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Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!

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Rick Fielding 06 Apr 01 - 12:41 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Apr 01 - 12:46 PM
Clinton Hammond 06 Apr 01 - 12:50 PM
Jim Krause 06 Apr 01 - 12:50 PM
Allan C. 06 Apr 01 - 01:14 PM
Justa Picker 06 Apr 01 - 01:16 PM
GUEST,Carol's Friend Don 06 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM
catspaw49 06 Apr 01 - 01:42 PM
John Hardly 06 Apr 01 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Carol's Friend Don 06 Apr 01 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,#1 06 Apr 01 - 03:04 PM
Rick Fielding 06 Apr 01 - 03:56 PM
John Hardly 06 Apr 01 - 08:13 PM
Gary T 07 Apr 01 - 09:36 AM
Rick Fielding 07 Apr 01 - 11:58 AM
Clinton Hammond 07 Apr 01 - 12:12 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Apr 01 - 01:52 PM
John Hardly 07 Apr 01 - 02:18 PM
Bert 07 Apr 01 - 05:01 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Apr 01 - 06:14 PM
Bugsy 07 Apr 01 - 09:06 PM
Bugsy 07 Apr 01 - 09:07 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 07 Apr 01 - 10:55 PM
Rick Fielding 08 Apr 01 - 12:47 AM
Grab 09 Apr 01 - 08:41 AM
RichM 09 Apr 01 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Carol's Friend Don 09 Apr 01 - 10:29 AM
John Hardly 09 Apr 01 - 01:17 PM
Rick Fielding 09 Apr 01 - 01:43 PM
Gary T 09 Apr 01 - 02:44 PM
Murray MacLeod 09 Apr 01 - 03:05 PM
Whistle Stop 09 Apr 01 - 03:45 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 09 Apr 01 - 07:23 PM
Big Red 09 Apr 01 - 11:17 PM
GUEST,Carol's Friend Don 10 Apr 01 - 11:45 AM
CRANKY YANKEE 10 Apr 01 - 12:26 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 10 Apr 01 - 02:38 PM
GUEST,Gigi 18 Jan 12 - 09:45 PM
Dave Hanson 19 Jan 12 - 09:19 AM
foggers 19 Jan 12 - 04:53 PM
Allan C. 20 Jan 12 - 06:03 AM
Mooh 20 Jan 12 - 07:10 AM
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Subject: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 12:41 PM

Some folks here may remember a discussion or two from the long past about a particular kind of hybrid thumbpick I constructed for a number students and fellow 12 string pickers. I glued (riveted as well) a .77 (approximately) flatpick to the handle of a Golden Gate thumbpick, and then trimmed it down a bit. It gave a HUGE sound to the bass runs on the 12 string.

Several companies make similar contraptions but even the heaviest would slide off your thumb too easy if you picked HARD. Even the ones with the flatpick attached to a METAL thumbick would "heat up" and become too flexible.

Anyway, my design worked great, but within a couple of months of hard playing the crazy glue,(or epoxy) would fail and the thing would come apart. The riveting of the two pieces together worked, but the rivet "bump" would sometimes get in the way. So here's my question:

Is there a better way of afixing a plastic thumpick to a plastic (nylon?) flatpick, than glue? Is it possible to "mold" them together (without all sorts of equipment)? Is there some OTHER kind of adhesive that would do the trick, that I haven't thought of?

Thanks for any suggestions.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 12:46 PM

Donno.. but HERCO makes a bad-ass thumbpick, that you gotta work pretty hard to break or have fall off yer thumb...

If yer thumb pick is falling off, then your thumbpick is probably too big...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 12:50 PM

http://www.jimdunlop.com/herco/images/hercmed.jpg

They look like that...

http://www.jimdunlop.com/herco/guitar.html

The web-page is above...

Good luck eh!


