Monthly Archives: November 2016


A productive day. I made 4.8 lbs Meyer lemons into twelve 1 cup jars of marmalade. Same old great stuff with good color. I just thought up a good name for the stuff, Meymerlade, a new brand name, copyright that.
So yesterday (after chopping lemons to pruned fingers) I glued down the nut on the bass guitar. I didn’t use a shim yet, try it raw. First I filed in the notches using Wayne’s spread sheet to calculate equal distances between strings. These bass strings are large so pretty big notches down to a half string close to the size. I glued it in with carpenters glue, just a drop on each end as Chris up North recommended. That way I can get it off if I need shims.
Today, I strung it. As I just researched the proper way I didn’t do it right yet, but I got it connected well enough to get it to play without cutting strings. Some of the frets were buzzing, I filed them down to get a clean tone. Four strings on, I can play it, well sort of, picking out a key. It’s not in tune, just by my ear to get it working, tuned to the fifth fret. But it plays for the first time. This is amazing. I built a guitar and I can crudely play it. A year in the making, it makes music! Wow, well done. I need to add a couple buttons for the strap to be turned of rosewood. I need to restring it properly with the end inside to a fair length. I need a slight shim under the bass string nut and the truss rod will need adjusting to compensate for the tension. But it plays and it’s beautiful. I made a bass guitar and it works. Wow.
I also fidgeted with the Figi cheap ukulele, adding one string. The nut shifted and has been re glued.
Marinated chicken tenders fried, rice and cucumber marinade for lunches. Beef stew yesterday.
Meanwhile, reading the audio book ‘North Water’ by Ian McGuire, a good read gifted by Ran and Shelly.
A fine long Thanksgiving weekend. Of course the smoked turkey turned out perfect.


Yesterday went well though it was a bit soggy cooking in the rain. The turkey did fine, I was the wet one. I did bring a rain coat and large umbrella that helped.
On the way there I stopped at the boat to try to put a board under the cockpit hatch. The rain was really coming down. When I plugged in the electric drill, I had no power. I don’t know if the rain shorted it or what. The breakers wouldn’t bring it back on. The pump is even down. I had to give up. I’ll get it Thanksgiving. I’ll call Matt the harbor master tomorrow to get the power back up.
To Cathy’s at 2:00 on time. I cleaned out the grill, still had hickory chips from the last turkey it cooked. I carried it up the stairs to near the front gate to keep the smoke out of the house. It worked perfectly as the wind blew the smoke out into the park. Near the end I opened the gate as a guy with a couple dogs walked by. He took a picture of the bird, wow. Good idea, so did I.
Everybody showed up and the party was wonderful. Bird and all the fixings, so good. Conversations of politics (oh no), new movies, books, languages and where we’ve all been. Shelly and Randy gave me a new book on CD, “North Waters” by Ian McGuire, a whaling story I think. Tested today, it plays fine. I drove home in time to feed a hungry cat.
Today the rain quit, beautiful. Cathy gave me the turkey carcass, put on to boil after removing the viscerals and breaking it up to fit in the pot to boil then off. Laundry in, to town.  Coffee at Bucky’s and Safeway shopping for … hmm, pasta fagioli would be good. Instead of bacon, smoked turkey pasta fagioli. I bought some of it, rounding it out at Shelton’s for better organics. They have Duncan’s mushrooms, I missed him at the farmers market. I still have a chayote squash from last week in good shape. I should have peeled it.
Onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, garden herbs, garlic, the squash, cauliflower I have, cabbage. I picked the bones of meat and added the slices white and dark I brought back. Two cans of TJ’s beans, cannellini and pintos, some mashed. I cooked the farfalle noodles in a separate pan of water and added them in last. A huge batch in my giant dog bowl shaped pan. Wow, this is a lot of soup. A handled bowl full. Oh wow, this is some of the best soup I have ever made. And I have a lot. I filled a large tub and put it on next door Jana’s table, sent her a message, “sounds delish” back. I filled up three pint jars with lids and put them in warm water to boil for a long time. I filled a large plastic ware tub for the work gang on Tuesday. And ate the rest. Yum, this stuff is so good, Smoked turkey bone soup pasta fagioli, my favorite but so much better.
After that I worked on the tenor ukulele build. I assembled the MDF mold with the nails. I rounded the neck and tail blocks to match the mold profile marked with a pen and sanded on the drum sander to fit. I fit the sides into the mold and marked them to be cut using the small machine square. I’ve decided to make a conventional mortice and tenon neck joint. That’s as far as I got.
I remembered I need to make a nut for the cheap Fiji ukulele I bought at Sally’s. I cut a piece of mahogany to match the old busted nut width a little wide, sanded to size. I arched the bottom to fit into the old groove and sanded the top to a nut profile chamfered. Using a paper pattern third folded to match a half I got an even pattern of four even marks. Filed in with the outer grooves angled in to keep the outer strings in place under tension. I’ll need to glue the nut in before I can string it to keep it in place. I finally found the strings after a search. It’s good to practice on this cheap instrument before I go for the bass I’ve been working on building for a year.
As I was cutting the nut, I heard a voice. Removing my ear muffs, John across the street showed up. Asking if I could move the old Nissan pickup so he could get deliveries from the big trucks. I found the keys but it wouldn’t start. He can move it tomorrow with his helper, keyed to steer. He gave me a bottle of his choice zinfandel. I gave him a jar of soup., good trade. Thanksgiving wine.
A fine day indeed.


