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Everywhere I go I find a pal

Everywhere I go  I find a pal Everywhere I go  I find a pal

Peter Weinschenk, Editor, The Record-Review

The thing about the coronavirus pandemic is that it is scary and depressing.

Even a simple trip to the grocery store is tough. One is worried about sickness and death.

That’s why I took some joy in a recent jog out into the country.

I saw a bunch of geese flying north, pussy willow buds starting to show, birds singing and a wood violet in a neighbor’s flower garden start to bloom.

Life! Spring! Hope!

One needs to see the good in a bad situation.

Somehow, we will get through all of this.


I am spending more time in my woodworking shop and, to tell the truth, it’s been good. I’ve been making progress on my archtop jazz guitar project.

On Sunday, I actually finished my ebony tailpiece, which was a huge undertaking. The tailpiece looks great.

This means I move onto a new phase of the guitar project, the electronics. This is another part of guitar making I know next to nothing about.

The general task is to solder wires to an endpin jack that connects with a floating humbucker pick-up that will be controlled by two knobs under the pickguard, a volume control and a tone control.

I have researched this part of the project left and right. I had to figure out what kind of wire to use between the components (22 gauge wire with two conductor leads) and what type of knobs to use (two 500 kohm Alpha flywheels) and how to hook up the tone control (with a capacitor).

There are things I still need to figure out. The capacitor issue is huge. What the capacitor does is cut out the high frequencies in a guitar signal. A less powerful capacitor (.022uF) will deliver a bright tone, while a more powerful capacitor (.047uF) will generate a dark, even muddy tone. Among capacitors with the same strength, there are still more options. There are metal film resistor capacitors, ceramic disk capacitors and oil drum filled capacitors. Guitar purists swear by one or the other. You can watch truly boring YouTube videos where somebody plays a Fender Stratocaster toggling between all three kinds and strengths of capacitors…and it all sounds pretty much the same.

The one thing that was easy in approaching the electronics was selecting a pick-up. Everybody pretty much uses Kent Armstrong handwound pickup suited especially for jazz guitars. I ordered one. The color was ebony black.

It will take a while for all of these components to show up in little packages and envelopes on my back porch. In the interim, my next task is to install, shape and notch the fretboard nut and to notch already constructed floating bridge. With those tasks completed (you use special files), I will be able to, at long last, string up the guitar for the first time.

That means my guitar won’t just be a collection of wood, carbon fiber, cellulose binding and glue. It will be a musical instrument. Fun!

Contact Peter Weinschenk at pweinschenk@