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Wooden Picks

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Postby Sansmerci » April 29th, 2012, 1:13 pm

Anyone used a wooden guitar pick? Saw them in a music shop and on ebay -- they look so luxuriously tempting. Are they worth the cash in the same way that nice rosewood knitting needles are? :)
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Postby Crow » April 29th, 2012, 2:15 pm

Cool idea! It would depend on the wood, I suspect. Roundwounds would chew up any wooden pick in short order, wouldn't they?

I have a lot of cowbone stock (the dog splinters his chew toys) & have been thinking about cutting some picks from that....
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Postby NoteBoat » April 29th, 2012, 4:35 pm

I've tried wood (and metal, cardboard, various plastics, hard rubber, and other stuff). I made a pick from basswood that had a nice mellow tone, but it didn't last very long. Crow's speculation is right, roundwounds chew up soft wood, and the nicks/chips/splinters that result give you an uncontrolled sound (and inhibit your picking motion).

I suppose you could make a pick from a hardwood like mahogany, or maybe even ironwood, that would be durable enough to work with. But it sure strikes me as a labor intensive process to shape and polish - plus it's hard to work small pieces of wood precisely, as there's not much surface for a clamp or vice to hold your work - and even less room for your tools.

The basswood one I did years ago I did by splitting a small block along the grain with a chisel, cutting out the basic shape with a coping saw, and then doing edge shaping with a pocket knife. It was probably 4-5mm thick when finished, and felt pretty good. If I'd used a harder wood, I probably would have tried a small vise with a Dreml tool to shape the edges. But then I would have had to make my blank with a table saw or something, because hardwoods don't tend to split nearly as cleanly as softwoods.
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Postby Nick » April 30th, 2012, 3:48 am

I use them all the time. They last longer than regular picks by far.
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Postby Sansmerci » April 30th, 2012, 5:32 am

Most of the ones I've seen advertised seem to be made from what I'd call fairly exotic hardwoods, stuff like mahogany and ... oh I forget the names, the sorts of things I expect to come from equally exotic locations :)
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Postby Nick » April 30th, 2012, 10:04 am

I use ebony, rosewood, blackwood and even boxwood. The same manufacturer makes a horn and bone pick too.

I'd say the wood picks have a warmer tone, a bit muted and the horn and bone have a glassy tone to them while still maintaining some of the warmth.
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Postby Sansmerci » April 30th, 2012, 12:08 pm

Nick wrote:I use ebony, rosewood, blackwood and even boxwood. The same manufacturer makes a horn and bone pick too.


Thanks for the info, maybe I'll try some different picks -- seems like there's lots of variety about.
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Postby dogbite » April 30th, 2012, 3:48 pm

I like the look of these neolithic style picks.
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Postby Laz » April 30th, 2012, 3:50 pm

"Wooden Picks, on the water..." - CSN
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Postby Sansmerci » May 1st, 2012, 11:44 am

dogbite wrote:I like the look of these neolithic style picks.
Image

Are they /really/ picks and where do they come from if so? :P
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Postby imalone » May 1st, 2012, 1:19 pm

Pretty sure those are arrow heads and you get them from the stone age.

Though googling neothlithic guitar picks I found this: http://www.findsbook.com/forum/field-walkers/2244-neolithic-period.html, so time to hone those flint knapping skills?
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Postby Sansmerci » May 1st, 2012, 11:39 pm

imalone wrote:Pretty sure those are arrow heads and you get them from the stone age.

Though googling neothlithic guitar picks I found this: http://www.findsbook.com/forum/field-walkers/2244-neolithic-period.html, so time to hone those flint knapping skills?


Flintknapping's something my husband's interested in, though he's not actually tried it :>
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Postby s1120 » May 3rd, 2012, 4:21 am

Laz wrote:"Wooden Picks, on the water..." - CSN



OK.. thats funny. :)

Ive never used one....and frasnkly dont use a pick at all, but it would be dooable to make them. Take a blank of some hardwood, and cut the basic shape out most of the way with a dremel router attachment, or a scroll saw, then make slices with a band saw... trim, file, and sand to finish, and its dooable. Maybe Ill try it next time I stumble across a nice piece of hardwood.
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Postby greybeard » May 3rd, 2012, 8:32 pm

I have bone/horn as well as wood picks. They have a meaty, rounded tone.

I also have stainless steel, credit card and coconut shell.
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Postby snowdogg » May 4th, 2012, 9:07 am

cool never thought of this! what is the difference in tone anyone?
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