Last December, Nintendo celebrated the 25th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. with the release of a red Wii, red DSi XL and Mario All Stars for the Wii. Soon after this I imagined a Fender La Cabronita style guitar dyed completely red in honor of the plumber’s silver celebration. I like the simplicity of the La Cabronita design and I think it makes a fine high-gain single humbucker monstrosity.
Many months later… Behold, The La Fontanero Super!
The guitar boasts an Allparts Tele style neck, Wilkinson Vintage Tuners, some cheap (but very decent) top-loading bridge and one of the lightest Swamp Ash guitar bodies I’ve ever come across. I used a tele body I already had from Plaid Sabbath Guitar Works to trace the shape and then I cut it out rough with a jigsaw. In fact, I had originally contacted Plaid Sabbath about a tele body for this project, but the mahogany one he sent me was so nice, the grain was so spectacular I just couldn’t cover it up with red dye. After I cut the shape I used a cheapy Harbor Freight oscillating spindle sander to hone down the coarse edges of the body. The resulting body was light as a feather and the finished guitar weighs 6.2 pounds.
After routing the pickup cavities I sanded it to 320 grit and then “whiskered” the wood several times with a damp rag. Each time I did this it raised the wood grain a bit and I lightly sanded back the “burs” or fuzzy wood fibers. I then used a combination of powdered transfast dyes (Cardinal Red, Scarlet Red) mixed in distilled water to achieve a sort of “blood red.” Once the body and neck were dyed accordingly I finished it with Tru Oil, applying it several times using small pieces of t-shirt, carefully spreading it in one thin layer at a time. I must have applied the Tru Oil 20 times or more on the body, waiting about three hours between coats. Only 4-5 coats on the neck.
I tried something a little bit odd and it worked, a post on the Guitar Reranch gave me an idea to mix 40% mineral spirits (dyed with transfast) to 60% Tru Oil. This works with oil based dyes but I tried water based and it helped me dye the guitar a rather even red color. If I used this mixture alone it would not have looked super red, the dye darkened in the Tru Oil quite a bit, but it worked very well to deepen the overall red color and to cover some of the hard to reach pores in the grain that didn’t take the water based dye too easily. I did this on the body only, you can see it is a darker red than the neck, but not by a whole lot. It certainly takes a lot of Tru Oil to fill the grain pores of Swamp Ash especially when that ash is so light and dry, it just soaks up the first few coats. I applied three coats of normal Tru Oil to one coat of the dyed oil, sanding back lightly every three coats or so. I probably repeated this six times. Many people use #0000 steel wool to effectively sand the Tru Oil but I don’t like steel wool, all those steel fibers are like little metal eyelashes flitting all over the place; using compressed air to get rid of them ( mostly) is too much for me! I just used 600 grit sandpaper between every so many coats of Tru Oil and it worked for me.
I routed the pickguard from clear acrylic (diy pine template) and I placed a metallic print of the 25th Mario Anniversary logo underneath it. The lone volume knob has a push/pull pot rigged with an Arlo West/Woodman cocked wah mod (thanks Deaf Eddie for the wiring help!)
I must say the red neck with black tuners and dots looks quite evil. It reminds me of that horny guy from the movie Legend — no, not Tom Cruise.
I photoshopped the Nintendo DSi XL 25th Anniversary logo and had these printed as waterslide decals (thanks Geocha!) I put these on and sprayed them twice with the aerosol can version of Tru Oil first (noticed wiping Tru Oil directly over them would ruin them) let them dry overnight and then wiped on a few more coats of regular Tru Oil.
Oh, the pickups? Oh, I figured you’d just kind of “know.” I mean, what else? What could possibly scream Mario better than a red Bare Knuckle Aftermath? That’s right, the super plumber employs tight, devastating and harmonically rich distortions on a level hitherto never before seen–or perhaps even heard!
Truly the coolest thing about this guitar is the way it plays and sounds. I own a couple Agiles (3100, 828) plus a nice Carvin DC727 and this La Fontanero Super is my finest guitar. Some claim that strings on a top-loading bridge are slightly easier to bend, slinkier –I find this to be true.
Once I have a nice method of recording, hopefully next year, I will post clips and even an EP in the future where I will outline which guitars and pickups were used.
Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown 8pm EST
Beavis and Butt-Head 10pm EST
I did start a pumpkin earlier this year but the massive amount of rain f’d it all up. Wasn’t nearly as big as the one last year.
In other incredibly important news, Reese’s steps up to the plate and reinstates their incredible purple, black, orange yellow and all around Halloween-y Reese’s Pumpkin packaging. The plain fall-ish packaging last year sucked balls and I was downright insulted.
It’s clear I haven’t updated in a while. Been hardly working, but anyways the pumpkin that grew very big under the corn out back in “perfect” shadowed conditions ended up 85 pounds, not bad for not even trying to grow a big pumpkin. Next year I will start one earlier to see if I can’t break the current weight record of 85 pounds. Bunger dog inspects:
I certainly can’t take any credit for this recipe: Jamie’s Minestrone Recipe.
I believe this recipe is kickass though, I’ve already made it three times since only recently acquiring it. A few weeks ago I had some canned Minestrone soup at a friends house and realized it’s a taste I’ve been missing for some time. In fact, every time I’ve had that style of soup I’ve liked it, but I forgot all about Minestrone soup for many years until now. I looked at the ingredients on the can and I was like damn dude that’s a ton of salt. As is the case with many other things, I figured you can make it yourself and you can probably make it better. I looked up this Allrecipes.com page and tried it out, in the case of a few recipes I’ll post from time to time, even though they originate from somewhere else sometimes it’s good to see someone actually make them and provide the results.
I did everything on the recipe list but I changed a few things:
Every time I’ve made this soup I’m surprised at just how good it is. Loaded with vegetables and the broth tastes so rich like a beef stew without the beef. I could see kids eating this with some bread and butter. I would have eaten this as a kid and I hated vegetables when I was very young. Use fresh or frozen vegetables in place of canned ones–the salt will start to add up if you use a lot of canned veggies.
I followed the simple instructions to a T, although each time I ended up adding some more water. Otherwise it turns into vegetable chili, which is OK, but I like a lot of the dark broth in this soup. If possible, don’t skimp on the kidney beans or the spinach, besides tasting good in this soup they help give the broth a nice dark color. This soup especially good with bread. Once you have all the ingredients ready, it takes about a half hour to cut everything up and another hour to cook.