Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our 100th blog post!!!

Slowly but surely activity is beginning to pick up in the Bass Monkey workshop as the pace slows down in the Grease Monkey garage.

Lonnie leaving for work, a typical Friday morning commute...NOT!!!
Lonnie continues to fine tune the Mustang, the more he drives the car the smoother it runs. Like any antique sitting for a while it needs the kinks worked out and the lubrication to settle in. For now he is pleased with the progress and he is satisfied to drive the car daily to work when the weather is good. I like when we cruise the loop in town, all the young kids stare and the old guys give us thumbs up and laugh. Last night we cruised around laughing like two fools. The toy like foreign cars pulls up beside us and rev their engine. As if to say “Lets race Grandpa”…we just smile. We don’t need to prove anything. They would be waiting for the light to change green when they see smoke and our tail lights. Its great when age brings you wisdom and respect…you just don’t have to impress anyone.

Now on to the workshop…we have a 1949 Kay S-9 in the workshop for a mini make over before the IBMA’s at the end of September. The bass is in beautiful original condition, a gorgeous blonde. She is getting a new ULSA ebony end pin, a Hi-Tech Clef tail gut, new Zyex strings, the Bass Monkey speed neck treatment, minor seam and edge repairs. 
The bass sounds great with Innovation Honeys so we will see how it sounds with the new Zyex strings. This is not a string we are familiar with so it will be a nice to hear the difference. I’ll take the opportunity (with the owners permission of course) to test drive the bass and strings. I have been asked to break it in a bit before it travels to Nashville for its d├ębut...I’ll let you know how that works out!

Getting started on the 1949 Kay S-9 Swingmaster
The old parts, new parts and re-used parts
Detailing the edges by filling in the chips.  Finishing and color matching to come

The saddle is pulling out of the pocket.  Lonnie will clean up the saddle, re-glue with fresh hide glue and ream a new hole for the new ULSA ebony tapered end pin

The tapered end pin reamers.  The smaller one on the left to start to hole and the larger one on the right to finish the job

The saddle is cleaned and glued.  The next step is to start the end pin fitting

Come back soon.  This project will move quickly to meet the deadline.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coming full circle...Part 2

And here we are…the dog days of summer.

While the Bass Monkey workshop has seen some light activity in the past week the Grease Monkey garage is still in full swing. Yesterday marked a milestone, for the first time in 17 years and three months I got to sit in the passenger seat for a ride in the Green Horsey.  It felt like a first date all over again…well almost…our real first date was on a cold, snowy February day. It’s also difficult to remember what it felt like 20 years ago on our wedding day to be stuffed in the front seat of the Mustang with my long, white wedding gown. I guess everything fit because it’s how we got from the reception to our home.
The new license plate was a birthday present for Lonnie. 

Needless to say Lonnie has continued to work on the Mustang and it is now “on the road again”. He has been driving it daily for a week back and forth to work. There were a few small kinks to work out with the fuel pump and speedometer sensor but all is working fine. It is funny to see him pull the car out of the garage in the morning and drive it to work. His smile has never been bigger going to work. I guess it’s the journey and not the destination that matters.

It’s funny what people observe and say about the car. One comment from a co-worker that really made us both laugh, they told Lonnie it really wasn’t his car. They know where we live and in 20 years they never saw that car parked in our drive way. We just laugh knowing we have pictures of our wedding day from 1992 plus Lonnie’s Mom kept the receipt from the purchase of the car on September 5th, 1974. So not only does he have his first car, he still has the hand written agreement from the seller with it marked “Paid balance”.

 It really is his car…we have documented proof.

The original bill of sale marked PAID

So as the summer continues this Mustang has gone from a 16 year old boy’s daily driver to high school, to racing on the drag strip, a show car and now back to being a daily driver once again…coming full circle is the perfect title for his story.

I am starting to line up some project basses (in my head) for when Lonnie gets back in the workshop. That 1941 Epiphone B-5 is calling my name; I need to answer the call.

Take care all...enjoy the summer and make some joyful music.