Monthly Archives: April 2016


Well I didn’t do anything on the guitar today. I spent the day cooking instead. Safeway Starbucks for coffee and shopping, and the dollar store. Forgot the bacon, quick stop at Big John’s, that, half pound of burger and dill weed. I stopped at Sally’s looking around, another guy had a dove tail jig, missed that. I found a nice small Pyrex lasagna pan and a scraper.
Home. I prepped some O russet potatoes, picked off the eyes and ringed them lightly with the knife, into the pan to boil. I saw online if you ring them first you can peel them easy when they’re cooked. Out in the garden for herbs, damn, the gophers have broken into my onions, right through the three layers of chicken wire. Not sure what to do about that, maybe the wash tub but I’ll need some more dirt.
Meanwhile, chopping herbs, tarragon and parsley aside for the potato salad, oregano, rosemary and thyme for the tomato sauce with a dash for salad. A really big garlic clove split for both. I chopped celery and a half leftover sweet onion for the salad. The potatoes done and cooled a bit. They did peel easier with the rings but not as easy as online, maybe because I boiled it not nuked. Chop the cooled potatoes, in a big bowl, celery and onions in. Sauce, mayo a lot, a small container of Greek yogurt, the dill weed, chopped herbs, garlic, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, some paprika. It needs something, oh yea, mustard, a big glug, maybe 2 Tbl spoons. Chopped olives with pimento, some capers, Larrupin’s mustard dill sauce to kick it up a notch. Oh yea, the hard boiled eggs, diced. This is good potato salad.
Tomato sauce start with onions, celery, a couple diced mushrooms in olive oil, herbs and garlic, burger, add the sauce, a small piece of star anise for a short time to sweeten it up. Cook lasagna noodles for ten minutes in salted water, drain. Slice up the mozzarella ball, grate the Parmesan cheese, careful not to cut myself. Mom always used provolone instead of ricotta, so I did as that’s what I have. A little sauce, lasagna noodles, cheese of mozzarella, two provolone, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce,  more cheese topped with the grated Parmesan. In the oven at 350 for an hour. Looks great.
On to the kabobs, I have a recipe online for teriyaki sauce with honey, garlic and ginger sounds good. I look up teriyaki sauce and make it with organic soy, garlic, ginger, honey and cornstarch. Extra honey, garlic and ginger to make the marinade, set aside to cool.
Chop large zucchini pieces, red bell peppers, chicken, beef, mushrooms,onions all soaked in the sauce in quart bags ready for skewering. The skewers are soaking in water. It’s ready. We’ll need charcoal, I just checked, not enough.
I’ll be meeting Raven in Sebastapol in the morning for coffee and a farmers market run. Perhaps some shopping around. A good day cooking.



Well I didn’t get a whole lot done today on the guitar as I spent time cooking. Last week we found peas growing in between the grape vines so today I grabbed a colander and headed out to one row. I filled the colander in half the row, hot in the sun. Mostly full ripe peas and a few early ones for snow peas. This is way more than I can eat (although, later). Neighbor Brittany was out, “Want any peas?”, “No, maybe Janna will when she gets back soon.”   Back in the kitchen I shucked them, pinch the round end and run a thumb down it. A separate small bowl for the snow peas. I got a lot of peas. A full shucked sandwich bag, another snack bag for Janna and some snow peas for Janna. That’s after I cooked a batch to eat now with butter and seasoning salt, yum. I put Janna’s on the picnic table not to set off the dogs and left her a phone message. I just went out and picked another colander full for folks at work, free food, they can shuck them. They’ll be plowing them under for nitrogen soon.

Lunch time late actually, rice with saffron and peas boiling, fried some mushrooms in olive oil pulled, onions pulled aside in a bowl together. Six chicken breast tenders, garlic and garden herbs mostly done pulled. Some flour and butter in the pan to brown lightly, rue, white wine to scrape the stuff off the bottom of the pan, thickening,  add water for a fine sauce, mushrooms, onions and chicken back in with more garlic and herbs to marry the flavors. Wow. I steamed up some snow peas for the side. Some for now, very tasty, and two tubs for lunches at work.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Tonto, cleverly disguised as a tea bag is up to his neck in hot water. A quote from my late friend Arthur, fitting. Meanwhile, laundry got done and folded. But hey, I took those peas, checking online for roasted peas, I put them in a baking pan with some olive oil (too much, paper towels after) and baked them at 350 F for more than an hour until they were crisp dry. Salt, garlic powder and some dry basil, these are good, smaller they fit a snack bag for the work gang, mind I could do these in easy. A batch of crostinis, sliced up a baguette thin with olive oil on a plate, salt, garlic powder, basil and Parmesan baked light brown dry.  We like these, the lunch crew and me. Enough cooking, lets do something on the guitar.

I removed all the hardware I could except the two humbuckers as they are wired under the inlay plates. I’ll need to tape them up for lacquer. I cut a piece of tracing paper trimmed to size and taped it to the face of the guitar. Using a pen I lightly traced the outline of all the components to form a fair pick guard pattern. Cut out with scissors and refitted, taped back down, I used more half tape to correct the pattern and mark corrections. It needs a little more trimming, but it’s in line fair. I marked the round holes to center, to be forstner drilled in the acrylic plastic.


Transferring all this to the black plastic and cutting it to fit will be another challenge on another day. I like the pattern.


