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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

My guitar made its first note!

After years of working on building an archtop jazz guitar from scratch, I was able, accidentally, to have the guitar utter what would be the equivalent of a newborn gurgling and babbling.

My current task is to shape and slot the guitar nut. That’s the piece of bleached bone that sits at the top of the fretboard and holds the strings in place. Slotting the nut is a precision job. It starts with positioning the lower and higher E string (the first and sixth strings) an eighth inch from the guitar neck. From there, you make equally distant slots for the remaining four strings.

While I tried to position everything, I accidentally hit the low string and a definite low note flew out of the guitar.

I was staggered. This piece of wood, metal, plastic and carbon fiber briefly, but wonderfully, came to life.

It will take some time before the guitar, now burbling like a baby, will be able to sing like an opera star. But it will happen. The next task is to nick out just enough bone in the nut to give me perfect, low action across all of the strings of the guitar.


So far, I have cut down 10 trees.

These aren’t big trees, just skinny volunteers that found places to grow on the periphery of a line of century old pine trees that form a windbreak on the western edge of my property.

A bow saw and some elbow grease is all I needed to take down these trees. Most of them are maybe 15 feet tall, but a couple span over 20 feet.

Some of the trees fell with a dramatic crash, while most of them, tangled up with other trees, came down slowly after I yanked on them for a bit.

The idea here is not to add to my woodpile. Instead, I have a project in mind. I want to make rustic structures.

My idea is to build two things. One would be a wooden enclosure for my blueberries to keep out pilfering birds but also browsing deer in the winter. I’ve lost crops of blueberries to both species. A second structure will be a two-cell compost heap.

The idea is to carve out tenons and drill mortises at the edge of these logs and join them together into a solid shape. I would then cover the structure either with plastic or galvanized steel mesh. (I wonder if plastic mesh can stop a hungry deer in the winter?) I want to, however, make these structures a bit artistic. I will create panels with smaller diameter branches to both beef up the structure but also add a bit of rustic design. I plan to follow the Winneboujou architectural style that you can see in some older, classic cabins built along the Bois Brule River in Douglas County.

My hope is that the deer this coming winter will see the new structures and be so impressed that they will leave my blueberries alone.