Monthly Archives: January 2016


I did a little bit on the guitar. I sketched out the pick guard plastic on the paper covering, though I still need to trace the fret board and transfer it to the sketch. I should probably transfer it all to tracing paper and fit it before I even cut out the plastic, including the pickups after routing. I tested the router pattern on 2×4 stock for the upper humbuckers, it works with a chisel to square the corners. I need to move it up a little from the center to allow for the new bridge pickup, it will be alright. I also drew out the pattern for the new lower longer pickup on paper. I’ll need to add the offsets for the router plate.
I worked on the bridge ground bar in nickle, tried to solder one but it melted. I’m using pieces of Sky’s old bracelet stock, nice wire flat on the bottom. Hard silver solder is delicate. I have another piece and have cut the bridge to inlay it. Half way in, I’ve modified an Exacto knife for the rounded ends. I botched a little tiny on one end, a few layers of super glue to cover, it will be alright. I’ll solder two wires, a short one and a long one to ground the strings to earth ground to avoid noise. That will secure the nickle inlay wire with the the string tension as well. I’ll finish it when I have better light tomorrow.
Today I finished the inlay of the ground wire. I tried to hard solder it again, no luck, another melt down and not sticking well enough. Finally I used another piece and lead tin soldered it, just one wire to ground it, the inlay and string tension will hold it in place. I drilled the #58 hole through the rosewood bridge for the wire. I also re laid out the upper humbuckers in pencil and trimmed the router pattern down to get close enough to the fret board. Once I get the long pickup pattern made I’ll cut it in before I attach the bridge for clearance. I may need to add a little support wood pieces to hold the upper pickups in place as I’ve already routed out the back cavities. The long one has plenty of stock as I left some in for it.
I cooked a batch of broccoli cheese soup for lunches next week, onions and butter, celery, garlic, garden herbs, then flour for rue. Heavy cream a little at a time, thick, white wine, added O chicken broth to thin it some. Meanwhile the broccoli smaller stems and trimmed large broccoli heart steamed, added in, (steam the florets back) then blendered smooth. Back in the pan medium low heat with more chicken stock and add TJ’s Unexpected Cheddar small chopped cubes stirring constantly to incorporate. Add in the mostly steamed florets and reduce the heat to low as the broccoli cooks to perfection in the cheese broth. This is good soup, served with a half a bagget to dunk.


MLK day I’m off, bought a new router as the old one seized up, routed out the back of the bass guitar. Just a cheap Ryobi from HD.  I’ve rigged it with the plastic plate for patterning out the pickups.
The back is hollowed out enough to keep it light.
I’ll glue in two cedar panels and screw the last one in for electrics access. I may need to get some purfling to hide the gaps in the router cuts, make it better.
I also cut out a pattern for the pickups, clamped and drying.
A batch of beef stew and a chicken veggie with barley soup, set for lunches for the rest of the week.



We both arrived 10 minutes early and met in the parking lot walking in. A bit of Safeway shopping then Starbucks coffee. Raven bought a blossoming rose plant. Next stop Garrett’s hardware as Raven needs a screw added to her gear shift knob. I need a few screws for my router plate mount. We took the shift knob apart in the parking lot using my multitool to get the screw size, more complicated as the button and spring popped out. I want some new black rubber boots. With help from the store staff we got it, they have a screw size panel to find the right thread size, cool. Good new boots $10 off the list price, great. We got the gear shift knob back together with much difficulty.

Next stop Salvation Army. As I arrived I got a text and message, the button doesn’t work right, she bought a screw driver and fixed it. Cool. Raven found an overcoat and a pair of brown leather boots that fit. I found a car window cleaner, some big fishing weights, a few nick knacks. The new boots kept my feet warm and dry.

Home and hungry, we have lamb chops with garlic and garden rosemary, steamed zucchini and bread, simple but really good.

Raven makes a rune book with a burnt and water colored cover. The overcoat needs stitching and buttons.

I’m working on the guitar, the electronics cavity needs to be routed out. When I plunge the bit in deep I see sparks, not good. The carbide shattered too deep. Head to Bosworth’s, no routers, back to Garrett’s, they have one and some mini mag bulbs for my flashlight. Home again, we hook up my phone to the Altoids guitar amp I built and computer speakers with Amazon Prime music shuffle, sounds great.


Back to the router, I take smaller cuts and get the electronics cavity cleared out. Next I work on the upper side, a big section. I guess I took too big a cut, or this router has seen a lot as it slowed down and finally wouldn’t start up, the bearing shot. I bought this router at Salvation Army for $20, a Craftsman, built the vardo door, countless other stuff. I wonder if Sears will replace it. But a lot got done.


I’ll get a new router tomorrow as it’s a three day weekend much thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. Good man, fine day. Raven headed home to her Buddhist retreat house sitting paradise. That lamb was good.


I bought a new router, still haven’t cut anything with it. I measured it to my plastic extension plate with the brass collar. I bought 4 more new screws, 10-32 this time. Drilled and countersunk I’m accurate to about 1/64″, close enough for woodwork. I measured and cut a piece of birch plywood for a template, cut it out with my jeweler’s saw. Adding a coffee stirrer makes the depth right, but there is no way to clamp it and use the big plate. I’ll need to make another template with a longer piece of wood, countersunk flush holes and a back plate to hold it in place for routing. I won’t be able to use the jeweler’s saw as it will be too long, jig saw less accurate and a file should work. The router seems OK. I’ll make some cuts tomorrow. But I need the jig to cut the pickup holes accurately. I’ll use a piece of 2×4 to test to make sure the jig fits. A mellow rainy day, laundry folded and done.



I drilled the bass guitar bridge this evening, at work using the milling machine. It looks good. Here is a pic of the back inlays to cover the electronics and lighten up the hickory with the bridge and a pearl disk for the head emblem, probably my old English D. It’s really hard to cut with router freehand. I’ll need to inlay a border.


I talked to Wayne, he recommends a template for cutting the pickup cavities in front. I’ll research that.

But a lot has been done, the bridge is ready with holes the size of the wrapped strings. I plan on attaching it glued with a couple screws and pearl dots to cover. I’m ready to hog out material from the back hickory to lighten it up and provide electronics space. I have a prototype Altoids pocket amp with more parts on order using an LM386  audio opamp. It works great with Crosby, Stills, Nash playing through it. It has the mod for a bass amp and jacks 1/4″ input, 1/8″ output, a simple circuit with a lot of sound. I’ll leave it on the outside not a preamp, but it’s a good practice amp. I like it.