Joe and Cat stopped by as I was just beginning on taxes, didn’t stay long. They brought a big artichoke plant in a large pot so the gophers won’t get it and a 12 volt LED light, very cool. Said they are out on a date, a bouquet of sage flowers, catnip and the other wasp trap. Off to Lake Sonoma.
3 hours on taxes got it done.
On the guitar, I removed the bridge pickup and sanded the rosewood glue off with 50 grit sandpaper, again with 100 grit, 220 and 320. I cut a piece of maple on the band saw and sanded it pointy round on the drum sander to fill the screw hole, just one. Tapped it in and cut it flush with the flush cut saw I’ve been using for the frets. Sanded it and the back of the bridge clean and screwed to the one hole. With the small square lined up to the center maple and hickory seam, I re drilled the second hole in the body, screwed in place and checked again for square. Removed it all and applied a light coat of yellow glue to the bridge. As the bridge holes are slightly larger the threads don’t engage so I can insert the screws and line it up and tighten it down to mate perfectly. I checked for square again, then clamped it, re checked. Cleaned the little excess glue with paper towel and the scale (metal ruler). It’s dry now, looks good.
The small ground wire hole is re drilled but I’m waiting to install it after the finish is applied. Problem, I will need to tape up the upper pickups for finishing as I can’t remove the wires threaded inside as the back covers are glued in place (besides, that was difficult to install). I tried the nickle ground bar while the bridge was off, it will fit.
I made a batch of meat loaf as the laundry dried and some more crostini toasts with salt, basil, Parmesan and garlic. Tasty stuff though the loaf needs salt, easy after.
A new LED bulb bought for the garage, a bit dim but it works. I may swap it for a compact florescent in the house.
A good day, much done, taxes in the bank soon enough.

Amber jewels, ctd.


imageA busy week for cart-related tasks…first, I stopped by the local crystal shop in Santa Rosa and gathered information about selling my items through the store.  Apparently not that difficult, but a 60/40 split…for a first supplier, I think it’s ok.

Also got in touch, finally, with the ladies at Hexenfest, an upcoming event at Isis Oasis in Geyserville, CA about vending opportunities for the gypsy cart.  The coordinator is getting back to me, but exciting!

And lastly, being today was a short visit to the cart, I only had time to work on a pendant, and included a past creation not yet photo-ed in the picture below.  Building up the treasures for upcoming sales adventures :}




Well I just undid it. We met at Sally’s, I found a nice tweed jacket, Raven found some cassettes for her car.

 I spent the day working on the bridge. I laid out a line on the body square to the edge of the bridge in pencil. I predrilled the bridge itself with a larger #15 drill twice in between the strings to fit the screw shank and countersunk them to fit the flat heads flush. I had to fudge the second hole angled a bit to get it centered as the bit wandered. Clamped in place but offset to clear the drill, I drilled the first hole with a smaller thread size bit. Screw in place, I moved the clamp and adjusted to the line. Drill the next hole, screwed in place. Alright.

I opened the electronics cavity after measuring the distance to the grounding bar hole to bottom edge of the guitar, marked, drilled with the largest number bit in my kit, not huge just under a 1/4″. I drilled the tiny wire hole with my #58 bit that matched the bridge ground hole.
I proceeded to thread the nickle grounding bar copper wire into the cavity. That was a mistake as the bridge still needs glue. The wire broke off anyway, I taped it to the counter and resoldered it in place. The second time it’s close to the right angle and position, it should work.
Raven’s been making amber and copper jewelry in the vardo.
We walked to the river and around in boots as it’s been a rainy day. Wow, there’s peas in the path, down the vines there are lots of pea pods. I picked a few to munch, to be revisited.
Time for Raven to head home with zucchinis. I boxed up the chicken soup I made for lunches.
I unscrew the bridge and glue it, re-screwed into place with water and towels to remove excess glue. Clamped OK. It’s been under for an hour, remove the clamp and measure with the square. Oh no, it’s not square, angled quite a bit. I get a wide chisel. There is a corner on the edge that didn’t get glue. It’s still early enough to wedge it off. I’ll just re sand the surfaces and re glue it square this time. I’m glad I caught it before the glue had fully set. Here is a picture just before I popped it apart.


I’ll need to fill the screw hole with some maple, realign and drill it right. probably re drill the thin wire tap. Be a good idea to fill that hole too so I don’t break any bits.

It’s a step back day, but I’ll get it right, I caught it on the edge of just in time.


ATT needed to fix my line. I worked on the guitar as I have the rest of the day off. I removed the components from the cardboard panel and placed it in the electronics cavity, marking the centers. I drilled the centers with a small bit to reach the outer surface. Using my new Forstner bits I drilled from the outside with a clean hole as Wayne suggested. A small 1/4″ for the switch and three more 3/8″ for the pots and jack. The wood is too thick, it needs more routing. Break out the router, remove the flat panel pattern jig. Tape the pickup wires out of the way removing the easy one. I routed it down measuring through to the front to get a good depth.
Once done, oh shit, the components have locating pins to keep them straight and I don’t have much room for pin holes. Measured and lightly drilled, one went through, filed them to fit. Oh well, the pick guard will cover it.
The components are in!
I need to remove them for finishing lacquer, but in place is good. I also finished installing the pickups, note the screws in place. There is a lot of fuzzy stuff from routing I need to cut and sand.
A trip to town for mail, some brass screws. I drilled and countersunk the back panel holes, larger on the cedar to clear the screw shaft. It’s in but needs sanding to remove the super glue.
 I did that too with 220 grit. Mostly there.
I considered the bridge, but that needs all surfaces ready to lacquer finish before I glue it and screw into place (with the new brass screws). I did sand the rosewood bridge to 600 grit in preparation. Much done.
A chicken thigh fry with steamed lemon asparagus and nuked buttered potato for lunch tomorrow, Freija’s day, Friday. Back to it after taxes I need to file this weekend. A productive guitar day half off.