Rhythm Patch Heavy Duty Aluminum Dome-Top Thimbles
For washboard musicians...and folks who sew—in 9 sizes
Excellent for vintage washboards. Aluminum thimbles offer feather-light weight, a softer tone than brass or steel thimbles, extend life of rub surface, and resist corrosion. Rhythm Patch aluminum thimbles are marvelously thick and robust. Indeed, they are nearly double the weight of traditional vintage aluminum "advertising" thimbles.
What is a Dome-Top Thimble?
The head of the thimble is literally a dome. The striking surface is the curved arc of the dome.
What is a Recessed-Top "Quilter" Thimble?
The head of the thimble resembles a volcano with a shallow crater. The striking surface is the hard edged cylindrical crown. The name "quilter" is derived from the craftspeople who use recessed-top thimbles for making quilts.
Our tests reveal little difference in tone between the two. But the ridged striking surface of a quilter thimble seems to produce a slightly sharper tone than a domed thimble.
Which Should You Get?
Because of the tough crown structure, a quilter will probably outlast a dome-top. But the crowned edge will likely dig a rut into a vintage tin rub board surface faster than a dome. So get a dome-top if you prefer a softer tone thimble that is kinder to your metal rub board surface. Get a quilter if you want a slightly sharper tone, and a feeling of precise control.
Why Choose Aluminum Dome-Top Thimbles?
If you want thimbles that generate a softer tone than brass or steel; won't gouge ruts as fast as brass or hard steel into a vintage brass, zinc, or tin rubbing surface, then aluminum dome-top thimbles are for you.
Three Good Reasons to Choose Aluminum Thimbles
1. Washboard 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 brass and 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.
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.
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.
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
If your finger measures 50 mm, then thimble size is 16 mm (50/16).