Fortunately, TK hasn’t had time to work on any fabrication other than guitars lately, so when the owner of the “It House” wanted one of our Concrete Planters, he was happy to oblige. Even though it snowed in the desert last night, we’re already thinking about Spring, warm weather and what we want to accomplish in the yard this year!
I finished up this pickup over the weekend and am pleased with the way it turned out. To avoid any hassle I’m going to say it’s a replica but I won’t say of what.
I will say it features a cast aluminum housing, 40AWG wire, alnico magnets with the same great sound as my blade pickup.
I’m thinking of making a batch of these to sell if there is enough interest. The price will probably be close to my blade pickup (sans walnut spacer). So if you or anyone you know may be interested in one or a pair, shoot me an email.
Here are a few photos of the two finished Smith Special guitars that I’ve been working on for a number of months. I started mine over a year ago. When Hiro sent his Kay, I decided to build both guitars at the same time. I refinished the body on mine and Hiro’s has the original finish. You can see the process of both here. Hiro’s is finally ready to ship to Japan and I can just enjoy mine for now.
For a while, TK’s been fabricating a new work for Andrea Zittel called the “Workstation”. It’s a functional piece of furniture made to go between two home offices and holds the printer, other electronics, files etc. We took a road trip this week to Yountville, in the Napa Valley to install it. The trip took an entire day to drive there, a day to install and a full day’s drive back. The location was an amazing Winery that features not only great wine, but some of the most beautiful and interesting architecture we’ve ever seen. The vineyard has a long, rich history in the area and the current winery was completed in 1997. The home on the property, where the installation took place, and which you can see in the upper left photo above, will be finished this fall.
Considering that the piece was disassembled before it left the shop and then reassembled on site, everything went really well. When we arrived, the contractor said, “don’t scratch the floors and do not touch the walls around where the Workstation will be installed”! The walls are covered with a very thin, fragile white paper. I gave TK a look, both of us knowing that if he even slightly touched the walls while moving the piece into place, we were screwed. TK can get a white surface dirty from just looking at it! We joke about it constantly.
The Napa Valley, being known for great food and wine, certainly delivered. Our typical workday consists of Cheerios for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch. On this trip, we ate breakfast at the Oakville Grocery, lunch at Redd and dinner at Oenotri. Not bad! We would never normally stop in the middle of the day for a lovely lunch with great company and great wine, but if we lived in that part of California, we could get used to it.
We are fortunate to have numerous projects going on in the shop right now. This week is one of those times when everything is in the “middle” of the process and nothing is complete. We thought we would share some photos of a few projects, where they’re at up to today. Included are a Kay Guitar modification that’s just getting started, a Tele modification, some custom pickguards/inlay that are almost finished and a few fabrication jobs for artist Andrea Zittel. As each job reaches completion, we’ll post final photos. There is always some discovery or learning that occurs with each project so for us, it’s fun and beneficial to look at photos throughout the process. Hope you like it too!
After many months of testing, I finally have a limited quantity, small batch of Pickups available for sale. The Blade Pickup is $340. USD plus shipping, and the adjustable Pole Piece Pickup is $325. USD plus shipping. I’m really happy with the way they sound. The Blade Pickup sounds very similar to a Charlie Christian and is excellent for jazz chords and single note playing. The Adjustable Pole Piece Pickup also sounds like a Charlie Christian but has a slightly brighter sound.
I’m positive that if you play swing, bop or country jazz, you’ll be happy with either one of these pickups. We guarantee it!
Available in our Store now
I recently picked up a copy of Ashley Kingman‘s new EP, Guitar Blasters Vol. 1. It had a great photo of a well used amp cabinet that I built 20+ years ago. I originally made two cabinets, one for myself and the other for Lee Jeffriess. Lee didn’t end up using it so it landed in Ashley’s hands. He put a Vox AC30 in it and it’s been his main amp ever since. I like the way his looks now, after being on the road for twenty years!
In mine I used a modified Showman head. For detail, I used my late grandfathers belt. He had a carburetor business called “Summertimes” which was hand tooled on his belt. We have a great story about my grandfather Denny and his “53″ Buick that we’ll share soon.
Its nice to see that both cabinets have withstood the test of time!