I did a little work on my ukulele fret board today, filling in the piece that broke out with a new piece of rosewood. Tricky as the replacement part broke, I glued it all together with super glue and wood glue for the little piece, then more superglue to fill after sanding some dust in. It’ll be fine.
I visited my friends Joe and Cat, pulled some weeds, found some wood, skipped the boat, good time.
I made a batch of butternut squash soup when I got home, dairy free as Alan is lactose intolerant. I used chicken broth so it’s not vegan. I think I’ll take the batch to work for Tuesday potluck lunch.
I also checked out the string action on the bass with a piece of cotton string. The bone nut is really close once I file in the string slots, it needs a shim. I found some nice thin walnut stock at the door store near Joe’s place and have cut a piece to fit. I’ll need to glue it, maybe with pins to hold it in place. The minor details continue.


A good day. Coffee and Farmers Market for the usual. Salvation Army was a few scores, a big 1/2 hp motor, a funky little ukulele needs strings and a new nut. I decided to go back later and picked up the other motor, a 1 hp. They had a chair just like the other wooden one I bought you for Raven, score. It’s a darker color but the same style. We could paint them both black to match the table. So we have four chairs for customers, two and two or a group. Reminds me, I need to weld that table, remove the legs and gas weld it so not to burn the top.
I made some mushroom soup from Duncan’s crimini mushrooms with butter, onions, chicken broth, a garni of thyme and heavy cream. It’s glorious.
I also made a big batch of beef stew. I quartered the small onions from Steve, big pieces, carrots, red potatoes, mushrooms, celery, O cauliflower as I have some, garden green beans, garlic and herbs. I browned the beef a long time for a darker broth, mushrooms and a dash of wine to loosen the pan bottom, broth in for a long time on low to tenderize the beef as I headed back to Sally’s. In with the veggies to simmer.
Outside on the new chair, I glued in the bass frets with super glue on a needle with paper towel to remove the excess just one side. Up to fret 14, I checked on the stew.
It’s mostly done, flour and water to thicken it up, a little more salt. It’ll be good, in batches or the whole thing for the gang, not sure. I’m low on room in the freezer.
I finished gluing the rest of the frets in, they’re not all perfect, but I can’t rip out any more wood, it will play fine. I need to file the frets even next to do.
Joe called, I may be heading for the boat tomorrow to work on it with his help. Should be fun.