Introduction: Cheap Easy Guitar Pick!

Picture of Cheap Easy Guitar Pick!

I'm always losing my guitar picks. This caused me to think about all the things I can make a guitar pick out of, I thought this one up when trying to find materials to make a metal guitar pick.

Please, take your time when cutting the pick out, this will yield better results and will afford much safer conduct.

Enjoy!

Step 1: Preperation

Picture of Preperation

Here's what you're going to need:

  • A Dremel Tool (a belt grinder will also work)
    • Dremel cut-off wheels & Sanding disks
  • Pliers
  • A coin
  • Safety Glasses

Before you start, you're going to want to mark the coin, so you know what to cut off. You can do this by placing a regular guitar pick over it, and coloring in the edges.

Step 2: Cutting

Picture of Cutting

FIRST! Put on your safety glasses, I experienced many pieces of flying metal when cutting out the coin. So, unless you would like small copper bits as a permanent part of your eye, wear safety glasses!

All you need to do is cut around the black, then clean up the edges with the flat edge of the cutting disk.

Step 3: Finshing

Picture of Finshing

After you have all of the black cut off, use the sanding disk to clear off all the sharp edges.

Congratulation, If you put in the time and effort, you should have a nice new guitar pick to test out! This could also make an excellent pendent for a necklace or bracelet. Or a great gift for other guitarists!

Comments

Doug Gault (author)2015-01-02

I can dig it. I've been making these picks for year's. The sound is awesome, and yes they can and will damage you're strings. However with a soft picking style your going to be able to minimize the damage to the strings, pickgaurd and guitars body and finish. I like to thin the tip for a greater playability with these modified coins. The old Chinese coins are punched and improves my grip and are better metallurgically. The blue's tones are fantastic

RafaelM (author)Doug Gault 2015-01-16

Hello , I'm from Brazil . I'm using our coins of 5 cents and are great. You use a pick holder for your coins ?

redbadger95 (author)2014-12-29

drill a hole in it, put it on a string it would make a great gift or charm

lbrewer42 (author)2015-01-08

Makes a lot of cents.

Jch4d (author)lbrewer422015-06-17

lel

juliakleinrot made it! (author)2015-05-02

i made it but it is a little bit too small so i want to make a necklace from it

crashzoom (author)2015-02-23

Looks very cool. When I made a quarter coin it was red inside, how did you prevent it?

StevenH3 (author)crashzoom2015-04-27

Use an older coin. Modern quarters are copper and nickel, it's red inside because it's full of copper. Get a pre-1964 coin, they're 90% silver, it'll look nicer and probably be easier on your strings. If you're worried about wasting the scrap pieces of silver you cut off, technically you can recycle those, but it's really only a couple cents worth of silver at most so it's not worth refining unless you have a lot more scrap silver to throw in with it.

erfinder (author)2015-03-10

You say this will damage strings on a regular guitar. Do you believe a bass guitar's strings could handle it?

StevenH3 (author)erfinder2015-04-27

I've played my bass guitar with an uncut U.S. quarter (modern copper/nickel, not 90% silver) and even with the reeded edges of the coin it didn't noticeably damage my strings, so I'd imagine if you cut the coin and smoothed/rounded the edges your strings should be able to handle it.. especially if you use a silver coin instead of the modern copper/nickel.

F1yingJ (author)erfinder2015-03-15

I can't say, As I don't own a bass guitar and have never played one, but because the thicker gauge of the stings I don't think it will be to harmful to test it out.

If you do end up trying it, post a comment and tell is how it worked out!

Barbara Pevafersa (author)2015-01-19

interesting, i might have to get my grandson to expalin this

dalbrecht-1 (author)2015-01-12

Hmmm, seems like someone is wasting 50 cents on a pick that should not cost more than 10. Although the "cool" factor is not as strong, a nice brass pick would also work, at much less cost.

Or am I being too practical???

tandykins (author)2015-01-08

If you want to make sure everyone understands exactly what the law says - perhaps you could actually state exactly what the law says instead of spouting something incorrect.

Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who 'fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States. This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent. (Source U.S. Mint)


Repurposing coins as other items is, in no way, against the law in the United States unless you are attempting to pass it off (or spend it) as an unaltered coin.

THAT is exactly what the law says.

Unfortunately, in Australia (where I live) even possessing a defaced coin is illegal.

So everyone understands? Right? Defacing is illegal - if you're doing it fraudulently!!! Ok, you sure as heck can't make a dime look like a quarter, or a nickel either. Why in the world would you want to make a quarter look like a dime?!

Sorry, I meant this to be two posts together, it told me there was an error & it didn't post...

dropkick (author)kathy.temple.752015-01-08

The laws were put in place back when the U.S. was still on the gold standard and many coins were made of silver or gold (they're all nickel now - even the pennies). The government at that time controlled the price of these metals and the face value of the coins was the same as it's precious metal value by weight. Some people would shave or otherwise alter the coins in order to get the silver or gold and still use the coin at it's face value.

The laws aren't very relevant any longer.

gattler (author)dropkick2015-01-10

That's what I call a good answer!!!

gattler (author)dropkick2015-01-10

That's what I call a good answer!!!

