Making Glued on Fingerpicks from ping-pong balls PDF Print E-mail

Gluing ping-pong ball pieces as fingerpicks?  Yes, it does sound weird.  Real weird; but it works great!

Knowing about this could save you in a pinch.

This section explains how to make "integrated fingerpicks" from ping pong balls.

Ping-pong ball material will turn your fingers into fingerpicks strong enough to stand up to steel-strings when fingerpicking, while retaining whatever shape and angle of attack is preferred.

(Note: The author uses glued-on guitar fingerpicks made of lexan rather than ping-pong balls. Be sure to see the section of this website that explains how to make lexan fingerpicks for additional info, such as ideal ways to work with superglue).

The ping-pong ball reinforcement will only cover the upper 1/5 to 1/3 of the nail, leaving plenty of room to breathe, while providing enough surface area to adhere to.  

You can easily pry the ping-pong material off with the fingers on your other hand.

Covering less of the finger minimizes the visual impact and may draw less attention. You want to try to find a balance.  If you cover too little surface with ping-pong, material the pick may be more prone to coming off. But covering too much may not allow the finger to "breathe".



Ping Pong ball cut up

1. Get a ping-pong ball (choose color you can accept) that you will put on the upper part of   three fingerpicks on one hand) 

2. Use the scissors to poke a hole in the ping pong ball, and then use the hole as a starting place to cut the ping-pong ball approximately in half.

3. Cut off a sliver of the ping-pong ball half about 1/8" - 3/16" tall and wider than your finger.

4. Cut the sliver down until it is about 150% of the width of your finger.

5. Use the tweezers or needlenose pliers to gently turn down the edges of the ping-pong  ball material and curve it, so it will match the arch of the top of the finger approximately.

You now have a crude guitar fingerpick!

Ping pong ball cut up and shaped

6. Test fit it the piece until the arch of the ping pong ball sliver matches the finger shape as shown in the pictures, and and the ping-pong ball piece's edges head down toward the crevice on both  sides of the finger.  Don't worry about shaping the tip yet.

 Positioned ping-ping ball tip 

7. Take the thick cyanoacrylate glue (gap-filling superglue) and put a thin layer on the top 1/8" - 3/16" of the nail, and glue the ping pong ball tip on.

WARNING:  Be careful not to use too much glue or to get it on you, or glue your fingers together. Be careful not to get the super glue in your mouth, eyes, nose, ears or hair, or any other sensitive part of your body, and be sure children cannot get to it, and that   other people will not accidently mistake the glue for something else or get it on them.  Use the glue sparingly and position the ping-pong tip until it extents a little beyond the tip of the finger.

8. When the glue dries use the emery board to create a curve at the top of the ping-pong pick that matches the finger approximately,   then use the emery board on the underside of the the pick at the plucking surface to make a sharp angular bevel.  NOTE: The picture is of an Alaska pick tip glued onto finger (notice top curve)

Single Alaska Tip

9. Run a small bead of glue on the lower edge of the pick to smooth the ridge and increase adherence. It can be filed smooth later

10. You can file the glued-on Alaska pick's top face to smooth down.

11. Repeat steps 7 thru 9 on all three fingers, except pinky.

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