Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
12-07-2016, 09:13 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-07-2016, 09:18 AM by Thefyn.)
#1
Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
Hi guys. First post.

I've invented a prototype of a guitar pick. I've had a friend fashion it for me and I've shaped it and finessed.

The original metal is a mystery. It's too soft and after use it results in a black dust on my fingers. Even after a few minutes. So it was great to produce my prototype as it was mailable but now I need to get it reproduced.

I'm a complete novice so I'm open to any suggestions of steel that is common in production. I want a regular low cost type for reproduction but I'm open to also having a delux model like titanium too.

I'm sure there are many grades and mixes out there. I need something that can last to within reason. That can handle the application of playing guitar without residue. Without creating filings that the pickup magnets will gather. That won't create a lot of friction and wear strings too fast. If it is dragged down strings in a pick slide I don't want it to create indents in the pick. Although that may be something impossible to avoid. Scratched up is fine but gouges I want to avoid.

Grip is important for live so I need half of it to be etched etc. I'm also thinking of sweat/live and coming up with a resin to react to body heat and sweat to make it tacky.

So what should I tell the manufacturer? I'm about to send my prototype.

They said they can send me 5 different metal types...what should I ask for? I thought I could let them decide from their experience but if you guys can suggest something I'd appreciate it. Nothing too exotic/bleeding edge. Haha. I need a regular tooling factory to have access to it.
Reply
12-07-2016, 10:03 AM,
#2
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
(12-07-2016, 09:13 AM)Thefyn Wrote: Hi guys. First post.

I've invented a prototype of a guitar pick. I've had a friend fashion it for me and I've shaped it and finessed.

The original metal is a mystery. It's too soft and after use it results in a black dust on my fingers. Even after a few minutes. So it was great to produce my prototype as it was mailable but now I need to get it reproduced.

I'm a complete novice so I'm open to any suggestions of steel that is common in production. I want a regular low cost type for reproduction but I'm open to also having a delux model like titanium too.

I'm sure there are many grades and mixes out there. I need something that can last to within reason. That can handle the application of playing guitar without residue. Without creating filings that the pickup magnets will gather. That won't create a lot of friction and wear strings too fast. If it is dragged down strings in a pick slide I don't want it to create indents in the pick. Although that may be something impossible to avoid. Scratched up is fine but gouges I want to avoid.

Grip is important for live so I need half of it to be etched etc. I'm also thinking of sweat/live and coming up with a resin to react to body heat and sweat to make it tacky.

So what should I tell the manufacturer? I'm about to send my prototype.

They said they can send me 5 different metal types...what should I ask for? I thought I could let them decide from their experience but if you guys can suggest something I'd appreciate it. Nothing too exotic/bleeding edge. Haha. I need a regular tooling factory to have access to it.

Hi Thefyn,

If it should be 5 alloys, I would have recommended the following:
1. Stainless steel ss 304
2. Stainless steel aisi 310
3. Nickel base alloy Hastelloy C-276
4. Molybdenum
5. Titanium alloy Ti 6-4

Regards
Vadim
Reply
12-07-2016, 10:56 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-07-2016, 11:01 AM by Thefyn.)
#3
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
(12-07-2016, 10:03 AM)Vadim Verlotski Wrote:
(12-07-2016, 09:13 AM)Thefyn Wrote: Hi guys. First post.

I've invented a prototype of a guitar pick. I've had a friend fashion it for me and I've shaped it and finessed.

The original metal is a mystery. It's too soft and after use it results in a black dust on my fingers. Even after a few minutes. So it was great to produce my prototype as it was mailable but now I need to get it reproduced.

I'm a complete novice so I'm open to any suggestions of steel that is common in production. I want a regular low cost type for reproduction but I'm open to also having a delux model like titanium too.

I'm sure there are many grades and mixes out there. I need something that can last to within reason. That can handle the application of playing guitar without residue. Without creating filings that the pickup magnets will gather. That won't create a lot of friction and wear strings too fast. If it is dragged down strings in a pick slide I don't want it to create indents in the pick. Although that may be something impossible to avoid. Scratched up is fine but gouges I want to avoid.

Grip is important for live so I need half of it to be etched etc. I'm also thinking of sweat/live and coming up with a resin to react to body heat and sweat to make it tacky.

So what should I tell the manufacturer? I'm about to send my prototype.

They said they can send me 5 different metal types...what should I ask for? I thought I could let them decide from their experience but if you guys can suggest something I'd appreciate it. Nothing too exotic/bleeding edge. Haha. I need a regular tooling factory to have access to it.

Hi Thefyn,

If it should be 5 alloys, I would have recommended the following:
1. Stainless steel ss 304
2. Stainless steel aisi 310
3. Nickel base alloy Hastelloy C-276
4. Molybdenum
5. Titanium alloy Ti 6-4

Regards
Vadim

Vadim that's fantastic. I really appreciate it.

What qualities/pros and cons seperate the alloys?


Reply
12-07-2016, 11:44 AM,
#4
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
(12-07-2016, 10:56 AM)Thefyn Wrote: Vadim that's fantastic. I really appreciate it.

What qualities/pros and cons seperate the alloys?

With austenitic stainless steels (304, 310, 317 ...), everything is clear - they are relatively cheap and do not rust. However, wear resistance and corrosion resistance are not perfect.

Hastelloy is not only more resistant to wear but also significantly more corrosion-resistant than all of stainless steels.

