most guitar picks are made with a CNC but unfortunately I don't have one(yet..) so my way of making guitar picks is very simple and affective, with more common tools My picks are normally made with veneer, which have yielded me the best results. These picks are very easy and fun to make, great project to do with kids!
Step 1: Step One: Choosing the Wood
Technically any wood will do but if you want to go for a more visually pleasing pick it's best to go with contrasting woods. My favorite combo is a red heart and wenge mix as shown in the picture.
I bought all thin sheets of exotic lumber on eBay for 16$ and got a large variety of really nice lumber so if your looking for a cheap option: go for eBay
Step 2: Glueing Up the Blank( I Guess Blank Is the Best Word for It)
The best way to get the strongest picks is by crossing the grain pattern when you glue it up so I cut 2 squares (well rectangles I guess) and glue it up with the grain crossed. Now Just wait for the glue to dry
Step 3: Cutting to Pick to Rough Size
I went onto google images and printed out an outline for a guitar pick (you can just use an actual guitar pick but I can never find one when I need one) using spray adhesive (or a glue stick) attach it to one of the sides in the orientation that you think looks best.
Then use a coping saw/ scroll saw to cut the shape out
MAKE SURE TO NOT UNDERCUT
if you cut to far inside there's no coming back and you have just wasted a blank
I don't recomend using a bandsaw as it might be a little small for it. But I don't really know becuase I've never used a bandsaw.
Now you have the rough shape of the pick and next step is going to be shaping
*note* if you used the paper outline, don't take it off just yet we you need it for shaping
Step 4: Shaping/sanding (a Lot)
Since I have a drill press I made a handy little disc out of wood with a bolt and basically glued sandpaper to it to make a really really really crude disc sander
Yes it's upside down
Yes I can really hold the piece steady
But hey, it works for me
Before I made this I used my mouse sander,and before that I did it by hand so any way really works
Keeping the paper on the rough cut start sanding down to your line making sure to not pass it by being too aggressive
Once you have the shape now it's time to bevel the edges this is easiest to do by hand and is totally based on preference
Once your done shaping start sanding up in the grits. I prefer to stop at 400 just so when I wax/laquer te pick, it comes out extra smooth and shiny
Step 5: Finishing
I've really only tried 2 finishes for my picks: spray laquer and wax
For spray laquer- I took a scrap of mdf and put some nails into it and cut of the heads (shout out to Steve Ramsey of woodworking for mere mortals for this idea) and rested the pick on top. Then following the cans directions spray about 3 coats onto the first surface and then let dry for about 15 minutes
Then flip it over and do 3 coats for the bottom
*note* if you used a laquer finish just be warned the when using the guitar pick to play music the laquer will eventually get scraped off I recomend only using laquer if making them into necklaces. If you want to use it practically, wax is the way to go!
For wax- just put some onto a paper towel and rub it on the pick it's really simple but not as durable as laquer
Step 6: Finished!
Now you have a really awesome guitar pick which are great gifts for any guitarist you know, or be greedy and keep it for yourself!