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Tortoise shell

Herge 16 Apr 99 - 02:58 PM
bill\sables 16 Apr 99 - 06:41 PM
Mark Roffe 16 Apr 99 - 06:45 PM
jofield 16 Apr 99 - 06:48 PM
Herge 17 Apr 99 - 05:40 AM
jofield 17 Apr 99 - 07:03 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Apr 99 - 10:40 AM
AlistairUK 17 Apr 99 - 11:44 AM
jofield 17 Apr 99 - 11:50 AM
Rick Fielding 17 Apr 99 - 01:19 PM
dick greenhaus 17 Apr 99 - 05:50 PM
catspaw49 17 Apr 99 - 11:40 PM
17 Apr 99 - 11:58 PM
Songbob 18 Apr 99 - 12:44 AM
Colin The Whistler (inactive) 18 Apr 99 - 04:17 AM
DonMeixner 18 Apr 99 - 06:54 PM
mountain tyme 18 Apr 99 - 11:12 PM
catspaw49 18 Apr 99 - 11:47 PM
mountain tyme 19 Apr 99 - 12:46 AM
DonMeixner 19 Apr 99 - 06:53 AM
Roger the zimmer 19 Apr 99 - 07:08 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Apr 99 - 07:53 AM
Art Thieme 21 Apr 99 - 02:37 PM
Roger in Baltimore 21 Apr 99 - 08:52 PM
Steve Parkes 22 Apr 99 - 03:38 AM
catspaw49 22 Apr 99 - 08:08 AM
catspaw49 22 Apr 99 - 07:01 PM
katlaughing 22 Apr 99 - 10:12 PM
BK 23 Apr 99 - 12:11 AM
Gurney 09 Apr 14 - 04:22 PM
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Subject: Tortoise shell
From: Herge
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 02:58 PM

Anyone an address where I can buy some fake tortoise shell to use as a scratch guard for a bouzouki?? Preferably in the UK.

Thanks

Herge


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: bill\sables
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 06:41 PM

Hi Herge try Terry Docherty thye guitar maker in Northumberland his e-mail is terry@doch74.freeserve.co.uk He is sure to have some. Cheers Bill


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Mark Roffe
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 06:45 PM

From a mock turtle? ....sorry....

Mock Roffe


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: jofield
Date: 16 Apr 99 - 06:48 PM

How many tortoise-shell flatpicks -- which play(ed) like nothing else -- do you think one could get out of one measly little sacrificial tortoise? OK, sorry I asked...


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Herge
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 05:40 AM

I'd thought of the real thing but couldnt iron mine flat!!

herge


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: jofield
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 07:03 AM

I am shocked, shocked to think you would even consider such a thing!

(Here, Torty, Torty, Torty...)


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 10:40 AM

Ya know, apart from the moral (and legal issue) I've never seen why turtle back picks are any better than the plastic ones. Is it (just a little bit) possible that the mystique has outstripped the reality. 60 years (or so) ago the D'andrea company made about 50 varieties of picks and today there must be at least 500. Surely some of them feel just like the "real" ones. If anyone uses a tortoise shell I'd love to hear their thoughts on it. Mudcatters will not turn you in to Greenpeace, so please let me know.


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: AlistairUK
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 11:44 AM

YOU USE REAL TORTOISES FOR PICKS!!??? I normally fricasee my tortoises....mmmmmmmm fried yams...


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: jofield
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 11:50 AM

Well, I still have one lonely tortoise-shell flatpick. It is a great combination of a smooth, stiff feel with a crisp edge. But in truth, you're right: there are so many picks of such a variety of materials and gauges that one can get essentially the same benefits synthetically. I particularly like a recent acqusition called "Pick Boy" -- a translucent rainbow design of 1.20 mm thickness. Real smooth.

James.

P.S. -- All former posts are to be taken as attempts at humor.


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 01:19 PM

After the fricaseeing, can we have the shell? Ahahh, I think I know why it's a non issue to me. I've never used a pick heavier than .88. Maybe the turtles just are thicker than that.


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 05:50 PM

To get back to the original query (is this heresy?) Stewart MacDonald is a supplier of all sorts of intrument building and repairing stuffs. They have a website


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 11:40 PM

Yeah Dick you're right and they're a great place, only about 30 miles from me in Athens (Ohio). Luthiers Mercantile in CA is also a fine supplier. Sorry for not mentioning them myself, but I thought he was looking for a UK source.

What is it with tortie stuff anyway. I hate it as bindings and purfling; as a pickguard, it's more entertaining than black or white, but what other options are there? MOP? Abalone could be nice and cost as much as a cheap guitar. I like Larrivee's clear pickguard, but if you are replacing do you want to possibly refinish the top when that other one pulls off a square inch of finish, or like many makers, there is no finish underneath the pickguard.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From:
Date: 17 Apr 99 - 11:58 PM

ewwww...i never knew they made picks out of tortise shells...that's kinda gross!