For people who fear nickel allergy, molybdenum and titanium offer a good alternative. Molybdenum is more wear-resistant than titanium, but titanium has a maximum possible biocompatibility.
Reply
12-07-2016, 02:51 PM,
#5
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
I suggest that you use a brass or bronze alloy. Bronze will not wear the steel guitar strings, but it will also have pretty good wear life. The color will look good against the strings as well.
Reply
01-06-2017, 03:42 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-06-2017, 03:43 AM by Thefyn.)
#6
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
(12-07-2016, 02:51 PM)djewell Wrote: I suggest that you use a brass or bronze alloy. Bronze will not wear the steel guitar strings, but it will also have pretty good wear life. The color will look good against the strings as well.

I'll end up doing bronze alloy for sure to get the Brian May sound.

Right now I'm worried about the residue. I don't want black fingers on people demoing like my current sample does. Lol. "Is it lead" comments great for bunisess.

I'm back with my tail between my legs. 4 manufacturers in a row. 4 have let me down. They said they could get me enough samples for NAMM and every few days I get another "we can't do it in time" response.

Gah. Does anyone know any manufacturer that can recreate a 50-100 samples the size of a Guitar pick from a 3D model? I can get them done via my contacts at a price I can make money at...but not in time for the largest music industry show in the world :-(

Reply
01-24-2017, 10:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-24-2017, 10:13 AM by Thefyn.)
#7
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
So my initial samples were a disaster.

I went to NAMM and got the samples handed to me the same day and they were way too harsh/grating/damaging. Probably 70% heavier than my sample and way more friction. They were standard stainless steel.

They DESTROYED strings. After one min of playing they revealed a new layer of shine on every string type I tried them on. As if I took an emery cloth to the string.

The "wave" which was supposed to glide over strings caught/snagged on them. Hampered fluidity and control.

After spending 20 mins on each pick with a sharpening stone and various grades of sandpaper I got them usable for solos but ryth was a no go.

I need suggestions for light soft metal which has a slick surface without residue. I really appreciate any realistic cheap (not bleeding edge) readily available alloys etc available in China.

It's time to admit defeat as to the longevity of my pick and concentrate on a softer/lighter mix that sounds/plays/glides like my prototype but does not cover the users fingers in grey powder/swarf from the friction.
Reply
01-24-2017, 03:12 PM,
#8
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
(01-24-2017, 10:08 AM)Thefyn Wrote: So my initial samples were a disaster.

I went to NAMM and got the samples handed to me the same day and they were way too harsh/grating/damaging. Probably 70% heavier than my sample and way more friction. They were standard stainless steel.

They DESTROYED strings. After one min of playing they revealed a new layer of shine on every string type I tried them on. As if I took an emery cloth to the string.

The "wave" which was supposed to glide over strings caught/snagged on them. Hampered fluidity and control.

After spending 20 mins on each pick with a sharpening stone and various grades of sandpaper I got them usable for solos but ryth was a no go.

I need suggestions for light soft metal which has a slick surface without residue. I really appreciate any realistic cheap (not bleeding edge) readily available alloys etc available in China.

It's time to admit defeat as to the longevity of my pick and concentrate on a softer/lighter mix that sounds/plays/glides like my prototype but does not cover the users fingers in grey powder/swarf from the friction.

Hi Thefyn,
If friction and wear from the strings is such a problem, you need an antifiction material. It does not have to be a soft material. For example, molybdenum is an antifriction material despite a high hardness. If molybdenum is too expensive for you, there are softer alternatives of antifriction alloys. Apart from molybdenum you can test two convenient of alloy variants:

1. Cu-Ni-alloys (Cupronickel, Nickel silver) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupronickel

2. Zn-Al-Cu-alloys (Zamak) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamak

Zinc alloys are soft and cheap, but they will blacken fingers much more than Cu-Ni alloys.

Regards
Vadim
Reply
01-24-2017, 03:18 PM,
#9
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
(01-24-2017, 03:12 PM)Vadim Verlotski Wrote:
(01-24-2017, 10:08 AM)Thefyn Wrote: So my initial samples were a disaster.

I went to NAMM and got the samples handed to me the same day and they were way too harsh/grating/damaging. Probably 70% heavier than my sample and way more friction. They were standard stainless steel.

They DESTROYED strings. After one min of playing they revealed a new layer of shine on every string type I tried them on. As if I took an emery cloth to the string.

The "wave" which was supposed to glide over strings caught/snagged on them. Hampered fluidity and control.

After spending 20 mins on each pick with a sharpening stone and various grades of sandpaper I got them usable for solos but ryth was a no go.

I need suggestions for light soft metal which has a slick surface without residue. I really appreciate any realistic cheap (not bleeding edge) readily available alloys etc available in China.

It's time to admit defeat as to the longevity of my pick and concentrate on a softer/lighter mix that sounds/plays/glides like my prototype but does not cover the users fingers in grey powder/swarf from the friction.

Hi Thefyn,
If friction and wear from the strings is such a problem, you need an antifiction material. It does not have to be a soft material. For example, molybdenum is an antifriction material despite a high hardness. If molybdenum is too expensive for you, there are softer alternatives of antifriction alloys. Apart from molybdenum you can test two convenient of alloy variants:

1. Cu-Ni-alloys (Cupronickel, Nickel silver) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupronickel

2. Zn-Al-Cu-alloys (Zamak) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamak

Zinc alloys are soft and cheap, but they will blacken fingers much more than Cu-Ni alloys.

Regards
Vadim

Great info. Thanks. I think a softer material will help the manufacturer too.

Playability is my main concern. Is one lighter than the other?
Reply
01-24-2017, 03:48 PM,
#10
RE: Question about stainless steel and wear/abraison
Here is better to talk about specific strength. Although molybdenum and Cu-Ni alloys have higher density than Zamak (Mo - 10 g/cm3, Cu-Ni - about 9 g/cm3, zamak - 6,7 g/cm3), which are also much firmer. Ultimately, the high strength means that tool made from molybdenum can have the least weight, then comes Cu-Ni and most heavy is zamak.
Reply




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