Friday, 20 March 2009

Blues Stomp Box

There's a bit of a story behind this project - sorry but that's blogs for you.

Angie, a very good friend of mine, not content with being a perfectly competent folk singer and guitarist, decided to become simply the best blueswoman in the county and a serious rival to the best the World has to offer - no, really.

Then came the bombshell. Angie wanted a stomp box. For those not in the know, a stomp box is one of those little wooden platforms that blues artists stomp with their toes or heels to add a bit of percussive oomph to their performance - cheaper than hiring a drummer.

In the olden days, hillbillies would make stomp boxes out of old wooden boxes made of... er... old bits of old wooden box, and very fine they sounded too. These days you can buy handcrafted, french-polished stomp boxes online for only a few hundred dollars... HOW MUCH? That's like a red rag to a bull for the Secret Laboratory!

Materials list:

  • Bits of old wood. Plenty of old bits of wood in the Secret Laboratory. Indeed, the Secret Laboratory itself is constructed almost entirely from bits of old wood (no secret laboratories were harmed in this project).
  • Bits of old electronic equipment (plus a few bits of new electronic equipment from sustainable sources). Sorry, but in noisy modern music venues you need to go through the desk and the PA to be heard, and this necessitates a bit of preamplification.
  • Screws and glue... loads of glue..

Equipment list:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
  • Brain

With brain, use saw, drill, screwdriver and soldering iron to transform old bits of wood, glue, screws and electronic gubbins (from sustainable sources) into a stomp box. That's about it really. Results below:

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Welcome to the Secret Laboratory!

OK, it's just a shed but it says "Secret Laboratory" in big letters over the door, so that makes it a Secret Laboratory in my book - even if it's not that secret anymore. It's where I do my best stuff.

This being a new blog, I've got a bit of catching up to do. Four current projects to document here: Mandolin pre-amp, Blues stomp box, Bamboo cycle trailer and Homebrew dive computer; an element of danger in each. Watch this space!

Ah - I almost forgot to mention my new assistant, Igor. He's not very bright but he's a keen learner and helps with things like chewing through cables, etc. When I placed the ad, I specified a small, hirsute hunchback with funny ears, but this wasn't quite what I was expecting. What on Earth was the Agency thinking? Apparently he's on some kind of "Rodents back into work" scheme and I have to fill in loads of bloody forms every week.