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How I make my aluminum handled picks

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Aedalas

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Post Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:28 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

Oh you'll scratch them a little, I just found it's easier to repair than to start from sanded. That and I have nothing like a cleco so it's either attached or not, there is no real going back. I use a nylon brush attachment for my Dremel to clean out those seams btw, if you get any polish (which is usually black from metal by the time it gets in there) it's handy to get it back out and doesn't mar the surface.
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nozza36

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Post Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:44 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

Thankyou Josh , i really enjoy seeing what the other guys are doing ! shit , everyone seems to be a step ahead of me !
I'm improving constantly but so are all the rest of us , and although i do feel a little crestfallen , i love it ! make more lol !!!
Open Sez Me !
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Josh66

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Post Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:39 am

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

Thanks Noz. Your new picks are looking pretty damn good too.
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escher7

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Post Tue May 07, 2013 2:52 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

When I steal this method, I will make one small change. In my early days as a knife maker I use brake shoe rivets for the handles a couple of times and found that too much finishing can grind away part of the rivet head. With knives I swithched to proper knife rivets, but they are too large for pick handles. Therefore I would be inclined to use straight 1/8" rod, glued in place along with the handles using epoxy. Given that picks don't take a lot of abuse this should be strong enough.

And a quick note on achieving that mirror finish (on the handles and the pick), the method is to start with a fairly coarse grit (here around 220 should be OK for the aluminum) and gradually go from 220 to 320 to 400, 500 and finish with a least 600 before buffing. The trick is to sand in a different direction every time you change grits - that way you can see when the previous marks disappear. Then, as Josh indicates, go to a buffing wheel. A bench grinder with a soft buffing wheel and rouge compound is for the soft aluminum, and a hard buffing wheel with green compound is best for steel. Given the small size of the pick, a Dremel can also be used and might be preferable for the steel working end.

No intention to try and correct this excellent tutorial, just a few pointers from a guy that spent a lot of years obsessed with knives and knife making.
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ARF-GEF

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Post Tue May 07, 2013 3:59 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

picks don't take a lot of abuse-> lol mine do :D
to sand in a different direction every time you change grits - that way you can see when the previous marks disappear -> sound like a good idea!
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escher7

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Post Wed May 08, 2013 7:47 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

ARF-GEF wrote:picks don't take a lot of abuse-> lol mine do :D
to sand in a different direction every time you change grits - that way you can see when the previous marks disappear -> sound like a good idea!


Most of the top knife makers use epoxy and knives take a lot more abuse than picks. If you are breaking apart picks you might be using just a little too much tension or hitting them with a hammer.
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ARF-GEF

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Post Wed May 08, 2013 9:27 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

I am using too much tension and there is a reason why. I'm an inexperienced picker.
Buuut I happen to know a few good picker who regularly bend and break picks. It also depends on your style to some extent.
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escher7

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Post Fri May 10, 2013 4:27 am

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

ARF-GEF wrote:I am using too much tension and there is a reason why. I'm an inexperienced picker.
Buuut I happen to know a few good picker who regularly bend and break picks. It also depends on your style to some extent.


We weren't talking about the pick end - we were talking about the handles. My point is that epoxy will hold a handle as well as a rivet - and it will.
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Josh66

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Post Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:25 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

escher7 wrote:No intention to try and correct this excellent tutorial, just a few pointers from a guy that spent a lot of years obsessed with knives and knife making.

Not a problem.

I don't know if this is done on knife handles or not, but personally I might still countersink or counterbore the 'outside' of the hole slightly then press the bar material into it. Just so that should the epoxy ever break down, the end of the bar is physically larger than the main portion of the hole - and won't be able to pull through it.

Even a very slight taper on the 'outside' of the hole would allow the pin material to fill it and lock it in place. I'm trying to think of a good way to get my point across without having to draw a picture... Imagine a hole that was just slightly conical. Does that make sense?
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Riff

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Post Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

Excellent work Josh. Thanks for putting in the time to explain your process. How is the feedback using the aluminum ? I haven't seen anyone ask yet. Very nice looking picks. I'm salivating over here.... :drool:
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Josh66

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Post Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:49 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

I find the feedback to be pretty good - there is certainly nothing to complain about. The way they're attached, it should more or less feel like the whole thing was one solid piece of metal.

I haven't used wood handled picks before - so I'm not sure how it compares to that. I use these, rubber-dipped picks, or picks with no handle. I usually have a finger on the pick shaft, so basically no matter what material the handle is, I can feel something.
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escher7

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Post Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:12 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

Josh66 wrote:
escher7 wrote:No intention to try and correct this excellent tutorial, just a few pointers from a guy that spent a lot of years obsessed with knives and knife making.

Not a problem.

I don't know if this is done on knife handles or not, but personally I might still countersink or counterbore the 'outside' of the hole slightly then press the bar material into it. Just so that should the epoxy ever break down, the end of the bar is physically larger than the main portion of the hole - and won't be able to pull through it.

Even a very slight taper on the 'outside' of the hole would allow the pin material to fill it and lock it in place. I'm trying to think of a good way to get my point across without having to draw a picture... Imagine a hole that was just slightly conical. Does that make sense?


Yep. By fattening the rivet slightly on both ends you would strengthen the bond without risking grinding away the peened end.
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Alera

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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:52 am

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

Beautiful stuff, man. From the picture I saw at the top, I couldn't have imagined the process being as simple as you made it. Excellent craftsmanship.
'Go Analog Baby, You're So Post-Modern'
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nine4t4

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Post Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:18 pm

Re: How I make my aluminum handled picks

Gorgeous handles. And they look comfortable.

I've been bouncing different ideas for handles around. Most of my home brew picks are based on the bristle, wiper insert due to lack of bench tools. They work well, but arent the most comfortable for extended practice. So I'm buying a set, but they don't have handles.

I thought I was being creative then I saw Violaetors and Ratyoke's examples. 10 out of 10 for style, minus 100 for originality. Things I've thought of

Pen blanks from Lee Valley. They have Acrylic, Dymondwood and exotic woods.
Laminating basswood
maple veneer business cards, like the basswood and Dymond wood, alternate stain on the layers would shop up well in curves.
somebody mentioned ivory. Lee Valley has tagua nuts (vegetable ivory). You couldn't make full scale but it could be used as inlay
Something like the handle on my Kasumi or other japanese knives. I like the Zen minimalism and simplicity
Leather. Not sure if its even a good idea (may absorb too much vibration) but it would look great as it wears over time.

The aluminum is a great idea, it's soft enough to work easily and polish (even without bench tools). And for impact of the end result cheap. I think I found the easiest solution.

Great tutorial.
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