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Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

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jruther2

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Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:44 am

Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

I've had several request to make a tutorial on how to make picks without the use of a bench grinder. I'm afraid that I don't have anything new to add as far as the process goes so what I'm going to attempt here is to show the process in a little more detail than what has been posted before. The only power tool that I'll be using is a dremel with a flex shaft attachment.

I will be making a short hook out of spring steel from a Klein Depthfinder which is basically the same thing as sink snake.

First off, you don't need a lot of room. I have one little corner in the garage that I use for pick making.

My Workspace.JPG


Supplies needed:
Safety glasses
Metal for the pick. Here I'll be using spring steel, insert your metal of choice.
Pick template. (You don't have to have one but it sure does make life easier.) I'll be using a majestic short hook from which I've removed the handle to make it easier when outlining.
Sandpaper Grits of 320, 600, 800, 1000, 1500, & 2000
Fine point Sharpie
Rotary tool (Not pictured, see links above)
Dremel accessories: Thin cutoff wheel for metal, Large and small diameter sanding drums, Small grinding stone (The one I use is intended for chainsaw sharpening.)
Small piece of metal to wrap sandpaper around Here I used a piece of the depth gauge and stuck it in a thick foam pick handle for comfort.
A cup of ice water. (I took this picture last so my ice had melted)

Supplies.JPG


First, sand the blank to make the metal shiny so the sharpie outline will show up well. Obviously, you don't have to do this with all material such as feeler gauge stock because its already shiny.

Tear off a small piece of sand paper, lay the metal flat on the table and run the paper back and forth along the length of the blank using a decent amount of pressure.

This is the sandpaper I use. I get it at Autozone.

Sandpaper.JPG


Tear off a small piece.JPG


Make it shiny.JPG


See the difference...

Before and After.JPG


Place your template on top of your blank and outline it with the sharpie. I use pliers to clamp it on so it doesn't slide around as much but you don't have to do it.

Clamp on a template.JPG


Outline it.JPG


End up with this:

Ready to start cutting.JPG


To make the rough cuts I'll be using the "thin cut" cutoff wheel for metal at around 15,000 rpm.

Cutting disc.JPG


This is how I make the first cut. Follow your outline very closely but try to leave the mark, we'll get rid of the mark in a later stage. If you try to cut out the mark now you run the risk of cutting too deep and you may have to start over. Leaving the line gets us very close to where we want to be and allows for a slip here and there without a major loss.
Yes, I really have my thumb that close to the wheel. For the sake of covering myself, I don't recommend doing this. I don't have an alternative method to offer so you'll have to figure that out yourself. I like my thumb where it is because it gives me better control and I can feel when the metal needs to be dipped in the ice water.

First Cut.JPG


Now start cutting down the length of the pick.

Second Cut.JPG


Once I've cut to about half the depth of the cutoff wheel, I cut off the excess piece. This is usually a good time to quench.

Cut away excess.JPG


Continue in the same manner all the way down your outline.

Now for the underside. This is a little more interesting because of the hook.

Here I've already made the first cut along the profile of the hook part and am now cutting back at an angle to take off as much material as possible.

Cutting the underside.JPG


Here's the result:

First chunk gone.JPG


Now cut toward the outline at the least possible angle while making sure the underside of the cutoff wheel doesn't hit the end of the hook:

Second underside cut.JPG


Again, I cut back at an angle from the other end to remove as big of a chunk as possible:

Second underside chunk gone.JPG

TO BE CONTINUED...
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"An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced."
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Solomon

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Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

I need to get one of those cutting wheels, I always just used the standard size ones... :shock:

The way I make templates is to stick some tape to a pick and cut around it with a scalpel, when you peel the excess away it leaves some tape stuck on the pick in the exact same shape and size... so you peel that of and apply it to your metal, spray over it then remove the tape. Works like a charm :D
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bezza1

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Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:58 am

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

great tutorial mate im gunna have a crack at making one
keep going dont look back allways achive your goals
and follow your dreams................
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jruther2

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Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:07 pm

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

PART 2

The left over metal resulting from our angled cuts can be ground away by holding the cutoff wheel perpendicular to the work piece using the cutoff wheel as a miniature grinding stone. Be careful here, taking off too little is much better than too much. Remember, we want to leave the outline from the sharpie.

