Top: Three piece salvaged ash
Back: One piece cucumbertree, moderately distressed
Neck: Black walnut, with persimmon fretboard, compensated nut
Pickups: Dismal homespun
bridge~ Tele style, Alnico 2, 9000 turns, 7k ohms
neck~ P90/Jazzmaster hybrid, alnico 5 polepieces, 7500 turns 42awg, 6k ohms
Bridge: Callaham, 3 compensated brass saddles
Tuners: Gotoh 510 HAP
Control plate: Custom, bakelite, with nickel silver overlay
Switch plate: Antique cast iron doorknob backplate
This ax is available at DestroyAllGuitars
Salvaged cypress top on one piece buckeye back
Mild birdseye maple neck with black locust fretboard
Seymour Duncan hot tele stack
Tone Pros wraparound bridge
Hipshot Classic tuners.
Available at Rebel Guitars
More license plates…
This one has a body made from salvaged yellow poplar barn rafters, with a bolt on soft maple neck.
Seymour Duncan JB/Jazz humbucker set,
Dismal Ax brass three saddle hardtail bridge,
Brass control and jack plates
Available at Rebel Guitars
This is a bridge I started designing a couple years ago; and after much tweaking and refining, I had a small run of them fabricated by eMachineShop.
Recently, I have been liking fixed intonation bridges for their simplicity and lack of excess hardware. Adjustable intonation bridges are nice, but I have had too many problems with the saddles rattling, even in very expensive models. The front edge of this bridge is shaped in a way that approximates the pattern of an adjustable saddle bridge after it has been intonated properly; but it is just a single piece of T6 aluminum clamped firmly in a pair of TonePros locking studs. Nothing moving, nowhere. I had these powder coated black to match the studs, but I will probably have some done unfinished, and maybe some in brass, as well.
Body: 4 piece beech rafter, chambered, with chestnut barnwood top
Neck: Black walnut, with osage orange fretboard, black phenolic position markers
Pickups: Dismal Homespun P90
neck: Alnico 5, 8500 turns
bridge: Alnico 2, 9500 turns
Tuners: TonePros/Kluson with bolt bushings
Bridge: Gotoh Tuneomatic
Bakelite pickguard, brass control plates.
“There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh.
This is a cute little chestnut that gets bandied about quite a bit, and most people seem to enjoy it.
I find it rather annoying for a few reasons, not the least of which being that I am a cynical bastard.
Mainly I object to the implication that the mud is somehow inferior in nature to the lotus, an inconvenience to be tolerated only long enough to witness the headline act.
When we were children, mud was a wonderful thing in and of itself, a source of endless joy and amusement; why should we now insist it poop forth lotuses in order to validate its existence?
A lotus is certainly a lovely thing, but its beauty is easy to see; and if we take this to be our standard of beauty, as we all too often do, then what disappointment when our mud produces no lotus, as is the case with most mud on this planet.
And what becomes of the lotus when its season is done? Does it ascend to some floral Nirvana to spend eternity in blissful Padmasana? No, it succumbs petal by petal to entropy, its Fibonacci perfection deteriorating into chaos, and returns to its lowly origin~ the mud.
Yes, I know the quote is not meant to be taken so literally.
As someone who suffers from chronic depression, I fully appreciate the metaphor of mud, and endure long periods of time mired in this murky state of being.
No, I do not enjoy it as I once reveled in my childhood mud puddles, but if all I had to get me through it were the potential appearance of a flowery conclusion, I would surely go mad.
You will note the absence of a lotus picture here. This is because the photos I use in this blog are ones I take myself in and about this little hollow. There are no lotuses here, only mud, and precious little of that at the moment.
So I am left to console myself with what beauty I can find in whatever unlikely places I might find it~ under rocks, on the trunks of trees, behind bushes, and in the mud.
Mud is full of beauty, though our tastes may not be accustomed to it. The miracle of life courses through it~ bacteria, larvae, diatoms, and countless other wonders. Our ancestors dissolved into it, and so will our grandchildren.
So many spiritual disciplines strive for enlightenment or transcendence, but seem to focus on obvious paragons of beauty as totems of passage through this world to whatever awaits beyond, while completely overlooking the myriad of beauty that lies in these places, often right under our feet.
If there is indeed some grand cosmic design set forth by some master architect, its reflection can be found as much in a single blob of mud as all the lotuses in India.
This is one I started a while back, and finally got around to finishing up. It has a couple minor blemishes from inattention while gluing the neck in place, which was the reason I set it aside.
The top is curly eastern red cedar, back is salvaged yellow poplar.
Neck is red mulberry, walnut and osage orange, with an osage orange fretboard.
Pickups are underwound PAF style, by Chris Carter.
Sperzel locking tuners.
Aluminum fixed intonation wraparound bridge.
This ax weighs about six and a half pounds.
When I first drove up this road fifteen years ago, it was dark. I had driven all day from Virginia to what was to be my new home in rural Tennessee, where I had never been before; and the rudimentary directions I had directed me up this gravel drive. It was very dark… and there were cows.
There were cows standing around in this alleged “road” on the middle of a fairly steep hillside, looking rather annoyed at the large grey non-ruminant with the glaring headlights. The word “shotgun” floated across my mind as I negotiated my way through them, and then an open gate to a dilapidated old cabin, glad I had not actually seen all of “Deliverance.” There were no Banjos, but I was rather hesitant to ask if anyone knew where “Sunfrog” lived.
As luck would have it, this was exactly where he lived.
I did too for several years before moving a half mile down the road to my current home.
Since then, I walked up and down this road countless times, and was always greeted with the same casual indifference by my bovine neighbors.
It was somewhat comforting to know that there was no crime I could commit in the outside world so heinous that I would be regarded as anything but a moving object that is not a cow or a car or a dog here. It was a very peaceful anonymity. Pastoral, even.
But now the cows are gone, as are the goats that also roamed the hillsides. The old man that owned them had become too unwell to live in his decrepit little farmhouse by himself anymore. He spent some time in the hospital, and was put in a nursing home. The livestock was sold off, and the big shaggy Pyrenees dog that watched the goats wandered up the road, found a cozy place to rest, and died there.
You could probably write the saddest country song ever about this, but I really hope you won’t.
This is the first time I have seen this land with no cows or goats on it, and it looks so happy.
The wildflowers have run rampant and carpeted the hillsides with yellow and purple, where before there was barely even any green left this late in the year.
If I had my way, it would remain like this~ running its wild course, going to brush and bramble, and eventually forest.
The old man would hate that. Folks around here like their land “cleaned off.”
Nobody ever bothers to ask the land what it wants.
It has been auctioned off now, and I don’t know what will happen to it next summer, so I am going to enjoy it all I can for now.