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Thread: Homemade Casein Picks

  1. #26

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Getting some much harder quicker drying results with the skim milk and 2 percent milk. Here's a cool one that I started about 10 days ago. Still shaping it but it feels pretty rock hard even without any poly on it. Makes the same sound as a blue chip when dropped on a table. More coming soon...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #27
    Orrig Onion HonketyHank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Just adding my name to the "Interested and Following" list. Thanks for the update.
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  4. #28
    Registered User dylanferris's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Brad, I'm curious how you are getting the different colors? Are you dyeing? I'm really curious about try this myself, given the fact that I've just gotten my first casein pick and love it..might be fun!

  5. #29

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by dylanferris View Post
    Brad, I'm curious how you are getting the different colors? Are you dyeing? I'm really curious about try this myself, given the fact that I've just gotten my first casein pick and love it..might be fun!
    It’s just simple food coloring. You can add it right to the milk pre-curdling or if you want a little more control and different colors you can add it into the curds when kneading them out. This one above is actually green but looks like a black truffle slice currently. Here’s a few more to show scale next to a blue chip tad. They shrink a lot so I am still figuring out that part. The black (green) ones are still being sanded and beveled. The little red one is all that made it out of the first red batch (the dog hair bonding agent was a fail). It is super small but like the other ones in the picture really hard and sturdy. I know some people like those super small jazz picks so will pass little red along to one of them. Personally I don’t know how anyone plays with them. I have passed a couple of the blue ones along to friends and people seem to dig them.

    You should definitely try it! Go with skim milk as it appears to harden a lot faster and get a lot harder. For the first week or so (until the moisture seems gone) I keep them pressed between two cookie sheets with paper towels on both sides changing them daily. Wait at least a few days to cut them into shapes you like and go a good chunk bigger to account for shrinking. Don’t sand until they harden a lot and when you do, go slow. I am using 80 -180 to get them down and bevel and then 800-1200 to smooth and polish. 1 cup of milk should make about 4 tad shaped sized picks. Maybe 5 if you like them slightly smaller. Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #30
    Registered User Mark Seale's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by bradinbrooklyn View Post
    It’s just simple food coloring. You can add it right to the milk pre-curdling or if you want a little more control and different colors you can add it into the curds when kneading them out. This one above is actually green but looks like a black truffle slice currently. Here’s a few more to show scale next to a blue chip tad. They shrink a lot so I am still figuring out that part. The black (green) ones are still being sanded and beveled. The little red one is all that made it out of the first red batch (the dog hair bonding agent was a fail). It is super small but like the other ones in the picture really hard and sturdy. I know some people like those super small jazz picks so will pass little red along to one of them. Personally I don’t know how anyone plays with them. I have passed a couple of the blue ones along to friends and people seem to dig them.

    You should definitely try it! Go with skim milk as it appears to harden a lot faster and get a lot harder. For the first week or so (until the moisture seems gone) I keep them pressed between two cookie sheets with paper towels on both sides changing them daily. Wait at least a few days to cut them into shapes you like and go a good chunk bigger to account for shrinking. Don’t sand until they harden a lot and when you do, go slow. I am using 80 -180 to get them down and bevel and then 800-1200 to smooth and polish. 1 cup of milk should make about 4 tad shaped sized picks. Maybe 5 if you like them slightly smaller. Click image for larger version. 

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    Brad - Are you making a sheet of material and then cutting them out or are you rough shaping and then drying?

  8. #31

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Hi Mark,

    On day one, I just kind of form them into a flat patty like shape about the size and thickness of a McD's burger, maybe slightly thicker. Each of those patties is in the pic attached here is about 2 cups of milk and 4-6 2tablespoons of vinegar and can ultimately be cut into about 4 TAD sizes pics (I said one cup above above but was wrong about that and cant figure out how to edit post). Don't worry about flattening anywhere near actual thickness. You basically get as much moisture out as you can pressing between paper towel sheets, but you don't want it overly crumbly as that will ultimately be unusable. Then a couple days later, once you've kept it pressed and draining more moisture out changing towels at least daily, it will be ready to cut to shape. I used a large leather triangle uke pick i have which is larger than a tad and cut around it so I have same general shape i want. you can also make a cookie cutter like mold and do it that way. Plenty of time to fine tune them down when sanding, so leave room for the shrinkage.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by bradinbrooklyn; Dec-16-2020 at 1:19pm. Reason: typo

