The place we’re working just now has a huge victorian kitchen. You really expect servants to be scurrying around preparing the masters dinner and Gordon Jackson should telling us off for chatting to the maids and dipping a finger in the pot to taste the broth.

There’s a huge centre table with a spalted beech top, two inches thick and maybe five by six feet, split in the middle and opened in a book-matched style. It’s a lovely bit of wood and has been finished semi-matt, which has really brought out the grain and colours. However, I’ve been sitting near this thing  for weeks with a cuppa smelling “something”. And it’s Tung Oil.

Way back when I looked like that monochrome guy with the hair many pages below I used to have great fun invalidating the warranty on Gibson guitars by stripping the finish off an replacing it either with a matt oiled finish, or do what later became popular with many manufactureres and “age” the guitar.

I used the Tung Oil for some of the finishes and the smell in the kitchen was like “Go straight to 1992, do not pass GO do not collect 200 Euros”. It’s true what they say, smell is the biggest memory trigger.

My main guitar was (is if ever get off my arse) a Les Paul which was once wine red and is now what you see in the pictures. I love the oiled finish, it feels smooth to the touch and brings out the grain on the plainest of woods. It lost it’s smell many years ago but for months after is was finished it smelled like that kitchen table until sweat, smoky clubs (aye, them were the days…not) and beer rendered it harmless. The guitar itself is the thing I would throw to JYC out of the window of the burning house after the photo albums and before I jumped out myself. It has so much history attached to it. Friends long gone, songs long forgotten, stories never told and the scars of being dropped, thrown into drumkits/drummers.

Also, it has almost no treble frequencies in it. If ever a guitar was designed for C# and 30bpm, this is it. Alright!

4 thoughts on “Wood”

  1. Hey,that sure is a nice piece of wood you’ve got yourself there,love the refinishing job too,looks great just like that…a ‘proper’ guitar.
    Tung oil has a very distinctive smell,used quite a lot of it during the restoration of our cottage on the beams and doors,also used it on some of the old furniture we’ve picked up over the years from the local auctions,love coming home after a long day out to be greeted with that sweet aroma on opening the front door…great stuff.
    I know what you mean about the guitar/burning house scenario too,I have a few guitars and basses here that I could never part with,theres just too much memories attatched to them…picking up and playing one of these old friends is just like slipping into an old comfy pair of slippers or sitting in your favourite armchair.
    Time has come for me to start thinning out my instrument collection as I have a few guitars that very rarely see the light of day,however its a very difficult decision for me…but the ‘EPO’ insists that I have too many and I can kinda see her point,the spare cash would be handy at the moment too.
    My no.1 is a 1984 aria pro 2 sb through neck fitted with emg pickups and a hipshot d-tuner,finished in see through red with loads of dings and buckle rash…superb action,super comfy neck and the sound is a joy to behold…this one is definately a keeper.
    heres a list of some of the others:
    1991 charvel fusion iv bass
    1992 charvel fusion v bass
    2004 bc rich beast bass
    2006 jackson warrior guitar
    2006 schecter diamond 12 string acoustic
    and another 5 or 6 guitars/basses of various descriptions in differing states of repair.

  2. I’m in the same boat. I sold so much of my kit. Sometimes I have wee misty eyed moment and wonder if I should have parted with some of it, especially as prices hace gone crazy these days. More cash=less regret?

    I’ve still got (warning: old man’s Gibson guitar collection coming up)the Les Paul above, a ’75 Les Paul Custom 3 pickup, a ’69 SG Custom 3 pickup, an ’89 SG Custom Reissue 3 pickup, a ’92 Explorer (refinshed to look like a ’58, I’ll do pictures of that at some point!), a JayDee Flying V and a Squier Supersonic of all things! Plus an old Westbury Bass.

    Now, I just need to play the bloody things.

  3. Haha,most of mine get played,some more than others.Gibson fan eh? they do make some seriously good guitars…and you cant beat an old les paul.Does the explorer have the hockey stick headstock?
    Its just the one band for me now,I quit my other band(an ozzy osbourne tribute band) a few months ago,wasnt really finding it very rewarding churning out the same old songs week in week out.I prefer to write my own stuff anyway.

    Get out there and play ’em man!

  4. Aye the Explorer does have the hockey stick headstock. It’s got a pair of really weak sounding Seymour Duncan PAF pickups in it which would have to go if if I was going to use it again.
    I’ve been writing a bit with a couple of guys on and off recently so we’ll see. I would like to record, but I don’t know about live work these days. Too old, too bastard ugly as well.

    I play to Holly though :o) She often goes to sleep to the sound of Alice Coopers Balled of Dwight Fry played on an old Harmony acoustic (forgot about that one).

    Here’s the LP Custom, a touch of Ace Frehley about it :o)


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