Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our new deck.

The flood rebuild is taking longer then we though it would. I was hoping to be back in the shop making pickups by now. We have made a lot of progress on the house. We are about half done. Here is a tour of the new Deck that was built by an all volunteer crew and designed by Amy Hopkins. It's fantastic!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dad working on the floor

This is my dad. Lt.Col James Searcy. He's retired now and came by to help out with the tear out. He also brought some huge barn fans and clean up gear and god only knows what else to help with the job. At one point he even mowed the lawn!

Ellie Erickson and the Dry Wall Mud of Doom!

You guys have read about Ellie here on my Blog before. Shes a luthier, musician, artist, guitar tech, and pretty much anything else you can think of . Well she came down to help of put the house back together. She was part of a volunteer group that was put together by the MIMF who also raised some money for the rebuild. Well, let's be honest... it wasn't just some money... it was about $10,000!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Jacked Up Home

This house is about 7 houses down from us. We got 16 inches of water in our house. They got 7 feet. That's almost to your ceiling folks. To reduce their risk in the future they are lifting their house and blocking up under it.

Tennessee Flood Rebuild Still Going On

This is a section of road that is sitting where a house is supposed to be. The house is gone down the river.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We are Nashville

Who needs floors?

Once the walls were out and the crew went home it was time to start ripping out the floors. It was important to get air moving under the house so the wood could dry out and mold wouldn't start growing. Once the carpet was out we learned that some of the floor was rotten any way and needed to be replaced.When we were ripping out the old drywall and flooring we found that at some point the floor had started to rot in the utility closet that holds the washer and dryer. Instead of fixing it the previous owners cut a patch for it out of 1" plywood and just scabbed that over the top of the damage allowing it to stay out of sight and rot to its hearts content. The floor had actually sagged almost 2" and Amy had to cut out all the damage and jack up the floor with a bottle jack. Then we made some temporary braces for it out of blocks. We will make some more permanent ones later when the rest of the house work is done.

Bust somthing!

Once we had gone through all our stuff and tossed out the trash and the carpet and the waterlogged furniture it was time to start ripping the drywall and insulation out. We have a huge volunteer crew show up for this job.

Tent City.

One of our neighbors that didn't get flooded let us use a tent and some sleeping bags for a few nights while we waited for the water to go back down. We were glad to have them but sleeping on hard, un-level ground ain't no fun at all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Today I'm tired

Man, I'm dead tired... Yesterday our stuff came back from FedEx. I had to clear a spot in the shop for it all and then load it. When we loaded all this stuff we were in a hurry so some things that were not worth saving got loaded along with good stuff. There are a lot of things that are questionable as well like my unfinished pine desk. I love that thing but it's not too stable right now and there is some mold growing on it. We'll see what some glue, clamps and bleach do for it.

Playing Catchup...

Once the water retreated from the house I started ripping out carpet and tossing out wet furniture. The roads were still flooded and people still couldn't get in to help but I had to work on fixing this mess.

Week one of the flood

This was originally written and posted on the MIMF on May 7th after sleeping in the back yard for 4 days. Click here to read the original thread.

I'm a proud man and I don't like to ask for help. Lucky for me, I have the MIMF and I don't have to ask for help. It's just there...

We have a collection of dramatic stories from the last 7 days. I'll try to fill you guys in sometime later. For now I'll tell you that the flooding rains didn't actually get us. It was the closing of the dam that caused the water in Pond Creek to stop flowing into the Cumberland River. I woke up at 6AM on Monday May 3rd thinking we had beaten the flood only to find water at my front doorjamb. I yelled at Alicia to get dressed and get ready to go. Alicia has CP and moving fast is not her strong point. I took her computer and my guitars and tossed them into the attic then I dashed out the back door and tossed open my backyard fence gates. The water was already a foot deep in the back door of the house. I ran to my little Toyota truck and drove it around to butt the drivers door up to the back door of the house and told Alica to crawl in. As soon as she was in I tossed the dogs in the back and took off up the hill that is our backyard. I made it out of the water but sank the truck in the mud. From there we walked to the back fence. By 6:10AM water was running across the floor. I ran back to the house to kill the main on the breaker box.