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  10. #32

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Here’s the Panama Reds (2%). They seem sturdy enough to not need the poly coat, but I’d definitely recommend just sticking to skim milk. They dry much faster and harder. These are totally usable and sound and feel good though. Nice color too. Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #33
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    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    This post made for a fun winter break activity! I made one plain, small pick from my first batch of casein, and it turned out great. Quick tip, if your casein is crumbly/hard/won't stick to itself then just microwave it for a few seconds and it'll get all mushy and like silly putty for a bit. This seems to give diminishing returns and only works with fresh casein though, so try and form whatever you're making in the first or second try.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #34

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Reywas View Post
    This post made for a fun winter break activity! I made one plain, small pick from my first batch of casein, and it turned out great. Quick tip, if your casein is crumbly/hard/won't stick to itself then just microwave it for a few seconds and it'll get all mushy and like silly putty for a bit. This seems to give diminishing returns and only works with fresh casein though, so try and form whatever you're making in the first or second try.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Very nice and cool idea on microwaving the dry stuff. I've had the best results making casein patties (see earlier in this thread) on day one and then cutting with a pen knife a day or two later after some drying before it gets too hard to cut without cracking. I''ve been using this Lohana Ukulele pick as a (reverse?) stencil - it's a bit bigger the BC Tad shape so it allows me to get the same general shape I like while still accounting for shrinkage.

    https://www.amazon.com/Leather-Picks.../dp/B07KNJSD49

    If you play ukulele with picks it also has a kind of nice tone and feel to it.

  13. #35

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Green food coloring having nice effect...

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  14. #36
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    What about 30% vinegar? I saw a youtube video that used it?

    You guys are using regular 5%?
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  15. #37

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy Slaw View Post
    What about 30% vinegar? I saw a youtube video that used it?

    You guys are using regular 5%?
    yeah i'm just using regular rocery store white vinegar.

    might try lemon juice next.

  16. #38

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy Slaw View Post
    What about 30% vinegar? I saw a youtube video that used it?

    You guys are using regular 5%?
    yeah i'm just using regular rocery store white vinegar.

    might try lemon juice next.

  17. #39

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    I'm intrigued by this thread and was just wondering -- if drying the shapes out is important (obviously!) but it can take a while, might it make sense to put them either in a tub of white uncooked rice, which I believe is supposed to work as a great dehydrator, or with some silica packets like most of our guitar effects and other electronics come with? Would that help to both dry them out faster and probably dry them out more? Isn't the goal to get this stuff (at whatever step in the process is best) as dry as it can be?
    Pretty cool stuff, folks...

  18. #40
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    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    I will stick to baking bread and just buy my caseins !

  19. #41

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    I made a set of picks as an experiment. I got one pick finished, it's thicker than I wanted but the shape and bevel are good. I have a lot of voids in the material, if I could get rid of the voids it would be a great pick. I made it red so it would be easy to find when I drop it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  21. #42

    Default Re: Homemade Casein Picks

    I know this post is a little older, but I was recently researching casein and was wondering why casein always looks off white and chalky when people make it in videos, but have seen guitar picks that are clear or have vibrant, pearloid colors. So I started searching for clear casein because I assumed that it would have to be clear to get the colors that Red Bear and other casein pick makers are getting and ran across this informative video of what seems like a scientist of some sort working with casein. He basically says that it eventually becomes clear once you purify it enough and explains in pretty good detail how to go about that. I imagine, this is how you make casein that is good enough quality to make proper guitar picks, or at the very least, it's on the correct path. He also links an old book on casein, how to make it, and how to work with it. Let me know if this helps anyone!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnXGZKCrktE

    The book can be found here: https://archive.org/details/caseinitsprepara00scherich

    It can be downloaded by clicking the circle with 3 dots on the left side of the page.

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