Cabernet Pics

I ended up tracking progress on my Facebook page instead, so here’s the list of photos, no other text description. This was a little too hectic since I was doing a lot of the top-coat while working from home throughout May.

The pickups are a pair of DiMarzio Titans at the bridge and neck, with the single-coil DiMarzio Blaze in the middle.

It’s always the ground, isn’t it?

I don’t remember when I discovered the problem with Ke Kai, but it was another grounding issue. It was the stereo barrel jack. The lack of instructions provided by the seller meant I had to research the wiring on my own, and it’s been rather lacking out there in Internet land.

Turns out that I had to jumper the unused lug to complete the circuit to ground. I used a small piece of spare wire, and that eliminated the hum.

And that was apparently also the issue with Cabernet. After we got up to the up-north house, I looked at all of my wiring under the pickguard. Everything was nice and secure.

On the flip-side, however, in the spring cavity, that might have been the culprit. The ground wire was loose from the spring claw. Solder doesn’t stick well to shiny chrome.

Using my Leatherman, I scuffed the metal and resoldered the wire, making sure it was nice and secure. At first test on my travel amp, I couldn’t hear any buzz. The real test will be back at home on the bigger amp.

Student Contact Address Verification PowerSchool Plugin

PowerSchool’s student contacts permit some detailed information about contacts associated to a student, but lacks any meaningful automated validation with the “Lives With” flag. This is, of course, a natural constraint as a student can live part time with one parent and another, even if their designated home addresses don’t match (to avoid sounding like I’m criticizing PowerSchool here).

This plugin compares a student’s address to the addresses of contacts claimed to be living with the student. If the addresses don’t match within a large percentage, an alert icon appears to signal a need for review of both the student’s address in Addresses or General Demographics pages or the contacts themselves.

It could be a simple misspelling or order of the components of the address (123 Main Street East versus 123 E. Main). Or it could be a custodial arrangement, but not everyone may be aware of it.

Download from PowerSource.

New Guitar Project

Starting another guitar build. This one is going to be total cheese metal: a V-style body. I’m going with a solid black this time, no dyes or stains. It’s also going to be tuned to B-standard (B-E-A-D-F#-B) because I really like the lows of Cabernet.

However, I’m torn with the accent color: black or gold, so I’m soliciting opinions along with a poll. Here’s the mockup of what they could look like.

I like the pop of color on the gold-on-black, but it’s also hard to not see either Batman or Boston Bruins in it, which are not what I’m trying to go for (surprisingly). I like the simplicity and understated feel of the black-on-black but it could be somewhat “blah” although that could be more of a result of the mockup image and not the real-world object.

Comments welcome below.


Got the rogue ground wire soldered onto the tone pots, but that wasn’t the problem. It was when I desoldered the jack because I forgot the nut and then resoldered that I think I made a mess of the ground at the jack.

First Pics…No, Not Quite

Was almost about to be able to post photos of the newly completed Ke Kai….until the audio test failed. Could barely hear faint notes, but they were so faint that my tuner couldn’t pick up the signal. I propped up the bass near the rest of the arsenal, started cleaning up my tools….and noticed a wire sitting on the desk that I’d set aside.

Yup, forgot a connection. Hoping that’s it, because I really don’t want to try to de-solder and reconnect everything again.


First Test-Fit

First test-fit of pieces for Cabernet.

The pickguard is going to be painted red. That white pearloid just isn’t my style! 🙂

But this little crack was why it $50 was knocked off:

A $5 tube of wood filler will take care of it.

Arrival and Name

The new guitar kit has arrived, and after a test-fitting/inspection, it’s interesting to note that the crack in the body that led to this being considered a B-stock is hardly noticeable. I’ve ordered a tube of wood filler anyway from Home Depot, which I’ll go pick up tomorrow.

Name-wise, I’m going with “Cabernet.” It’ll be red, to fit with the guitars I have at the permanent home and also to take advantage of the vine themed inlays on the fretboard.

The mental picture for the theme:

  • Body & headstock dyed red to highlight the natural wood look
  • Red on neck (heh…)
  • Black grain filler on body
  • Pickguard sprayed to a deep red
  • Black faded burst style with dye, like what I did for Ke Kai

The trem is actually a Floyd-Rose-licensed piece, just like on Madeleine, my Jackson Kelly.

I’d considered a set of Dimarzio pickups in red, but that would’ve cost me almost $300, so I’ll have to save that for another time.