Wow! Things can really go wrong when only one of your posts goes in! My second one was that only when you're doing it fraudulently. Then went on wondering why anyone would want to turn a quarter into a dime, that's the only coins in the US that might work. I thought people were really going off the deep end with this one.... Trying to add humor but I dropped the gun & got shot in the foot. Please no comments about guns now!

thundrepance (author)tandykins2015-01-09

wow! most of us don't even know the laws where we live .... you know laws where you live & around the world!! (`8^D ~ very impressive!

reslinger (author)tandykins2015-01-08

10 points for Gryffindor!

maniacse (author)2015-01-08

In Germany and Austria (and I think other countires too), on some large hills (mainly interesting places for tourists), there are devices where you put some small coin (ie 10cent) and some bigger coin (ie 2Euros - nothing is for free), and you can rotary die some memorial ornaments to the small coin. I think it is illegal too, but it looks like official modification, isnt it? :)

thundrepance (author)maniacse2015-01-09

in buffalo, ny [in places like the buffalo museum of science], there are hand-crank machines that smash your coins into thin, compressed ovals. my children made some @ the science museum when we moved here, back in '96 {they cost 50 cents each}. they cannot be illegal if science museums have them :^)

maniacse (author)thundrepance2015-01-09

Yes, it sounds exactly like those I see (and use) in Austria.. So, it have to be true: it is legal! :D

studleylee (author)maniacse2015-01-08

Hi maniacse: Funny: we have them all over the USA also at mueeums etc, so these negative people need to spout their self-pontificating-pseudo-intellectual tripe elsewhere, we're not impressed here, we all MAKE.

thundrepance (author)2015-01-09

kathytemple: you have just GOT to cool your jets, o.k?

Applerust (author)2014-12-28

This would ruin the strings.

F1yingJ (author)Applerust2014-12-28

It is true, that a metal pick may damage your strings more then a plastic one would. But that doesn't stop many people from using them. Brian May of queen often plays with a silver sixpence. Whether are not you use a metal pick is entirely up to you.

gravityisweak (author)F1yingJ2014-12-29

I would imagine that as long as the metal you are using for the pick is a softer metal than your strings, you'll be just fine. Using a pick made of silver on steel strings probably wouldn't be much of a big deal. Using steel on steel might be pretty rough on your strings though.

F1yingJ (author)gravityisweak2014-12-29

Kennedy half dollars are made of silver.

gravityisweak (author)F1yingJ2014-12-29

True, and if you have one from 1964 or earlier its 90% silver. 1965 and up the silver content is lower, around 40%.

dropkick (author)gravityisweak2015-01-08

There isn't any silver in the coins any longer. It's nickel.

fstedie (author)F1yingJ2014-12-30

Yeah, but Brian May has his strings replaced before every concert...

Insonicbloom (author)fstedie2015-01-08

no, he doesn't - he has strings replaced as and when they snap. he doesn't like having his strings changed when it's not needed. prefers the sound.

tandykins (author)Applerust2015-01-08

Perhaps a thin coat of clear enamel to fix that?

ManifoldSky (author)Applerust2015-01-08

Even softer metals quickly destroy strings

omikeo (author)2015-01-08

I make mine out of old credit cards(gift cards etc), get about 4-6 out of each, i have one of those cheap scissors that can cut thru a penny, thanks for posting

kathy.temple.75 (author)2015-01-08

I want to make sure everyone understands exactly what the law says...

It is illegal to deface American currency!

Taranach (author)kathy.temple.752015-01-08

You really need to stop this... It is NOT illegal to deface or destroy a coin or bill if you are not trying to pass it off as currency anymore... I have worked at the mint and you really need to stop quoting things you do NOT know.

tandykins (author)2015-01-08

Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who 'fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States. This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent. (Source U.S. Mint)


It is only illegal if you are trying to pass it off as anything other than what it is after alteration - a guitar pick.

Unfortunately in Australia (where I live) it is illegal to even possess a defaced coin.

the great neb (author)2015-01-08

very cool! I use paper folded into an triangle sometimes, it gives a muted, soft sound which sounds kind of cool.

ManifoldSky (author)2015-01-08

No, it's not.

Vadermac (author)2015-01-08

A bit of useless information regarding the legal issue of defacing a coin. It is practically impossible to alter a coin to represent another coin. However, back when the content of precious metals in coins was higher people would shave the edges of the coin to remove some of the silver. Do this enough and you can get quite a bit of extra money. That is why most coins have the "ridges" around the edges.

tocsik (author)Vadermac2015-01-08

That is interesting.

Your comment, for some reason, reminded me about hobo nickle art.

http://www.hobonickelart.com/

Fun fact! Thanks for sharing!

hopechest (author)2014-12-28

It is illegal to deface American currency

tocsik (author)hopechest2014-12-28

Krispunke is correct. The purpose of the law is to keep people form defacing currency in such a way that they try to make it look like other amounts, a common counter fitting practice. Ever wonder why those penny press machines are legal? They remove the coin from circulation.

reslinger (author)tocsik2015-01-08

Title 18, Chapter 17 of the U.S. Code
it is illegal to "alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens"
Section 331 applies directly to coinage.
How ever according to the treasuring department if the intent is malicious is the only way they are looking at you. Technically according to the law it does not apply to coinage that are not in frequent usage "aka the Penny" so your penny press would not apply anyway. according to the Treasury “This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent.”

tocsik (author)reslinger2015-01-08

I've replied to you before but I just deleted it because I felt it was too confrontational, which was not my intent. I think we are essentially saying the same thing.

Here is the code in it's entirety:

"Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces,
mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of
the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins
which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as
money within the United States; or

Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes,
utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or
sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same
to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified,
scaled, or lightened—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

The key is, is for fraudulent purpose, like you said. Taking out of circulation does not include fraud.

Also the code does not interpret frequncy of use. It does refer to coin that are ," are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation." The penny is legal coinage by law. Additionally the penny is in greater circulation than the half dollar he used.

krispunke (author)hopechest2014-12-28

Only if you attempt to use the defaced coin/bill as cash later. Look up the law.

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