Saturday, December 29, 2007

Winter Tranquility

It's Saturday afternoon on December 29th, 2007. The temperature gauge says 24 degrees. I needed some exercise today but didn't really feel like dealing with the wind chills of a bike ride.

Since the sun was shinning and there wasn't much wind I decided to walk the Tranquility Trails and I took my camera. These pictures will be fun to look at in July after a ride with a 115 degree heat index.

Happy New Year

- Paul

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Slippery Trails at Standing Bear

I left work yesterday with a good hour of daylight left. It had been almost 3 weeks since I've been able to ride. Took a quick trip over to Standing Bear. The trails didn't have any deep snow but still about 70% covered with some snow and slush. It was a successful test ride for the recent shifter maintenance on my backup bike (2000 Marin Palisades Trail). Something in the drive train is intermittently rough. I'm guessing it's the bottom bracket. I'll keep riding it this way though the winter unless it gets worse.

Have a Merry Christmas!
- Paul

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Shimano Deore Rear Derailer Problem

I'm attempting to figure out why my right shifter - rear derailer will only shift on the four outer most cogs. I cannot shift to the four inner most cogs.
I bought a used Marin mountain bike this fall. It's equipped with Shimano Deore front and rear derailleurs. The rear derailleur (8 speed) only shifts between the highest four cogs. It works accurately and smoothly. However, the shift lever does not seem to connect the get to the lowest or inner most four cogs. I assume that it simply needs to be readjusted. It seems like this is something that would require a change to the limit stop screws. I'll try to dig into this over the weekend.
These are some web sites that I have found good reading so far.
This site had some good content.
This is a very good site to learn about Derailers.
Shimano Techdocs - This might be helpful.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cleaning Off Finish on Frets

Here is the neck from a Double Fat Strat I have been playing. This one I have re-assembled recently. I bought a Fender licensed Allparts 70's Strat neck a while back and I used this neck on the project you see here. As I started playing I noticed there is a large amount of finish on the frets. The finish was chipping off as I play (see circled places on the frets). Of course, this creates a real uncomfortable feel on bends. It's like hitting a speed bump. Also, I doubt you get the best sound possible with finish on the frets.

I taped up the frets with masking tape. Then I got a razor blade. Then I taped off the ends of the razor so as not to gouge anything else. This left a spot in the middle of the razor that is bare. I scraped off the finish from each fret. Don't worry, you won't wreck your frets. Just make sure you pull it across the fret, not push it. When I was finished I was careful when removing the tape. I removed it slowly, so as not to pull any of the finish off between the frets.

What an improvement. The finish on these frets was on thick.You can see from the photos that the chips of lacquer made a mess. It was worth the effort.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Tranquility MTB trails still intact

I got out on the bike after work today and rode out to the new south section of Tranquility. I could see there was land mover work done today but so far all the trails are pretty much still intact.

Dale was out working on a route around one of the new technical features.

Happy Halloween!
- Paul

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nashville and Other Guitar Tunings

One thing I did not realize until recently is that Nashville Tuning is also called high-strung tuning. It's accomplished by using lighter, unwound strings. Nashville tuning is more involved than just tuning your guitar differently. It's also known as high-stringing a guitar because different strings need to be used. I read that it creates a 12 string effect on a 6 string guitar. You use the high octave strings of a 12 string set of strings on a six-string guitar. The first two strings of your instrument (high E and B) remain unchanged, and the lower four strings (G through low E) are tuned an octave above standard tuning.

There are ready made string sets for this. D'Addario XL series electric guitar strings can be bought in a High Strung/Nashville Tuning gauges .010/.014/.009/.012/.018/.026 light set. The gauges for a medium set would be .012/ .016/ .010/ .014/ .020/ .030 high to low.

A few songs recorded with Nashville Tuning:
* Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash
* Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
* Tom Petty - Free Fallin'

Guitar Tuning Reference
Tuning Low____6___5___4___3___2___1__High__
Mayfield -----F#--A#--C#--F#--A#--F#-------
Collins ------F---C---F---Ab--C---F--------
Half Bent ----F---Bb--Eb--Ab--C---F--------
Fourths ------E---A---D---G---C---F--------
Open E -------E---B---E---G#--B---E--------
Open A -------E---A---E---A---C#--E--------
Nashville ----E---A---D---G---B---E--------
High Plain ---E---A---D---G---B---E--------
Standard -----E---A---D---G---B---E--------
Lute ---------E---A---D---F#--B---E--------
Hendrix ------Eb--Ab--Db--Gb--Bb--Eb-------
Drop D -------D---A---D---G---B---E--------
Drop D -------D---A---D---G---B---D--------
DADGAD -------D---A---D---G---A---D--------
Open D -------D---A---D---F#--A---D--------
D Minor ------D---A---D---F---A---D--------
D Modal ------D---A---D---D---A---D--------
G 6 ----------D---G---D---G---B---E--------
Open G -------D---G---D---G---B---D--------
Richards ---------G---D---G---B---D--------
G Minor ------D---G---D---G---Bb--D--------
Cooder -------Db--Ab--Db--F---Ab--Db-------
Kottke -------C#--F#--B---E---G#--C#-------
Open C -------C---G---C---G---C---E--------
C 6 ----------C---G---C---G---A---E--------
Kaki King ----C---G---D---G---A---D--------
Leadbelly ----B---E---A---D---F#--B--------
Baritone -----B---E---A---D---F#--B--------
Baritone II --A---D---G---C---E---A--------

Who is Stratomatic?

My photo
Stratomatica - is my blog place where I document things happening around me or that interest me. The name Strata, geologically speaking, are layers of sedimentary rock or soil with internally consistent characteristics that distinguish it from other layers. Too deep? Well, I like guitars. Mostly I like the sound and feel of Stratocasters.