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Jim Krause
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 12:50 PM

Oh boy. This sounds pretty tough. I use a thumbpick on occasion, and alternate with bare fingers if I'm playing something like West Coast Blues. The thumbpick I am currently using is a real heavy plastic one with the National Resophonic guitar logo on it. I gave up playing 12 string guitar quite a few years ago, and there are times when I wish I still had one. Twelve strings are great for ragtime, IMHO. I have a real heavy attack naturally.....hmmm Sorry Rick, I guess I'm not much help.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Allan C.
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 01:14 PM

One thing worth a try is toluene. I don't know if you can get the straight stuff locally but there are some so-called plastic glues (check places where model planes are sold) that are comprised of little else. The toluene will actually soften the surface of many plastics to which it is applied. This is when you press that surface to the one to which you want it attached. When it dries - and it doesn't take long - the two pieces are virtually welded together. It works especially well when bonding two plastic items together.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Justa Picker
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 01:16 PM

On this I'm with Clinton. Definitely the HERCO, heavy gage. Rick, if the store in your area doesn't carry them, PM me and I'll mail you a couple to check out.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: GUEST,Carol's Friend Don
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 01:35 PM

Rick, PULLEEZE tell me where I can get another Golden Gate thumb pick (size Large). I have been searching for weeks since one of the musicians in my group stepped on my oldest, best pick, at a West Virginia/Turkey trade talks gig. (Don't laugh, the Turks paid big bucks and provided excellent food for the musicians, just for authentic Scots-Irish Appalachian music, and Sen. Byrd, of the unfortunate "White N" remarks, stunned the Turks with the fact that his son in law is a Moslem Iranian, while quoting at length from the Koran).

Anyhoo, Please send CarolC a PM with your location for the best big pick on the planet (to be used only by professional drivers on closed courses). Many thanks for the post.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 01:42 PM

Don.....I get them from Elderly Instruments in Michigan........and a helluva' lot of other stuff too.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: John Hardly
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 02:45 PM

Doesn't the pvc bonding glue actually fuse the two pieces of plastic together? It might be worth a try.

I've had the same frustration with a type of fingerpick I've been trying to develop. incompatable flexion rates makes the things want to pull apart.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: GUEST,Carol's Friend Don
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 02:56 PM

Thanks Spaw, I had actually tried there, but lacking the courage of my convictions, didn't try "thumbpicks" in lower case. The catalog appears to be case sensitive. In two weeks, nothing wearing strings is safe in Shepherdstown.

Rick, thanks again and disregard my last.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: GUEST,#1
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 03:04 PM

I had to buy a whole sheet of mylar to get the few picks I needed, but they weren't an awful lot better than the ones you cut out of plastic milk bottles.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 03:56 PM

Thanks folks. The Herco works for some folks (did ya know it was designed for the great songwriter Guy Clark?) but is virtually useless for me. To get the heavy guage "pick part" you have to take a large size and it's too big for my thumb.

Nope my ideal 12 string pick is a medium Golden Gate thumbpick, WELDED to a Dunlop .73. So......

Alan, THANK YOU! Can you tell me a bit about that "Fusing Glue". It sounds definitely the thing I need. Brand names? The kind of store or business that would use it or sell it? Thanks.

John what is PVC glue? Is that the crazy glue? I use the expensive stuff in gel form and it holds for a while, but I really DO play the 12 string HARD and the two pieces eventually separate. Keep in mind I'm also using a .68 bass string!! tuned down to B!

Don, I know why you use Golden Gates....they are miles better than anything I've ever used.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: John Hardly
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 08:13 PM

pvc glue is the stuff you brush on plastic plumbing when you join it. It even creates a heat when it's working.

How's this for a new angle? Are you glueing the pick to the INSIDE of the thumb pick or the OUTSIDE? It seems as though there might be a mechanical advantage to the inside, as the thumb pick would be holding the pick against your thumb instead of getting pried off the surface of the thumbpick with each pluck/strum/attack.

clear as mud?

Sure the thumb pick's stub would still stick out a little ahead of the flatpick, but it could be polished almost smooth. Isn't that what God invented Dremel tools for?


