Sunday, May 27, 2007

10 miles on the Housatonic

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We thought we would try a little whitewater this week. Today we traveled up to Cornwall , CT where "Clarke Outdoors", a kayaking/canoing company, organizes trips down the Housatonic river. We opted for their longest trip of 10 miles and brought our own boats. We were joined on the shuttle bus by others who were there to canoe and raft the same distance. These are not guided trips so paddlers of all experience levels are sent out to make their own way down the river, which has flat flowing water and portions of class 1 & 2 rapids. Nothing very challenging but fun to paddle through. We rented helmets just in case one of those large rocks decided to tip our boats over. Five hours later we made it to the bottom in one piece, with a few new scratches on our boats and very little energy left in our arms. It was a good day and we'll definitely go back, hopefully when there's a little more water in the river.
We had planned to camp out tonight but we knew we would have problems finding somewhere on Memorial weekend. We visited two state parks and they were both full. It's probably a good thing because I don't think we would have been able to gather much firewood with our sore arms.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Guitar Build - Day 1

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Here is result after clamping the top wood together. As I mentioned this is bookmatched flamed maple.

The 2 pieces were slightly curved so they required a few passes through a thickness planer to get them nice and square. I ended up with the boards being 7/8" thick. Running each board through the table saw smoothed the edge faces nicely. A quick finish with a sanding block and a damp cloth to remove the dust. lay down some paper to protect the work surface. For gluing I used Titebond II glue and applied it liberally to both edges. After lining up the bookmatched faces I applied four bar clamps to hold the wood securely and provide even pressure. Excess glue was removed with a damp cloth to avoid chiseling it off later. The boards were laid flat on a solid surface and left to dry for 24 hours

Leave to dry for 24 hours and hope for the best......

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Guitar Build

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About a month ago I decided that it would be an interesting project to build a guitar. I have never tried this before so there are no guarantees that I'll end up with an instrument that sounds and looks good at the same time. My inspiration is the classic 1950's Gibson Les Paul style guitar. The carved flamed maple body is what sets this guitar apart and will probably prove to be one of the hardest aspects of the build. I have the majority of the component parts and I am still waiting for a mahogany body blank and a neck which will arrive partially built.

Two pieces of bookmatched flamed maple for the guitar top
Mahogany body blank (13"x21"x1.75")
Five piece custom laminated neck with truss rod and fret board
EMG Select Humbucker Pickups (black)
Gotoh Tune-o-matic bridge (chrome)
Gotoh "stop" tailpiece (chrome)
Gotoh key-stone style tuning machines (chrome)
Gibson shaped white bone nut
Jimmy Paige wiring kit for Les Paul
White Plastic binding (1/4"x0.9"x65")
Medium Fret Wire (6ft)
Les Paul Pickguard (black)
Les paul style Power jack (chrome)
Les Paul truss rod cover (black)
Gibson style toggle switch
Strap buttons (chrome)
Pickup mounting rings, plastic (black)
"Dome" Knobs, 6mm shaft (chrome)
1 concentric pot knob (chrome)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Neck River, Guilford, CT

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More kayaking this weekend. This time we stayed on the coast and headed for Neck river in Guilford, CT. This small river winds it's way through the tidal salt marshes before it empties into Guilford Harbor. It was a little windy but warm and sunny. Wildlife consisted mainly of birds: saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrows, sand pipers on the mudflats, ducks and osprey. We didn't go far, just about a mile up river and back.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Leah Sindique

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Congrats to Wendy and Hamilton
Arrived 13th May at 8.00 p.m.
Weight 7lbs 7ozs...and this is where I was when I found out

Monday, May 14, 2007

Kayaking the Mattabesset

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Jen bought herself a shiny new red kayak this weekend so it only made sense to take it out on the water the next day. We planned a trip along the Mattabesset river which is about 30 minutes north of New Haven. It's a quiet, slow, meandering river. Along the way we saw turtles, herons, a beaver and lots of felled trees that had been chewed by beavers. We paddled for about 2 hours and finished up on the Connecticut river.
More info on the river can be found here:
(click pictures for larger view)
Jenny's new boat
Rodney's slightly older boatBeavers like to chew treesSunning turtles
The home straightArrigoni Bridge

Camping at Grout Pond, VT

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After almost getting stuck on a muddy forest road we made it to Grout Pond in southern Vermont. We used our kayaks to paddle across to our site. While Rodney set up the tent Jen scoured the vicinity for dry wood to burn. With help from her trusty flint we soon had a fire to keep us warm in the cold Vermont air. We had a hearty dinner of sausages, beans and toast - followed by marshmallows.
(click pictures for larger view)

Setting SunMarshmallows by the fireA morning walk
The drive home - Vermont viewpointSkyline Restaurant. Closed, so no Griddle cakes today