpaper… hand sanded to 1500, and finished with bee’s wax.

-- I want to be a space ship when I grow up.





22 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1487 days


#1 posted 1447 days ago

Now you gotta make a pick shaped case to keep ‘em in! lol

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View WoodenFrog's profile

WoodenFrog

2737 posts in 1512 days


#2 posted 1447 days ago

Very cool! I have never thought of this.
I play a little, but I have a friend who plays alot and has for around 30 years.
Would you mind if I stole this idea as a gift for him?
They are just awesome.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio..... http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodenfrogWoodenProd

View wellington's profile

wellington

60 posts in 1471 days


#3 posted 1447 days ago

bigtiny – excellent idea! and then i’ll need to make even more to fill said pick-shaped pick case.

woodenfrog – dooooo it! it’s a great way to use up thin scraps… also, make sure that the grain runs toward the tip of the pick… if the grain runs perpendicular, it tends to scrape against the high E and B strings (even when it seems like it’s glass smooth). i promise your friend will love them… because seriously, who has hardwood guitar picks?

-- I want to be a space ship when I grow up.

View Flemming's profile

Flemming

417 posts in 1495 days


#4 posted 1447 days ago

:D :D :D i keep getting surprised at what you can make with wood… i play a little myself, and would love to hear the sound of wood!!

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View Raftermonkey's profile

Raftermonkey

560 posts in 1512 days


#5 posted 1447 days ago

Cool man. I made a few of these a while back but haven’t done any lately. I had to let the flat, tender spots on my finger nails grow out,haha. Did you get a manicure while sanding yours?

-- -Zeke- "I hate to rush off, but I gotta go see a man about a log"

View wellington's profile

wellington

60 posts in 1471 days


#6 posted 1447 days ago

flemming – perhaps i’ll post up a video of what they sound like… because it’s pretty nice :)

raftermonkey – actually, i had a clever (if a little precarious) way of doing most of the sanding on my 1.5” belt sander… i only got myself once… and even then, it wasn’t much of anything, because it’s strung with 150 grit sandpaper…

-- I want to be a space ship when I grow up.

View WoodenFrog's profile

WoodenFrog

2737 posts in 1512 days


#7 posted 1447 days ago

Thanks Wellington! I think I`ll give it a try.
I always have thin small pieces that I use for the wooden rings I laminate together.
Thanks again.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio..... http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodenfrogWoodenProd

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4754 posts in 2481 days


#8 posted 1447 days ago

Sweet.
I don’t play, but my son does. And now he has requested some from me.
Any more hints on shaping/sanding. You seem to have done a very repeatable pattern (maybe just duh, rounded triangle) or is it just easy/tedious?

Thanks for the post,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View wellington's profile

wellington

60 posts in 1471 days


#9 posted 1447 days ago

woodenfrog – my pleasure, i can’t wait to yours done :)

steve – first off, i can only imagine that you’ll end up making the craziest guitar picks the world has ever seen :) as for the shape, i used my dunlop ultex as a stencil… since that’s the pick that i’ve been playing with for the better part of a decade and i wanted something familiar.

it’s actually not as tedious as i thought it was going to be, it only took about 10 minutes to finish each pick… trace it, cut it out on the band saw, sand it to thickness on my little belt sander (i made the tips a bit thinner than the rest of it, just to get closer to my actual picks), finish the round edges by hand, oil… done.

-- I want to be a space ship when I grow up.

View mgb_2x's profile

mgb_2x

166 posts in 1668 days


#10 posted 1447 days ago

Must be fun to have to throttle back all the horsepower you have in your awesome shop to build these small items. Like driving a finish nail with a sledge hammer. Nice work, look forward to seeing more of your great stuff.
Thanks
Mike

-- "aim small miss small" m g breedlove

View Sailor's profile

Sailor

533 posts in 1864 days


#11 posted 1446 days ago

Pretty neat that’s for sure. I play a bit myself and I will have to try these out. Great job and I appreciate how you respond back to the comments on your project. I think that is a very good trait of a Lumberjock.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! http://woodworkingtrip.blogspot.com/ Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SailingAndSuch

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2260 posts in 1482 days


#12 posted 1446 days ago

wow, great idea. I play guitar myself and have tried a lot of different things for picks; from quarters to smooth stones, but the wooden picks would be something new

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View wellington's profile

wellington

60 posts in 1471 days


#13 posted 1446 days ago

Mgb – actually, these were done on the tiny tools in my basement… A tiny 1/3 hp bandsaw, a 1.5” belt sander, and some good old sandpaper :) I think if I tried to make these at the shop I would lose a number of fingers and various limbs…

Sailor – absolutely do it! I’ve discovered new wonderful trait of these picks today. I was playing out in the 90 degree heat and humidity, and the wood does a great job of wicking away sweat, so they’re very easy to keep a grip on.

Also, I think it’s only proper to respond to individual questions, because if there’s any information at all that I can share to help someone, that’s exactly why I’m here! Everyone gives me excellent suggestions, and all I can do is return them in kind.

Manitario – I used to do that too :) these were jus a whim to get rid of my walnut scraps… And I’m already completely sold on them, I probably won’t be using plastic picks anymore. You’ll love them.

-- I want to be a space ship when I grow up.

View FaTToaD's profile

FaTToaD

374 posts in 1740 days


#14 posted 1445 days ago

Awesome picks! I’m going to have to try this. Like Manitario, I’ve played with just about everything, besides wood…

-- David

View TroutGuy's profile

TroutGuy

223 posts in 2310 days


#15 posted 1445 days ago

Very cool idea!!! I may have to ‘borrow’ this one myself. My son-in-law is a bass player and he has a birthday coming up…

-- There is nothing in the world more dangerous, than a woodworker who knows how to read a micrometer...

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