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Songbob
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 12:44 AM

I use tortoise shell picks on mandolin, but not on guitar. They're stiffer per their thickness than plastic picks, and can give you a little extra "snap" in your picking. As for how they're made, the shell of tortoises is split (it builds up in layers, I think, and can be separated that same way) and then the thin layers (NOT the whole shell) is shaped by cutting and grinding into picks. Their cachet and the ban on selling any "new" ones makes them pricy little things, probably more expensive per gram than most anything short of a diamond (or maybe cocaine). I got a half dozen in 1963 in Des Moines, IA, and still have most of 'em (one split during playing, so I still use the broken piece). They are definitely individual as far as tone -- no two sound or feel the same).

That answer enough questions?


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Colin The Whistler (inactive)
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 04:17 AM

I 've got an oul tortise hanging 'roud in the garage ..I'll take a skelp of it when he'sleeping and post it to you. Put it in the microwave for two minutes..that should get it crisp enough!!!

Ballygally


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: DonMeixner
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 06:54 PM

Tortoise shell is a lot like catgut. Once used for exactly what we think they were used for and then better stuff came along. A good time ago. But the name has stayed in the common usage. Some place I have three or four "Real Tortoise Shell Picks". Guitar picks are still made to have the shell like appearance and classical guitars still are said to be gut strung. And some guitar and violin strings are gut but not cat.

Tortoise shell was used because it could be boiled and shaped into untensils before it cooled and dried. It would retain its new shape as if it grew that way. Shell is incrediblly able to withstand use and abuse and was easy to work. Nothing else until the advent of celluloid could be easily cut so thin and be so strong. It was this elasticity that made it the choice for glaasses frames when something other than metal was desired. Tortoise shell was used for considerable amounts of stuff from combs and brushes sets, Mantillas, mirror frames, snuff boxes, purses, handles, pistol grips, tool handles, guitsar picks and guards, purfling, marketry,..... .

Things that are said to be tortoise shell now is more a matter of apperance. Tortoise shell fell out of use almost over night with the use of celluloid as a plastic substitute in modern production.

As far as real shell usage? I can tell you that I see road killed Seneca River Snappers all through the warm months and except for speed bumps, I can't think of a better use for these vile smelling and dangerous infestations of the Central New York water ways than guitar picks.

Don "Don't Call Me Mr. Natural" Meixner


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: mountain tyme
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 11:12 PM

I sometimes use my index fingernail to flat pick the guitar. No plastic pick has that feel or gives the same sound. I have hundreds of plastic/nylon picks in my gig bag i purchased trying to find a familar feel and sound. IMO the tortoise shell flat pick feel and sound has not been duplicated using the many manmade materials. Many shell picks split early on but when you have used the same one for a few weeks it becomes part of you. The shell flat and thumb pick to the guitar is as traditional as the ivory pick is to the mandolin. The prices have gone up in the past few years to $20.00 for a flat pick and $50.00 for a thumb pick. The ivory picks can sometimes be made from old piano or accordian keys. The newer keyboards ivory is to thin. As Songbob says above you can make you own shell picks. Most of your first trys will split on first use but you will learn the shaping sanding and polishing tricks after a few trys. A walk in the woods will usually turn up the raw material. If you have a top of the line good qulity axe you really should experience the tortoice enhancement. Don't ask to borrow one....ever!


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Apr 99 - 11:47 PM

So you gotta' bunch of these suckers huh? Mebbe' yuh could bring a bunch with you and one or two of yer better geetars to demonstrate and then yuh cud mebbe' show Paw and me how tiz yuh makem too. We'll take you to a place to git the "Raw Material." Yuh need tabring them good quality instruments 'member. Let us know when youz comin soaz we kin git a bit of time off at the condom factory.

Cletus


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: mountain tyme
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 12:46 AM

Ha 49...jus get yer tension you bet maybe huh? Maybe ya all cud bring Paw an Cletus on out this way fer a pickin fest an we cud be doin some 1/4 stick fishin. Or if'n ya like traditional fishin i cud shows ya how we be collectin them nitecrawlers roun here wif mustard sauce an 120 vac. I cud play ya a'couple'a sweet tunes on my 39 h'bone wilst we be a boilin down them turtle skins fer makin plectrums. Ya only be runnin bout 36 minutes behind wats happinin so's ya cud leave now an be here by gloaming if'n ya didn't stop a all them crackerbarrels ta play checkers. Wot ya be thinken? Jus wot ole axe ya be a'wantin ta plunk wif one'a my turtle skins if'n ya don't mind mi askin?


