Monthly Archives: April 2017


I spent the day finishing a fence for a friend at work, the back fence. It’s just a couple prefab panels from Home Depot like she wanted. The challenge was getting two 6′ x 8′ panels in my truck, driving them across town and unloading them by myself. Slowly. It worked out, they’re up, 4 inch nails drilled into the 4 x 4s, one I planted yesterday with concrete. What to do with the left over fence cement, I filled a couple pot holes in my road home, why not.
I stopped at a friends house in town to drop off a ukulele I got at Sally’s before they shut it down, I miss it. An instrument for his daughter. I lowered the nut to improve the action, nice solid instrument.
Home, I made some chicken, rice and cucumber pickle for tomorrow’s lunch, a batch of chicken veggie rice soup. The laundry is folded.
I sanded the ebony inlayed dots on the maple fret board using my surface sander, then sanded them smooth with 220 and 320 grits. Frets next. I sanded the Doug fir sound board down, truing the 63 mm sound hole with sand paper, all to 320 grit. This is my second uke. The rest of it is mahogany. The arched body is Spanish heeled on the neck ready for top and bottom. I still need to cut and form the ribs. I really enjoy making instruments. And cooking.

Easter 4/16/2017


Happy Easter! Not much of a weekend as I had to work yesterday morning. I did sleep in a bit. In the afternoon I did my taxes, last minute but done. After that I took a walk to the river, it’s way different and strong yet. The slope we used to collect rocks above the fire pit is now a treacherous cliff over looking the water, washed out and cracked ready to break. The road is a gravel wash. There’s a beach further down stream now about where the path down comes out. Different, still beautiful. Vinkas are out in purple.

I brined a whole chicken last night, cooked a batch of spaghetti sauce and rented Rogue One on youtube, Hmm, you can rent movies.
I woke up this morning to a cold house raining outside so I roasted the bird just to warm up, along with some baked potatoes. I called Cathy, there’s a party in Oakland, I’m not up for it. I’d rather cook.
To town for Bucky’s coffee, green beans, mushrooms and a search for sorghum grain I couldn’t find. They had a mix at Big John’s, but I want to try popping it like popcorn. I bought some hardware to build a 5/8 saw arbor for the ukulele slotting blade I got from Amazon. I had to order bearing blocks, another week or two, but there’s time.
I ran into a coworker friend from previous work, Gary, good to see him, a fisherman.
Back home, I carved the cooled bird and cooked the carcass into a bone broth. I fridged the pan and removed most of the fat, made gravy with flour water, salty enough with the brine. French cut the green beans and went with a Japanese sesame and soy sauce recipe, wok fried. Work Tuesday menu for the lunch gang, brined roasted chicken, baked potatoes with butter, garden chives, sour cream, lactose free chicken gravy and sesame green beans. It’s good.
Next up, Pasta y Fagioli, my favorite soup. Bacon ends and pieces from TJ’s is a good deal, it’s just bacon, cut and fried up to crispy. Onions, mushrooms, carrots, some of the green beans, a zucchini quarter sliced, a celery stalk, garlic, garden herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage), a can of cannellini beans, macaroni noodles prepped separately, a squeeze of tomato paste and all that glorious chicken bone broth. Oh my, so good with sour dough bread to dip.
I chopped up the rest of the baguette and toasted a crostini batch with olive oil, salt, basil and garlic powder.
Laundry done and folded.
It would be cool to do some ukulele work, I clamped the neck to the sides jig and tightened it until the jig is flat not warped. I fitted the sides and cut a few small wedges of mahogany on the bandsaw for the inside, hand sanded to a chisel point to fit. These will keep the sides tight to the outside neck joint. Glue applied, fitted in. Wedges on the bottom to keep everything to the center line. To dry.
I’d like to add some dots to the white maple fret board. I dig out a black ebony piano key from the can I have Joe gave me, cut the ends square on the band saw and chuck it up to the lathe square jaw. I turn it down to a 1/4 inch and slice it up with a jeweler’s saw, six rounds ready to inlay.
I played around with the Raspberry Pi computer, checking on Youtube, it works, but is a bit slow on movies. I’m hoping to make it my bedroom TV rather than my tiny iPhone. Rpi won’t play Netflix easily but Youtube works. A work in progress.
Laundry folded, a good day.
Resurrection. Easter.


Wow I’m tired. I spent the weekend fixing fences mostly. I did a four hour stint of overtime at work yesterday morning. After that I went to Thuy’s (pronounced Twee) rental house to fix the fence in front. The big post holding up the gate with an over head trellis was rotten, I replaced it with new wood, though I cheated a bit by digging out the old post from the concrete and sanding the new post a little with the belt sander. It fit right in the old concrete shell. Getting the overhead trellis back on was a chore, using a 2 x 4 to hold it up and slamming a couple big spike nails on either side. That worked.
I removed all the pickets from the bad 2 x 4 wood section in front, replaced the wood and reinstalled the pickets with new nails. The side fence has a vine with flowers growing over it and rotten 2 x 4s, removed and replaced the lower one, enough for one day.
This morning I slept in and made a beef stew for lunches. I headed back to Thuy’s place with hedge sheers and chopped back the vines to get at the fence. It’s the neighbor’s plant, taking over on this side with an iron trellis bent over and flowing into half the yard. I chopped it back and bent the trellis straight. The stuff filled my truck this evening, a full green bucket of yard waste.
Now that I can see the fence, I had cut the 2 x 4 too short. Thuy showed up, admired the work, we checked out back and discussed the back fence. It will need a post here, I can use the old post from up front trimmed to fit. This other post will need a fence mender metal bracket sledged in and nailed. More fencing design to discuss at work. I head back to Home Depot for a 2 x 4 and some fence post concrete, cheap.
Returning, Thuy is still there. I cut the 2 x 4 to the right length by hand saw and hammer it in, replacing the pickets and one more I had prepared of redwood. It all looks good and will be better painted. I bought a quart of exterior water based paint/primer, the tenant can do that for a discount on rent. Paint is easy, unless you get elaborate. But a fence, Tom Sawyer comes to mind.
Thuy left. I walked around the block to the back with the post hole digger Kenny lent me. After a few shovels full I hit a rock. He also lent me an iron long rod with a digging chisel. I walked around and back with it. This is a good tool, heavy, but BAM, the earth moves loose. I’m wearing my heavy gloves so I’m OK. The two tools work well together and I have a good hole. There are some concrete tiles, I use one to cover the hole. This is a next week task, but it’s ready. I bring the truck around to pick up the tools and a sprig of mint that got knocked loose.
I cut out the sound board and back for the next ukulele today before I headed out. A little something, progress. I also cut a piece of mahogany from the boat stash to give to Wayne for a good guitar neck. I have two of these long, plenty for a few guitars or ukuleles, good to share.
I’m tired, but it was a good weekend, much done.