Guitar Project #2: Sanding & Wood Problems

My plan originally was to use a chemical paint stripper to remove the finish.  Today on impulse I decided to try sanding the guitar’s finish off to see where it would take me.  I was convinced that I would need a palm sander and I still may, but I seem to be getting really good results using my hands.

I started with a course sandpaper and moved on to finer paper as I progressed.  I used a piece of 2X4 lumber scrap as a sanding block and after a good hour and a half of work I had pretty much finished sanding the finish off the front of the body.

I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve been making.  There is only one snag that I’ve run into, and that is an imperfection in the wood itself.  I’m not sure if I can do anything to fix it, and may be forced to paint the guitar as opposed to stain it.

There also is a possibility that staining the guitar will more or less hide this imperfection.  I’m going to seek advice before choosing a finish.  For now I’m going to continue removing the old finish and see what else I unearth.


The Intensity of Chili Peppers

What chili peppers are hot, and what chili peppers are not?

Chili peppers are measured using the Scoville scale.  The more Scoville scale units (SHUs), the greater the amount of Capsaicin present in the pepper.  Capsaicin is a chemical that stimulates the nerve endings in the skin.  It’s what gives a pepper its heat.

Pure Capsaicin clocks in at about 15,000,000- 16,000,000 SHUs.  That’s pretty fucking hot, I doubt it’s a good Idea for anyone to even come in contact with that shit.  The stuff that police use as pepper spray comes in at a searing 5,000,000- 5,300,000.  Still pretty hot.  If that’s not a deterrent, I don’t know what is.

Moving on to actual chili peppers.  The pepper with the highest rating on the is the naga viper chili.  It was created in the United Kingdom by cross breeding the three hottest peppers known to the world.  Researchers tested it and found that it measured1,359,000 SHUs.

Naga Viper Chili

Rated at about 580,000 Scoville units is the red savina habanero.  Which is a specially bred version of the standard habanero chili.

Red Savina Habanero

Moving down the scale you’ll find the habanero chili and the Scotch Bonnet.  Both of these peppers clock in at around 100,000- 500,000 SHUs.

Habanero and Scotch Bonnet

At 50,000- 100,000 SHUs is the bird’s-eye chili.  The Thai name for this chili translates to literally mean “mouse dropping chili”.

Bird's Eye Chili

The cayenne pepper comes in at a respectable 30,000- 50,000 Scoville units.  Cayenne is typically dried and ground.

Cayenne Pepper

Clocking in at about 27,000 on the Scoville scale are these chili peppers.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Clocking in at 10,000-25,000 SHUs is the serrano pepper.  This is the chili that I most often use when I’m making chili.

Serrano Peppers

The popular jalapeño pepper clocks in at 2,500- 8,000 scoville units.  This really puts this list into perspective.

Jalapeño Peppers

At 500-2,500 SHUs we have the poblano pepper.  A fairly mild chili.

Poblano Pepper

At 100-500 SHUs we have the pimento.  Commonly used in stuffing olives, or making pimento cheese.

Pimento Peppers

Right at 0 on the Scoville scale is the bell pepper.  Bell peppers have no significant amount of heat.

Bell Peppers



Guitar Project #1: Introduction

I’ve had this guitar sitting in my closet for a couple of years now.  I got it for $50 from the place I work because it was on display and got banged up pretty bad.  I haven’t used it or played it as it’s been in an unplayable condition.  I’ve always planned on doing something with it, but have never gotten around to starting it until now.

This is a picture of the same model guitar. I hadn't taken a picture of my guitar before I started taking it apart.

I stripped the guitar of all of its hardware and removed the neck from the body.  This guitar has a basswood body, a maple neck and a rosewood fret board.  My plan is to strip all of the finish of the guitar’s body and all the black finish off of the head stock.  I may even replace the neck all together.

I haven’t decided whether I’m going to strip the body myself, or pay a professional to do it.  Paying the professional is certainly the easier route, and that may be what I’ll end up doing.  This all depends on how much each option will cost.

Once it’s all stripped down I’m going to take a look at the wood.  If it has a nice appearance to it, I’m going to give the guitar a stained finish.  If not, it will get a repainted a different colour.

This project is definitely going to take some work, but it will be a lot of fun.  I haven’t decided what I’m putting in for hardware and new pickups, that will sort of happen as I can afford it.  I’ve never done a project like this before, but I hope to learn a lot from doing it.