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: DonMeixner
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 06:53 AM

Hello all,

If you are in the mood to make your own picks, why I can't imagine. ( Try Tortex extra heavy white onesthat come to a point) Make em out of horn. I once made one out of jade for a crosspicker friend who had more money to spend than was natural. It looked good and played very good. While it withstood playing and stringware, it was too brittle to be dropped and it shattered. He now uses Dunlop Tortex Whites.

Don


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 07:08 AM

In the days when fairgounds gave tortoises as prizes a drunk kept coming back to the coconut shy and winning them, ignoring the stuffed toys and othger geegaw prizes. When the roustabout asked why he said" Jus' gimme another one o' them crusty pies". Old joke. Tortoises and turtle seriously under threat in Europe from pet trade, fishing nets and tourist disturbance, sad to say.


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 07:53 AM

I don't know what all the fuss is about: all you have to do is find your tortoise and hang around till it dies. You could have a lot of fun together in the meantime.

Steve

P.S. Are they only good on slow numbers?


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 02:37 PM

Folks, this goes way back to that early southern Texas herd of land terrapins (non-swimming turtles) that a group o' turtleboys tried to drive to the railroad up North near Abilene. As I've said many times on various recrdings, they got to the Red River where an old mud turtle named Studs (yes, Studs Turtle)got spooked at the sight of the herd and he dove into the river. The land terrapins, bein' very I.Q. deficient, followed him into the river, and they all drownded. The turleboys thought about it for a day or two and then they heated up some boulders and pushed 'em into the river. That heated the water and for the next year the Red River ran pure turtle soup; kept the entire Commanche nation fed during a very bad winter. That ended the GREAT TUTLE DRIVE as it's come to be known in the anals of Western history. But the next year it gave 'em the idea to try the same thing with cows. Yep, it was the start of the cattle industry in Texas, and ultimately led to the big law suit against Oprah. (Cause & effect)

But what isn't well known is that the river became a tortoise shell mine of sorts. You could just plunge your hand into the Red River and "take your pick"---as it were...

I know all this because I "herd" it from my old uncle years ago---and I have "turtle recall".

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 08:52 PM

Excellent, Art!!!

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 03:38 AM

I heard that in the original pilot for Teenage mutant ninja turtles, the one with the "R" was called Rosetti. He must have been a pre-Raphaelite.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 08:08 AM

Alright Art, where's the part about the next year's cattle drive? The part where that instead of just crossing the river the cattle all began doing the breast stroke and swam away. It wasn't all so bad though. Since the Turtle Soup was gone the Commanche's were able to feast on Beef Strokinoff.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 07:01 PM

Of course everyone was now afraid to take any animals across the river and the Commanches began to starve. And since the plastics plant had opened upstream, all the fish had died too. The river which had once provided so much, now produced nothing but a bad smell and chunks of plastic. One brave, having nothing to do, began to fish the plastic out of the river. Totally bored, he put the pieces together and, because he was so hungry, it began to look like some kind of 4 legged critter. Finally, he gave up and just sat down and ate the plastic. The Chief saw this and warned him that the plastic would make him very ill. The brave smiled knowingly but went right on eating his....and I am sorry for this.... Lego Lamb.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 10:12 PM

Ohhhhh! 'Spaw! That's some punch line! Geez, you guys, I am glad our "Pebbles", a 14 yr. old pet Red Ear Slider, is now living with my daughter at her place, so he can't read this insensitive discussion on use of his relatives' parts. I tole him "parts is parts" but he doesn't believe me!

Art, that story you told on your first LP which you sent me the tape of is classic. Glad to see ya put it here. BUt, the rest of you, if you get a chance, listen tt eh man tell it out loud. It's a keeper, fer sure, an absolute guarandamnteed classic!

Now, Rick, don't ya'll be speaking fer the rest of us about greenpeace and turning anybody in. I am a lover of critters of the First Order; got my confirmation from the High Mucky-Muck Herself, ya know, and I'll not countenance any of this high and mighty dominion over the animals stuff, ye ken!? That goes fer you, too, 'Spaw and eMpTy Thyme!***Grin*** (did ya'll need that visual clue?)

Anywho, thanks fer the chuckles, boyos and if ye don' mind, me turtle's coming round fer a visit, soon, so keep it doon, okay?

katlaughingHAO


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: BK
Date: 23 Apr 99 - 12:11 AM

What little flatpicking I do on guitar is done w/my index fingernail also, Mt Thyme (when I haven't ripped it off working on motorcycles or me ol' pick-em-up). No pick feels like it. On the other hand it doesn't work as well for mandilin.. (Wonder if it would work on a Tipple?)

Nowadays, I'd otherwise just as soon stay w/plastic.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: Tortoise shell
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Apr 14 - 04:22 PM

If you like a stiff pick, an excellent one can be cut from your spouse's credit card.


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