Even it out gently.JPG


This is what you'll get:

Evened out kinda.JPG


After its all said and done with the cutoff wheel, this is what we get:

Rough cutting result.JPG


Now we'll smooth out the rough edges and take away the outline using the large sanding drum at around 15,000 rpm. Run the drum back and forth evenly along the length of the pick. Be careful on the underside at the curve of the hook.

Smooth it out for real.JPG


The large drum is too big to get the curve right so now we'll address it.

The drum can't do it all.JPG


Use either the smaller sanding drum or the small grinding stone to clean up the curve of the hook. No, I don't put my thumb there. It was a difficult picture for some reason so I had to hold it that way but you get the idea.

Smaller curve.JPG


Here's what we have accomplished with the dremel:

Comparison.JPG


Underside.JPG


Top Side.JPG


Time for more sandpaper. Tear off a small square and wrap it around the high tech sanding tool.
The following steps will be repeated multiple times. I start out with 320 grit then repeat with 600, 800, 1000, 1500, & 2000 grit. By the time you're finished you should have a near mirror shine. Polishing compound is required for the true mirror finish but I will not be covering that. It should be noted that anything beyond 600 grit is purely for sex appeal and has no significant effect on the performance of the pick.

Time for more sandpaper.JPG


High Tech Sanding Tool.JPG


Wrap it.JPG


With the pick held in one hand and resting on the table sand the belly of the pick until its totally smooth. I hold the tool at an angle to the length of the pick so more surface area is in contact with the pick which helps keep the lines straighter and smoother.

Sand the belly.JPG


Pay attention to how much resistance the sand paper is giving. Eventually it will start to feel smooth and will look like this:

Worn out.JPG


Tear off the worn part and continue sanding. If you do it right one side of paper should be enough for each section of the pick we are going to sand.

Unwrap and tear it off.JPG


Before sanding:

Before its sanded.JPG


After sanding:

After its sanded.JPG


Now we want to round off the sharp edges. Usually I do this with the small grinding stone to save time but for the newcomer to pick making using the sandpaper is the safer way. We've already put a lot of effort into this pick and it would be silly to ruin it now. The first picture below is just to show roughly the angle at which I hold the sandpaper to the pick. The second picture is how I actually hold it while sanding. Again, moving smoothly back and forth along the length of the pick.

Showing the angle.JPG


Round off the edges.JPG


When it comes to sanding the pick there are 8 sides we want to consider. The underside and its 2 corners which need to be rounded off, the topside and its 2 corners also rounded off, and the 2 flat sides of the pick. The flat sides are sanded by laying the pick flat on the table. I use my finger on top of a small torn off piece of sandpaper for that part although some people use a sanding block. I've always gotten better results with the finger method, however, just be aware that you run the risk of stabbing the end of a pick through your finger...I've got the picture to prove it!

I think that pretty much covers it. If I have missed anything or if any part is unclear, please let me know and I'll do my best to make corrections. I hope this helps!
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uklockpicker

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Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Probebly the best pick tutorial ive ever seen - when i get round to making some picks this will be the 1st place i come back to,
Thanks very much Jr2 awsome work :hbg:
Image
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sandman

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Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

you the man!!! now i can die happily feeling complete.
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xeo

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Post Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:41 pm

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Out-fucking-standing... like Buckingham Palace guards. You've inspired me to give this another go.
Image
The code is hidden in the tumblers. One position opens the lock, another position opens one of these doors...
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Oldfast

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Post Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:03 am

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Very nice, thanks for sharing. Especially enjoyed the in-depth detail on sanding (very important). I'm a little obsessive when in comes to this. As you mentioned there's really no need to go to far beyond 600 grit as far as functionality is concerned. Even so, I like to go up to 2000. I also find toothpaste (used with a dremel buffer wheel) will give you that mirror finish if your unwilling to spend the money on a polishing compound.
" Enjoy the journey AS MUCH as the destination."
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edsmiley

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Post Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:43 am

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Awesome job on the tutorial JR. This has inspired me to try my hand at making a pick. Of course, once I can string a few hours of free time together. :-)

Great job!!

