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Aluminum Thimbles for Musical Washboards—and folks who sew
Kind to rub surface, produces soft tone, won't rust. (Coming soon: aluminum thimbles in both standard dome and recessed top.)
Aluminum is a relatively soft metal. So aluminum thimbles are a good choice when you want to generate a mellow tone. Aluminum is also corrosion resistant, and won't rust. Thimbles made from brass, nickel and steel are harder metals that generate stronger tones than aluminum. But harder metals will gouge permanent tracks into the soft tin rub surface of a vintage washboard before you know it. Aluminum is softer than brass, nickel and steel. So aluminum thimbles are an especially good choice if you want that rare vintage washboard to last as long as possible.

Three Good Reasons to Choose Aluminum Thimbles
1. Rub Surface Lasts Longer
Vintage washboards sport a metal rub surface made from relatively soft metal such as brass, tin or zinc. That's why hard steel thimbles dig ruts into a vintage rub board so fast. But aluminum is a softer metal. So if you want your fine vintage metal rub surface to last longer, then choose thimbles made from a softer substance, such as aluminum. Likewise, the aluminum thimbles themselves will wear down faster than brass or steel thimbles. So like everything in life there's always a trade-off. But it's probably easier and less expensive to replace a few thimbles than a fully configured rare vintage washboard.

2. Generates Soft Tone
Thimbles made from steel or brass generate a louder "solid" tone on your washboard. But aluminum is less dense and lighter in weight. What's the result? Aluminum thimbles deliver a lighter "soft" tone. That's why so many musicians favor aluminum thimbles—because the sound is less likely to overpower your bandmates.

3. Fits Your Finger Like a Glove
Aluminum is malleable. That means it's soft. In fact, aluminum is so soft, that over time an aluminum thimble will conform to the shape of your finger (kind of like breaking in a pair of new shoes). Steel and brass thimbles will conform to the shape of your finger too. But not nearly as fast as aluminum.
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Over time, aluminum thimbles conform to the shape of your finger.

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Selection Tip
Aluminum thimbles are best for these washboards

Aluminum thimbles however, are not so great for steel washboards. A steel rub surface is significantly harder than aluminum and will wear down and ruin aluminum thimbles in no time. That's why we do not recommend aluminum thimbles for steel washboards, especially Stainless Steel.

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How Many Thimbles do you Need?
The number of thimbles you need for each hand is a personal preference. Most players use 3 thimbles (index, middle and ring fingers). Others add a 4th thimble to their pinky. Many prefer just 2 thimbles (index and middle fingers). Some players use just one thimble (typically index or middle finger). However, many players use 4 thimbles on their fingers, plus a large 5th thimble (typically 18 mm to 20 mm) on their thumb for a "full-house" of 5 thimbles. You can achieve greater musical color with more thimbles than less. But the optimum number of thimbles depends on the musical genre, type of thimble (wood, plastic, metal, horn), your personal playing style, and ultimately—what works best for you.


What is Your Thimble Size?
Download FREE Paper Thimble Gauge

In a Rush? Find Thimble Size Instantly.
Here's How:
1. Measure finger circumference
2. Find thimble size
63/20 61/20 59.5/19 58/19 56.5/18 54/17 52/17 50/16 47/15 46/15 44/14 43/14 41/13 40/13 36/12 33/11

Example:
If your finger measures 50 mm, then thimble size is 16 mm (50/16).
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Vintage Aluminum thimble Thimble, Vintage Aluminum

Excellent for all washboards. Best for brass, glass, tin, and zinc rub surface.

   
 
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