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Gary T
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 09:36 AM

You might also investigate methylethylketone (MEK). It will dissolve and "weld" certain plastics.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 11:58 AM

The "melding" thing is what I'm after. Thanks, folks.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 12:12 PM

Would maybe Dremeling down a Herco work Ricker?

;-)


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 01:52 PM

Thought about that Clinton. Problem is that my thumb simply ain't big enough for the Heavy Hercos.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: John Hardly
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 02:18 PM

collogen thumb injections?


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Bert
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 05:01 PM

Rick, countersink the rivet on the offending side.



Bert.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 06:14 PM

Just went to the hardware store. Keerist! What a lot of adhesives! They'd never heard of "MEK" or "Toluene". I looked at the PVC adhesive, but before buying it, I'm gonna try something. The salesman asked me if I'd used Epoxy and REALLY clamped it tight to dry. Maybe I didn't. I'll try it.

Not enough material to countersink the rivet, Bert.

Thanks again.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Bugsy
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 09:06 PM

As I remember from my limited time in Adhesive sales, the best "Melter" type chemical is Acetone. You can buy that in 1 litre bottles over here in AUs, should be the same over there. That really melts down plastics.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Bugsy
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 09:07 PM

As I remember from my limited time in Adhesive sales, the best "Melter" type chemical is Acetone. You can buy that in 1 litre bottles over here in AUs, should be the same over there. That really melts down plastics.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 10:55 PM

I invented (?) a combination flatpic- thumb pick combination that is easy to put togther. It is put together from a Dunlop metal thumbpick and whatever guage nylon flatpick you want. my nylon flatpick part is the next thicker size than the one I flatpick with. because the two slots, where they are joined together, take a very little bit of "snap" out of the flatpick. I'll try to describe how I put them together.

It would be a whole lot easier IF SOMEONE WOULD E.MAIL ME INSTRUCTIONS FOR E.MAILING SCANNED IMAGES. I could then send photographs ( I have a great wide angle lense) and a drawing. But here goes the description:


First, anneal the metal. This is very important, COPPER-ALLOYS ARE ANNEALED IN EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE WAY THAT IRON ALLOYS ARE. The metal pick is bronze, copper and tin. Or at least it acts like bronze. hold the "thumb end" tip with a pair of plyers, needle nosed is best, heat it bright red-hot (any hotter and it melts) IMMEDIATELY QUENCH IT IN ICE WATER. Use the kitchen stove, propane torch, etc I must stress, don't let it cool slowly, unlike steel, this will harden it. Oppen it wide enough to allow a hammer to flatten the picking end. Actually, flatten it any way you can.
Imagine it standing on it's point with the flat surface facing you. There are four holes in it, in a diamond-shaped pattern. two are close together and parallel to the table it's resting on. Actually, it's similar in shape to the constellation "Orion" with the ends of the 'BELT' being as bright as the head and foot. O.K.? Now, with a pair of tin snips or diagonal cutters or a really big health pair of scissors, make two parallel cuts that are perpendicular to the surface you are imagining it to rest on, about 1/8" wide, thereby eliminating the "foot Hole". now, draw a cross on the nylon flatpick with the parallel part 3/8 of an inch from the curved top. Heat the thumbpick just enough to melt it's way through the nylon AND NO HOTTER. Heat it a little bit at a time until you can push it through the cross line. quench immediately. bend the two "teeth"backwards and flattened so that your thumb will rest on the teeth and flatpick. Bend the whole thing into whatever finished shape fits your thumb best. Believe me , the flatpick stays put and you can either finger pick or flatpick with the end product.

If this can be classified as my invention, I hereby give permission to enyone who wants to make them. If you make any money, give ten percent to the Salvation Army.

I use this for both guitar and banjo. When my fingernails are long enough to pick with, I only use the thumb-finger pick for three finger banjo picking (bluegrass style) But as I do a lot of sailing and rigging, they seldom are. When my thumbnail does that annoying thing where the fifth string catches under my thumbnail, I also use it for clawhammer, but you have to be carefull and not strike too hard or the 5th string will overpower the rest.

