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Bla Bla Blacksheep

February 22nd, 2009

We started work on Bla Bla Blacksheep’s record today, laying down about 8 songs worth of drums and acoustic guitar.



Low View

The Jackson Re-build

June 22nd, 2008

I’m refinishing my Jackson, and in the process converting it to a hardtail-bridge, three-single-coil Strat format guitar. I’m doing a real hack job and I’ve documented half the process. Photos…

Before. HSS pickup layout and floyd rose bridge routing a la 90’s wannabe shredder rock. The hardware was cheap and stripped, rendering the guitar nearly useless.

Paint Stripping
I stripped all the paint by hand using a sanding block and 60-grit. Everything in my apartment got covered in dust.

Down to 120 and then 180.

I called someone I know who has a wood shop in Stevens Square to route out the cavities. I didn’t have a template and I’ve never used a router before, so the edges got fucked up. I just cut blocks of alder to approximate size to fit in the new cavities.

I used a chisel to remove the extra wood to fit the blocks, and accidentally knocked out a huge chunk from the back. I pried it out and glued it back in.

Adding Wood
Once the blocks fit (enough) I used a shitload of glue and clamped them in place one at a time, letting each side set for 24 hours. Then I used my dad’s belt sander to get it flush with the body.

I'm a Hack
I fucked up on the back. It got all wavy from me not holding the belt sander right. This is why I did the back first!

But I TryTo Cover it Up
I used lots of wood fill everywhere to get it even. This is my kitchen table. I eat here, pay my bills and shit, and now I sand wood here too. I’m questioning my lifestyle.

Sanded it again by hand with 120, and primed it with cheap rustoleum primer. Maybe it’s time to work on recording again.

It’s On…

June 1st, 2008

Since Friday I took care of some crucial errands and tasks to progress my extra-musical activities. First I got a package of shims and stuffed them into the rear cavity of my Washburn electric (the solid body I use most often–a really nice guitar that I vow never to drill a hole in.) Doing this helps transfer vibrations to the body and allows for better sound and sustain. I also took it in to Twin Town for a setup–its first professional
setup since 2000 when I bought it.

While the guitar was away, I made a decision: I’m going to completely refinish the Jackson. I bought three grades of sandpaper and stripped all the paint off the body this weekend, down to the bare wood. Tomorrow I’m going to a wood shop to do the routing. I bought a piece of alder to glue in, then I’m going to route the new single coil cavity. The whole thing will get a shiny new paint job in the end. So, no Telecaster hardware. It’s getting a Strat hardtail bridge.

The guy at the Youngblood Lumber informed me of a place down on Central (which I can’t remember the name of) that will plane wood for $30. So I got the big piece of Mahogany planed down and it’s ready to get cut as soon as I make a template.

Long-Term Projects

May 28th, 2008

I’ve taken some time off of recording and mixing, and I started a new job this week. Consequently, I have my head back in the in-progress auxilliary to-do list of my life, where each item has a price tag on it. Top items in random order:

  1. My Jackson guitar. I took this apart last year. My plan is to route out the tremolo cavity and seal it up with alder blocks and install a hard-tail bridge. I found instructions here. Then I’m converting it to Strat-style SSS pickup pattern (It’s currently routed for HSS.) I’m not sure how I want to do this. I figure I have two options. The first is to route out the humbucker cavity and plug that with an alder block, then re-route it for a single. The other option would be to use a Telecaster-style bridge, which would hide the hole. Basically I just want a single coil guitar, I don’t care about the cosmetics of it and I want the experience of working on it. My own router is going to be a $100+ investment so I may try to find someone who has one.
  2. Effects! I’m recording this record with stock delay and reverb from my amp, along with my Big Muff, and occasionally an old DOD distortion hooked up to a feedback box. I’m on the lookout for new things to throw into the signal chain, and also to add to my keyboards, which I have all hooked up to feedback loops and circuit bent stuff. So I’m budgeting for a few things–these to start off:
    • Electro-Harmonix Memory Man with Hazarai - a delay pedal with 30 second looping, sound-on-sound and tap tempo, built in chorus effect pitch shifting and backward echo. It’s crazy. It was off my list because it’s a little expensive, ($215) but then I saw the video.
    • Electro-Harmonix Holy Stain - Distortion/drive with pitch shift, tremolo and reverb. This would be great for keyboards and it’s only $100.
    • DigiTech Whammy - That crazy solo Jack White does at the end of the Icky Thump song, that’s the Whammy pedal. You control pitch bends up to two octaves with a rocker pedal. I suppose you could also use it to “tune” an instrument to a song.

    I’m looking into multiple delay pedals, since it’s the effect I use the most and it would be nice to have one permanently hooked up to the keyboards.

  3. A slab of Mahogany - I made plans to build a guitar–a one-piece mahogany body with a Fender Jazzmaster-style body and pickguard, a Strat-type recessed jackplate, two SG-type humbuckers, tune-o-matic bridge, 25 1/2″ scale Fender style Warmoth neck. Transparent blue finish with a tortoise pickguard and gold hardware. The next step is buying tools. My plans may change once I get wood planed because I fear there are some internal cracks in the wood.