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Author Topic:  Prototype thumb picks
Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 7:47 am    
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These are some of my latest experiments in thumb picks. I like the one with my "Landis" logo the best for steel guitar and banjo. I know, they're metal. But please, for a minute put aside everything you know about metal thumb picks and check these out. Sterling silver is a soft metal but similar in hardness to some of the hard plastic picks that are so popular. The thick sterling blades produce a superb tone that I prefer over anything I've used previously.

The hand cut gripper teeth makes them really comfortable without slipping. I'm also wrapping the end of the band around so it tucks under the thumb slightly to avoid string hooking. There are so many elements that have to be done by hand, I'm unsure if I can tool up to make them any easier to make than how I'm doing them now. I sent off the first few orders Friday. Custom made one at a time to any size, blade shape, blade length, etc.







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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 8:13 am    
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Sorry, I thought I was posting in "new products"... Feel free to move it.
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Gene Tani

 

From:
The Pacific NW,
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 8:59 am    
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Wow, really beautiful. I made a comment in the forum when i got the fingerpicks that no thumbpicks sound like them.

Is the blade of the 2 in last pic flat or curved?

Will it be on your order page soon?

https://www.landisstudios.net/finger-picks
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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 9:10 am    
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Gene Tani wrote:
Wow, really beautiful. I made a comment in the forum when i got the fingerpicks that no thumbpicks sound like them.

Is the blade of the 2 in last pic flat or curved?

Will it be on your order page soon?

https://www.landisstudios.net/finger-picks


Yes, I'll probably post them on the website next week, along with an 'economy' version of my fingerpicks. Sizing on the thumb picks can be problematic. When they fit right, they're REALLY nice. So, I've been making the hammered band the style I'll be offering. I like to keep the blades fairly thick for tone. But the bands need to be thin enough to be manipulated by the player, so I hammer them thinner, then soften the work-hardened band with a torch so they're somewhat pliable. But I still have to make them pretty close to the right size to start with.

The blades are beveled and rounded with a file but I can also shape the ends with more of a curve similar to a fingerpick shape. These are custom made one at a time with an unlimited variety of options on blade length, shape, etc.
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Johnie King

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 9:26 am    
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Your one talented person I love those Thumb picks.
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Gene Tani

 

From:
The Pacific NW,
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 12:15 pm    
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I can measure around thumb but the shape of the band would have to be different, tapering at the end. At right is my steel TP, left is banjo TP, middle is the same as right with no mods to the band, which catches under the strings a lot

(Nice fingerpicks, huh?)


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- The secret sauce: polyester adidas sweatpants to buff your picks, 5 compressor pedals, Diet Mountain Dew
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James Sission

 

From:
Sugar Land,Texas USA
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 12:45 pm    
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I don't see thumb picks are your site. Are they a future product?
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post  Posted 26 Jul 2020 2:06 pm    
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From his earlier post:

Quote:
....Yes, I'll probably post them on the website next week, along with an 'economy' version of my fingerpicks.
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Ron Pruter

 

From:
Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 28 Jul 2020 3:48 pm    
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Very impressive!
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Jim Fogle


From:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 29 Jul 2020 6:20 am    
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Very talented work. Paul Revere would be proud. Is the engraving that looks like a pattern (the roses for example) hand engraved or stamped? Man that looks like a lot of work. I imagine you can get in the zone and loose all track of time. Do they tarnish or get a patina over time?
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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 30 Jul 2020 2:42 pm    
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Jim Fogle wrote:
Very talented work. Paul Revere would be proud. Is the engraving that looks like a pattern (the roses for example) hand engraved or stamped? Man that looks like a lot of work. I imagine you can get in the zone and loose all track of time. Do they tarnish or get a patina over time?


Thank you. I still enjoy my work tremendously after doing it professionally fo over 40 years now. I'm a hand engraver and cut that all with traditional hand held gravers. I've been doing it so long I can do most of the ornamental work directly on to plain surface with no pattern applied.

My fingerpicks have ornamental work stamped into them from dies that I've engraved. When we get tooled up to make the thumb picks with presses and dies, I'll probably just stamp them plain and and offer engraving at an added cost.

As far as tarnishing, yes, silver will tarnish over time if you just leave it sit in your case. If you're using them, the blades stay shiny from the burnishing action of the strings. The blades are thick and don't wear that quickly, so they'll last for many years.
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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 30 Jul 2020 2:56 pm    
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A few more I made the other day. The two piece set is going to a lap steel player who used to back up Leon Redbone on keyboards, so I included a keyboard into the 'crazy quilt' sort of patchwork design.

I also made a left hand thumb pick with a hammered finish. The one with S. Moore is going to Steven Moore, who is an amazing banjo player and has won every major contest in the country at least once. He's been my 'test driver' since I first started developing these almost four years ago.


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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 30 Jul 2020 3:18 pm    
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I'm still honing in on the thickness to use for these. I like the blade to be thick for tone, but the band needs to be thin enough that it can be adjusted by the player. I also added some form to this one and I like it so much that I've adopted it as my favorite dobro pick. It fits perfectly The engraving is a bit weird, but since I don't plan on selling this one, It will work fine for me. It's sort of an engraved version of the "clown puke" picks.

I'm always trying out new shapes, heavier blades, longer blades, and other variations just to try them and see. My new "favorite"has been changing frequently in the past few weeks but I think this one is a keeper.



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Jim Fogle


From:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 31 Jul 2020 1:48 pm    
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They all are some really nice looking picks.

They look much prettier than the stamped steel picks I have that belonged to my brother.
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Harold Fogle (1945-1999) Brother - Pedal Steel Player
Dell laptop Win 10, i3, 8GB, 480GB
2020 BiaB UltraPlus PAK
Cakewalk by Bandlab DAW
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Ron Landis

 

From:
Arkansas, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 6:12 am    
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Experimental pick. Sometimes I try different things just to see what happens, such as my "Nine Pound Hammer" pick that is an extremely heavy pick made for dobro and guitar.

This one started with .051" silver. I hammered the band part down to about .030" It's actually stout enough to play dobro, although my intention was more of a steel specific pick. I've been going to more narrow bands and wanted to try taking it to extremes on this which is more like a zither pick. It actually works well enough that I would use this in a gig if I didn't like my current favorite so much that's slightly wider. That's the one with the Southwest style engraving in the first photo in this thread.


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Jim Fogle


From:
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 1 Aug 2020 10:31 am    
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Pretty pick. That's a thumb that has seen it's fair share of work too! Smile

I'm glad you're proud enough of your work to take photos that show off the detail and work that goes into one.
_________________
Harold Fogle (1945-1999) Brother - Pedal Steel Player
Dell laptop Win 10, i3, 8GB, 480GB
2020 BiaB UltraPlus PAK
Cakewalk by Bandlab DAW
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