If you’re reading this blog, the likelihood is that you’re packing more than a single Herco, so I thought it would be a good idea to talk storage. I’m not a vintage collector, but having spoken to a few, I can give a few basic tips in that respect. As I’m sitting on north of 600 picks (a trifle compared to the likes of Guy Devillez and Joe Macey), I need to store them in something, so here’s a few suggestions.
The Crown Jewels
One of the best investments I ever made was a set of 16 small boxes from the Really Useful Box Company. I bought this miniature shelf grid for £10 at The Range, which, for our non-British friends, is a big shop filled with cheapo versions of everything. They’ve got a big arts and crafts section, and when you’re collecting so many different brands, being able to store them in individual, lockable boxes means that you can label each one, or at the very least see what’s inside without having to spill everything out in a heap. Great for static use, and makes your collection look neat and composed.
If you’re looking to take your picks places and don’t want to cart around a bulky set of boxes, toolboxes and screw-sorting boxes are a definite plus. Having recently visited the Bristol Guitar show with a small box filled to the brim with picks, it doesn’t half make you look a massive length when you’ve got to empty the whole thing out in order to find the one you’re looking for, and having a bunch compartmentalised in a miniature briefcase doesn’t just make you look organised, but makes you feel cool (that’s what it feels like to me anyway). The application of stickers is optional/a must depending on your point of view, but I love the feeling of lifting the lid and gazing at my carefully selected picks like some sort of see-through mix-tape.
The Old Guard
In Will Hoover’s Picks!, the great man talks about the extremely thirsty nature of celluloid, and how it perpetually quests for moisture. This is very important, as if you’re getting into collecting older picks (something I’ve only very recently started myself), storage is incredibly important. I’ve heard a few tales of celluloid picks rotting in those sleeves that people use for baseball cards, which is down to them not getting enough air, and pulling in the moisture that’s immediately next to them. This can destroy your picks, so be careful.
Get A Bowl
I’ve been very lucky that my partner is into pottery, and she made me a bowl that can easily hold north of 50 picks at a time (this was not it’s intended purpose). I keep this bowl on my desk at all times, and whatever I’m currently into stays in the bowl. Often I’ll get a bunch of picks I haven’t spent as much time with and put them in there, so that I can make sure I rotate what I’m using. It’s an important matter – if you’re really racking the picks up, you’ll likely end up with 5 or 10 you use all the time. I’ve always loved having a working collection, so when I ignore certain picks for a while it makes me a bit sad. The bowl is a good way of making sure that picks don’t get neglected, and keeps your collection from sitting in a drawer or something gathering dust.
Charity shops carry all sorts of wooden boxes in lots of shapes and sizes, and as jewellery boxes are both plentiful and ideal for picks, this is a great way of making sure you don’t end up with a pile of plastic keeping your picks comfortable. I’ve got a really handsome box I keep all my horn picks in, and it feels like a real event when I open it. This also means you take your collection a little more seriously – it’s like having the pedals you’re not using in a specific drawer, rather than just tossing them in where you keep your towels and Sellotape. Treat your gear with reverence and you’ll always look forward to using it.
These are, of course, just my suggestions, so let me know where you store your picks, as I’m keen to know!