Good Luck, Jody Gibson, Newport Rhode Island


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 12:47 AM

Bravo Jody! You're a man after my own heart. My basement is full of weird little inventions! The weirdest thing is....they all work. I'm just too lazy to market any of them.

Thanks

Rick


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Grab
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 08:41 AM

Rick, most modelling shops sell polystyrene cement. The stuff in tubes is a bit icky and doesn't work great, but you can get a brush-on liquid variety too, which sounds like what you're after. Whether it works on the particular kinds of plastic you've got, I don't know.

If you're using epoxy, make sure the surfaces are good and rough - a good rub over both surfaces with a bit of coarse sandpaper is essential - and then clamp them together in a vice.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: RichM
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 09:26 AM

Bugsy mentioned acetone as a possibility.
You may already have this at home, if you have a woman in the house who uses nail polish. Most nail polish removers ARE acetone.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: GUEST,Carol's Friend Don
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 10:29 AM

Rick, in the safety management business in the States, MEK is known as Methyl-Ethyl-Nasty, and requires some serious Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). I'm a little suprised that Canada even allows that stuff into your country. It is dangerous at every level, to inhale, touch, expose its vapors to your eyes, etc. If dropped on unprotected shoes, it will glue your toes to them from the inside. I don't have my Guidebook handy, but I believe it's flamability index is right up there with gasoline. There's no question it will do the job, but it's the atom bomb of chemical adhesives.

If you do decide to use the stuff, get a Material Safety Data Sheet ("MSDS" - a short form information sheet on it's effects, safe handling, back-up information and medical treatment) and follow every guideline. Otherwise, you could find yourself trying to remember the lyrics to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" while singing it through a hole in your cheek, and keeping rhythm with your stumps.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: John Hardly
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 01:17 PM

Oh come on, you're just being alarmist. I use MEK all the time and Iihnjkaahnnn@#$*&^*&^*&((*0in ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 01:43 PM

Jeezus Guys! You mean I can just glue the flat pick to my thumb period? I'm trying the epoxy, but with very rough surfaces and SERIOUS clamping.

Rick

In the meantime "They'll have to pry my MEK from my cold dead fingers"!


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Gary T
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 02:44 PM

About MEK--you still may have trouble finding it, and I'll grant that Carol's Friend Don knows more about it than I do, but--twenty-some years ago, we kept a bottle of it in the shop. It had an applicator brush built into the lid, and we used it to glue automotive air conditioning ducts and dash louver assemblies. Now, I didn't snort it or drink it or bathe in it or take a propane torch to it, but Don's post does strike me as excessively alarmist. Treat it with reasonable care, sure, but I wouldn't be afraid to use it.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 03:05 PM

The scare over methylene chloride was relevant mainly to its use in paint strippers in large quantities. Small quantity use will be harmless, with normal precautions.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 03:45 PM

Murray, methylene chloride and methyl ethyl ketone are two different things. I'm also in the environmental/safety business in the states, and run into this stuff all the time. Use it in a well-ventilated area, don't spill it on anything, etc., and you should be fine. A lot of times the hazards associated with these substances are primarily for long-term chronic exposures, either in the workplace, in your drinking water, or some other pathway that continue for a long stretch at relatively low concentrations. Acute exposures to high concentrations are also of concern, but with reasonable precautions, the occasional application shouldn't alarm you too much.

Rick, if the folks at your hardware store have never heard of MEK or toluene, it's time to change hardware stores -- these have been among the most common industrial solvents for decades (toluene was probably the most commonly used industrial solvent before they developed chlorinated petroleum-based solvents during World War II).


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 07:23 PM


METHL ETHYL KETONE is the hardener catlylist for Polyester resin. The stuff they stick fiberglass together with. There have been days when I got the stuff all over me and looked like I'd grown feathers on my fingers. I built the hull for my 22 ft full rigged ship in the back yard of the man I ultimately named it after, William King Covell. One day when I was simply covered in polyester resin, Mr. Covell had been watching me from the rear piazza of his house, and, said "Jody, If you start to solidify, do take up a tastefull pose.