Ed
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piotr

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Post Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:45 am

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Excellent!
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elbowmacaroni

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Post Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:35 am

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Nice how-to JR! Comments to follow:

Solomon wrote:I need to get one of those cutting wheels, I always just used the standard size ones... :shock:

Yes, you do. The ez-lock wheels are very aggressive on even the starrett, and they are less prone to breakage than even the reinforced wheels. Also, there are a bunch of useful tips that are available for that ez-lock mandrel too.


Solomon wrote:The way I make templates is to stick some tape to a pick and cut around it with a scalpel, when you peel the excess away it leaves some tape stuck on the pick in the exact same shape and size... so you peel that of and apply it to your metal, spray over it then remove the tape. Works like a charm :D


Templates? Wimps!

jruther2 wrote:The large drum is too big to get the curve right so now we'll address it.

Try using the 1/4" drums, they make a very nice curve for a hook.

Another thing I'll add here about sanding... get a pack of wooden shims like you use for hanging door frames or window frames or a paint stirring stick and wrap the paper around that making sure to fold the end underneath so that you have two sanding faces against each other, then you can put light pressure with your thumb or finger and run the pick through that. Helps to avoid those nasty pick through finger moments (although not completely, you still need to pay attention or it WILL happen!) This has helped to speed things up considerably for me.

Also, for high polish, I go all the way up to 2000 grit sandpaper from the auto store, and then use either rubbing compound or CD/DVD scratch remover/polish on a microfiber cloth or cut up silk shirt that died. When done clean the left over gunk off with another but clean same type of cloth you used in the first place. The microfiber or silk is perfect for this purpose. It will give you an insane mirror finish so long as you progressed your sanding properly, after all both types of polishing glop are for an optical finish of sorts. If ya want to get really crazy, you can use actual optical polish like what one would use as a final polish after lapping a lens.


just my $0.02...

-Elbow
"Cave ab homine unius libri" - Beware of anyone who has just one book

(2014.02.09 - 23:26:03) huxleypig: i freaking love cream
(2014.02.09 - 23:27:11) huxleypig: hey, come on, cream is nice
(2014.02.09 - 23:27:37) huxleypig: aww, i suddenly feel very sick

(23:37:46) LocksmithArmy: you should see my school girl outfit
(23:37:50) LocksmithArmy: wait... what

(13:19:50) xeo: that chick will never be satisfied by a real dick
(13:19:54) NNFAK: I would man...

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May those who love us, love us; and those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping

If someone had prince albert in a can, does that mean they'd have a killer codpiece?

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s1deshowmick

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Post Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:51 am

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

That was awesome JR, and the guys are right it is an outstanding tutorial....

Well worth a "STICKY" i say.
If you can't be good, Be good at it.

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KokomoLock

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Post Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:04 pm

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Thanks for the tutorial!! Great job! Now everyone try it!
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elbowmacaroni

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Post Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:37 pm

Re: Another Picture Tutorial of Pick Making

Stickied
"Cave ab homine unius libri" - Beware of anyone who has just one book

(2014.02.09 - 23:26:03) huxleypig: i freaking love cream
(2014.02.09 - 23:27:11) huxleypig: hey, come on, cream is nice
(2014.02.09 - 23:27:37) huxleypig: aww, i suddenly feel very sick

(23:37:46) LocksmithArmy: you should see my school girl outfit
(23:37:50) LocksmithArmy: wait... what

(13:19:50) xeo: that chick will never be satisfied by a real dick
(13:19:54) NNFAK: I would man...

(22:59:49) PhoneMan: how do you let a forum die if users keep using it? kill the servers?

May those who love us, love us; and those who don't love us, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn't turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we'll know them by their limping

If someone had prince albert in a can, does that mean they'd have a killer codpiece?

(00:52:02) WolfSpring: elbow could sell a sandbox to an egyptian

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