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Thimble, Vintage Aluminum
Vintage Aluminum thimble
Excellent for all washboards. Best for brass, glass, tin, and zinc rub surface.

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Vintage Aluminum "Advertising" Thimbles
  • Lightweight
  • Budget Price
  • Guaranteed Accurate Thimble Size
  • Condition Varies: Some have been around the block a few times, some are shiny and have never been used.
  • Designs, patterns, and styles may vary
  • Slogans and ads may vary
  • Color treatment may vary
  • Your item may differ from photos.
  • Limited Supply: Order now—when they're gone, they're gone.
Why Choose these Thimbles?
If you want light-weight vintage aluminum thimbles that deliver a soft mellow tone, are kind to your washboard, rust-proof and corrosion resistant, then these thimbles are for you.

Vintage Aluminum Thimbles
Soft light-weight metal generates moderate tone

Makes your vintage zinc or tin washboard last longer.

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.

Vintage "Advertising" Thimbles
Aluminum thimbles were popular advertising premiums from the 1920s to 1950s. That's why almost all vintage aluminum thimbles bear slogans or ads. They are commonly called advertising thimbles among collectors. The thimbles typically feature slogans or ads for commercial enterprise, special-interest groups, political organizations and the like. Most aluminum thimbles were manufactured in the United States. Aluminum thimbles bearing slogans were also prevalent in Europe, especially England.

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.
aluminum malleable thimble 1

Over time, aluminum thimbles conform to the shape of your finger.

aluminum malleable thimble 2 aluminum malleable thimble 3 aluminum malleable thimble 4

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.

Save Cash
Are the thimbles you want out of stock? Looking for a really good deal? Check out the Bargain Bin.

Guaranteed Accurate Thimble Size

Welcome to the only shop that specializes in thimbles for washboard players - and guarantees the listed size accurate to within .5mm (1/2 mm) in diameter at the rim.

The thimbles described on this page might be imprinted in millimeters or proprietary sizes. Listed size was verified using digital calipers.

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

If your finger measures 50 mm, then thimble size is 16 mm (50/16).

Bottle Cap Washboard Gloves available now. Thimble style still in development. Watch for updates in monthly newsletter.

Item# Item Name Only Qty Add
V-128-01-0100-14.5 Thimble, Vintage Aluminum, 14.5mm
(Out of Stock)
V-128-01-0100-16.0 Thimble, Vintage Aluminum, 16.0mm
(Out of Stock)
V-128-01-0100-16.5 Thimble, Vintage Aluminum, 16.5mm
(Out of Stock)
V-128-01-0100-17.0 Thimble, Vintage Aluminum, 17.0mm
(Out of Stock)
Check the items you wish to purchase, then click

  • Domed Crown: Rounded top easy on rub surface.
  • Various Color Treatments: Colorful cheerful thimbles.
  • Lightweight Aluminum: Thimble does not slow you down.
  • Vintage Aluminum: Environmentally friendly and recyclable.
  • Relatively Soft Metal: Delivers moderate tone....gentle on any rub surface.
  • Guaranteed Accurate Size: Determined using digital calipers.

Technical Specs:
  • Style: Dome top
  • Weight: Varies from .028 to .046 oz (.8 to 1.3 grams)
  • Size Range: 14.5 mm to 17.0 mm
  • Composition: Solid aluminum or aluminum alloy
  • Manufacturer: Varies
  • Country of Origin: Varies

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