If you don't drink the stuff or get it in your eyes, there is nothing dangerous about Methy ethyl ketone.

Let me know how youmake out. And, s soon as I figure out how to send photographs or drawings, I'll send one.

Jody Gibson


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Big Red
Date: 09 Apr 01 - 11:17 PM

Rick--For a brand name try JB Weld. The darn stuff will fix anything. It really does work.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: GUEST,Carol's Friend Don
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 11:45 AM

Rick, I can't speak for boatyards, past history or "I used it, and I still can spell my name" kind of stories, but regular use in the US requires biological monitoring (a urine test at the end of each shift). It's use also requires air monitoring with no more than 200 parts per million in the air during an eight hour shift, but if at any point the rate increases to 300 parts per million, the work must stop until the lower rate is achieved. In carcinogenicty it is classified as "A3" in several forms as a known animal carcinogen. These limits are set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), which is one of the source agencies used for setting limits on the use of chemical compounds in the US.

I note with amusement that the US, which is generally castigated for actually publishing standards, and legislating their use (to the cheers or boos of millions), comes off as alarmist in this case, but then again, I've often regarded inappropriate chemical use as a self correcting IQ test.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 12:26 PM

doesn't anyone know how to send scanned images?

Rick, make one of the things I described, your search will be over. better yet, send your adress and I'll send you one. If you don't want to send adress on personal page, send it to
Jody gibson
36 Charles St
Newport, RI 02840.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 10 Apr 01 - 02:38 PM

rICK fIELDING. sEND e.mAIL ADRESS. i'LL SEND YOU A DRAWNG OR PHOTORAPH


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: GUEST,Gigi
Date: 18 Jan 12 - 09:45 PM

Dunlop makes a clear plastic finger pick but can no longer find it in a small!!! Don't they know ladies need picks, too???


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 09:19 AM

You waited 11 years to say that ? wow.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: foggers
Date: 19 Jan 12 - 04:53 PM

Well it's better than starting a whole new thread!


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 06:03 AM

Gigi, please ignore the impolite remark above. I think your question is completely appropriate for this thread. I have made a thorough search online and Dunlop appears to be the only manufacturer of clear fingerpicks. And as you pointed out, they only make them in medium or large.

I have two suggestions:

Contact Dunlop and explain your plight. Perhaps there is something they might do. After all, you are certainly not alone in your need.

Or, purchase some of their medium fingerpicks and modify them. This may require a bit of sanding and a quick (20 seconds for a start) dip in boiling water. Although the latter would work best if you were actually wearing the pick at the time, I don't suggest it.

The sanding would be for the purpose of diminishing the circumference of the pick. You might find that a small nail file or coarse emery board may suit the purpose. Once you have accomplished this, it is time for the pick to have the hot bath mentioned above. Immediately upon removal of the pick from the water, form it to your finger. You'll be surprised to find that the fingerpick is not nearly as hot as you might expect; but it should have become somewhat pliable. If it isn't, increase the dip time a little. I believe you will find more detailed instructions elsewhere in this thread.

As I write this, it occurs to me that the boiling process might be more easily accomplished by simply microwaving the pick briefly. I'm not sure I could recommend this without having tried it, but it seems quite possible. It also seems rife with possibilities for error. I'll post results after I give it a few tries.


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Subject: RE: Thumbpicks, Inventions, Plastic. Helllp!
From: Mooh
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 07:10 AM

The only commercial one like the one Rick described above that I found usable was the Fred Kelly Bumblebee(?). Even so I went back to the standard Fred Kelly. At least for me, a pick point on the thumbpick similar to the point on my flatpicks makes things a little easier so to that end I do a little shaping with emery board and wet/dry sandpaper.

One of my students likes the Herco thumbpicks but they simply won't stay on my thumb as they open too easily.

Peace, Mooh.


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