Sunday, February 15, 2015

Nice Weekend

It was a thoroughly nice weekend here.  Weather was on the cool side, but drop-dead gorgeous.  Clear blue skies, breezy, (too breezy for a small boat) high for the day in mid-60s yesterday and almost 70 today.  It was about 40 when I got up yesterday, and that's the coolest morning of the year so far.  We ordinarily have a few days every winter in the low-30s if not upper 20s.  Not this year. 

Yesterday was the Orlando Hamcation, which we go to every year.  Didn't get much, but I ran into a guy selling a Canon 35 film camera with a lens I'm interested in, and Speedlite flash.  I got the outfit for $25; the "nifty fifty" (50mm f1.8) lenses are going on eBay for $80-ish.  I don't know if the camera is any good, since it needs a special lithium battery, but the Speedlite didn't power up.  I don't have much interest in going down that film road again so I don't know if I'll even get a battery to try it.  Aside from that, a few little odds and ends; LR44 batteries, some heat shrink tubing.  In other words, not much.    

Today, I got to spend the day in the shop.  I built the new butt/handle for the replacement fishing rod, taking the chance to use the new lathe to make it a bit easier on myself.   That linked article has a picture of the rod butt and while it's hard to see it in that pic, the handle is three pieces of EVA foam with the reel seat in the middle.  The rod is tapering over its entire length, but the bottom end is about 1/2" in diameter, while the top of the handle is around 0.475.  The EVA comes with a 1/4" bore in it, and pushing a half inch rod blank through that hole is neither easy, pleasant, or a good thing to do.  Most guys enlarge the hole with a round wood rasp (file); I enlarge the holes on the lathe with appropriate undersized drill bits.  The reel seat is mounted on top of a plastic foam that's very delicate, and ends up getting a nearly half inch hole down it's length until what's left is a tube about 4" long and maybe 1/16" thick.  While the EVA will stretch a bit, this stuff snaps if you look at it funny.  I broke the one on the original rod badly and made the effort to make sure this one survived the machining, which it did.  By now, the epoxy is set and it's a permanent bond. 

Finally, I got to stain the guitar body.  I got Honey Amber and Red TransTint dyes from Luthier's Mercantile, and while you can use those as alcohol based or water based, I went with water.  I'm not sure I'm done with it  The red came out looking too orange-y, (and to make matters worse, the colors in this picture match pretty poorly). 
The flame maple on this kit is pretty good.  My thought was that if the kit was good as a guitar body and the wood was pretty, I can always put a different set of pickups in it.  The back and neck of this kit are mahogany, so I'm going to stain it a reddish brown.  You can see the blue painters tape I masked around the sides with in this picture. 

Any day I get to spend in the shop making things is a good day. 


  1. Anything you put over the top of that stain is likely to change the perceived color at least a wee bit.

    Lots of dark red 335s out there, I like the color.

    Can't tell a whole lot from that photo, but the bindings look good,.

    What pups are you dropping in there?

    I happen to have a spare set of SD Vintage Blues, which I didn't use in the last rebuild, went for the four-conductors instead.

    All yours if you want 'em.

  2. Bill - I was planning on just building the kit for now, but thanks. I'll try to remember that. It came with someone's generic pups. (It may say somewhere, but I don't recall seeing it). I figure if the body is reasonably good, I can add Grover tuners or better pickups or anything, really.

    As for the color, I sanded it and re-stained it last night and it doesn't look as nice.

    Plan B (or C or whatever is last) is spray paint.