Wednesday, April 25, 2018

And now I'm a Luthier

40 years ago me and John Boggs walked into the office of a job site where we heard they were looking for guys to build a huge apartment complex. The man asked John first " you a laborer or a carpenter " ? and John responded that he was a laborer and got $10.00 and hour. When it came my turn I said I was a carpenter and got $15.00 an hour. As we walked out to the truck Boggs gave me a bad time about misrepresenting myself and told me I wasn't no carpenter....well, I said " you're right John, I'm no carpenter....but I will be when this job is through ".  (mmmm, well I actually got fired but that's another story).

So, me and MPeasy have been planning our road trip to Mexico next year and I decided that the new Crafter guitar that I got for a steal at a garage sale is the one I should take but it doesn't have a pick up and pre amp built in it like I need for entertaining. So I ordered a Chinese Fishman Presy and made myself a nice clean Luthier's table and went to work...It takes a certain kind of guy to cut a hole in a $500.00 instrument. But with the help of YouTube and not being a scaredy chicken I jumped right in. Here's my work bench and the pre amps installed template that needs to sit just right to fit the contours of the guitar.
So I get my tape on there to keep the splintering down just like I learned in carpentry with cutting doors. Then I ruled out using a jig saw, then I scratched around with a Stanley knife and realized I needed to speed things up because salmon season is coming so I tried a drill and basically this thing is starting to look like the last chapter of whats the use. But I finally get it gnawed through and this is how it looked.
That's why they have blanket over the door to the work area at Whitey's Music Store, nobody needs to see their  guitar like this, people like us love these objects and it's hard to see the ones you love being tortured....but with the help of a Dremel tool it looked like this.
Of course I also drill a 15/32 hole in the end pin for the jack to go through and another 1/8 inch hole in the bridge for the piezo pick up to come through and ride under the saddle but those were nothing compared to the pucker factor of the pre amp. Here's the unit set in for fit.
So you can see, done deal. I trimmed the saddle to keep the proper intonation, installed by 12 volt battery and restrung the guitar and walla...Chris asked my why I was so stressed about this one little project. I said it was kind of like drilling a through hull fitting on your better be right because you only get to do it once. Here's the finished product, isn't that a gorgeous guitar. It's just what I need for the road as I'd hate to drag a my Martin around and my old Takamine that's helped me more than any other guitar I own deserves to stay home safe and sound. Tonight I'll play a song on it and add it to this edition of Mile 14
Everyone in town is talking fishing season, what a culture of fishermen we have here in Slowdotna. The other day I was at Trusty and this jumped out at me...Is there another place in the world that would dedicate and entire end aisle to a Herring Oil display ? AND you can get it in either 1/2 or full gallon jugs, none of those sissy 4 ouncers around here.  mmmmm, gotta get me some of that stuff.
The first person I saw on the river this season was of course the Park Ranger...and hey, I'm not going to make fun of him, he was just doing his job keeping order and displaying the long arm of the law....but the second guy was cooool.... I heard him cough a bit so I looked out from the house and saw him paddling by. I thought it was a friend of mine so I grabbed a beer for him and jumped on the 4-wheeler figuring he'd stop at the launch but I got there just in time to see him disappear around the corner headed on can just barely see him with my telephoto fully adjusted.... It's the season, amen.