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Jonney Pick / Tommy Pick
Demonstration by Bill Epps.
August 18, 1999

Bill-Epps :

Good Evening Lady and Gentlemen: It is (me again Margaret") No it's Sharon. Bill's chomping at the bits to get started, so here we go.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

You start with a piece of 1/4" x 3/4" flat stock, and I make a mart then use the hot cutter and cut it. About 1" down I come in at a 45 deg. angle to the center of the piece then go down the center about 1" is plenty. I lift the cut part up with a dull punch. Then I use a radius punch at the end of the cut to smooth out the cold shunt.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

I draw out the tail until it is about 1/4" square, with a sharp point on the end. It should come out about 6" long give or take a little. Then come over the horn and start setting down the neck.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

We bring what is going to be the "hook" up and start drawing it out to a good sharp point. This should come out about 3" long. It is important to put that radius at the bottom of that cut or else you will get a cold shunt and the hook breaks off and that is embarrasing.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

Now we want to draw down in front of the hook about 4" to about 1/4" sq. Then we are going to cut off our bar about 1 1/2" from that step and start thinning down and drawing out the part that will actually hold the candle. You want to get this as thin as possible.

Bill-Epps :

Using the horn of the anvil as a bottom fuller and a cross pien hammer on the top we thin this down and draw it out to about 2 1/4" inches. put a slight curl on the end and bend it 90 degrees.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

Then we roll the thinned out end around to make approximately a 3/4" eye (to hold a candle).

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

It should look something similar to this. This is a piece that is authentic to the early 1800"s and before time period.

Bill-Epps :


Paul :

I know this as a "Tommy Sticker" Welsh miners used them down in the coal mine, and stick Tommies (english)

Bill-Epps :

The hook is used for hanging it over the edge of a beam or a chair so that the candle sticks out at a 45 deg angle.

Bill-Epps :

The point part is for sticking into the dirt wall.

Bill-Epps :

Yes the Welch call it a tommy pick, the Cornish Miners call it a Johnny Pick, and who knows what the english called it.

bbb :

how much do they sell for , bill?

Bill-Epps :

Buckskinners we know today put them in trees or hang them over a chair for a light. They sell for about $30

norm :

The old time fishermen used them stuck in a post in there fish shacks to see to mend nets at night

Bill-Epps :

Thanks Norm. We knew that everyone didn't have kerosene lanterns, so these things had to be used by folks other than miners.

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