The days since have consisted of hiking about a half mile through the woods to get water and dog food from my neighbors who instantly got into motion seeing that everyone had food and drink, watching TSA and National Guard choppers come and go and wading into the house to rescue things and check on damage.

By noon May 6th the water was down to just past the floor of the house so I went in and started taking pictures of the damage and then started pulling carpet and wet furniture. We had 15" of water in the house standing for a day and a half. Last night I ran a drop cord from my neighbors Nicks house. The water didn't get in his place. We used it to power up an old laptop with a Sprint Air Card to get Alicia on line to let folks know we are bent but not broken.

Four houses up the houses were flooded up to the roof. We are very lucky. I have been told to cut out all the dry wall at the 4' mark and replace it. I'm also told that I need to remove all the plywood flooring sheeting and spray the floor joists with bleach.

This morning I unplugged everything in the house and turned the power back on to everything accept the AC unit. I'll try it tomorrow. My folks trucked in this afternoon with some bleach and some big barn fans that I have set up pulling air through the house. They helped me unstick the Toyota. I got the carpet out of all but two rooms. I'll get those tomorrow then start pulling drywall. The Olds 88 was totally sunk. I suspect it's totaled. I'll drain and replace the fluids in it tomorrow and see if it will start.

Right now I'm trying to come up with a game plan. I'm not sure what I need to do or how to go about it but I'm damn sure going to fix this. The insurance man is coming from Connecticut to see if anything is covered. I'm not in a flood plane so I don't have flood insurance. A stupid mistake that I will correct tomorrow.

We are staying here at the house while we tackle this mother for a number of reasons.

I want to thank you guys for the help and support.

I'm trashed right now so I'm going to crash. Sunburnt and peeling and sore and smelly. I'll try to check back in tomorrow and update you guys.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thank you all!

Until we get things up and running again I plan to use this Blog to document our flood rebuild.

I'll be posting some updates here to let everyone keep up with us as I can. I have a topic running over at the MIMF that has been pretty extensive but I want to post here as well. Click HERE to read it.

I want to thank those who have helped out already. There is a lot to be done here and it's a bit dizzying to know where to start. My wife Alicia and I are staying here at the house while we rebuild. I'll post a few pictures later to better illustrate what the damage has been.

I want to thank you all. We have gotten donations from The MIMF and Six String Bliss that will go a long way to help us rebuild.

I'll try to keep everyone updated. And again... THANK YOU!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tennessee Flood

Well, If you're wondering where I have been lately this should explain a lot. That's the Searcy String Works shop and my house and my car. We were sunk in the Tennessee floods of May 1st. Last month at about this time Alicia and I were living in a tent in out back yard with 15" of water in our house and shop, a sunk car and roads that could not be used with out a boat.
The damage is extensive and because we don't live in a floor zone we have no flood insurance.

We have already started the rebuild process with volunteer help, a small FEMA grant and donations from friends and strangers alike. It will take most of the summer to get things back to normal but we are coming back!

Friday, March 12, 2010

W. Jeffrey Jones in Premier Guitar

Premier Guitar Magazine is running a full 4 page spread on the work of W. Jeffrey Jones this month. There is some mention of Searcy String Works in there as well. Click here to read the article on line or go out and buy one. Jeffrey has a very interesting and unique outlook on music and instrument building.
He was also featured in an interview with Six String Bliss in Episode 119. You can hear that show by clicking here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I don't need no Dr. MXR Blue Box

Well.... I ended up in the hospital for a few days last week. Seems I developed an ulcer that was bleeding so bad they thought they were going to have to give me transfusions. The great team at Sky Line got it all under control though it wasn't very fun. I'm really glad for the outstanding medical system we have here in the U.S. I hope we don't ruin it...

Anyway, I'm all better and thought you might like to see this little demo I did of the MXR Blue Box and a mod I like to do to it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

1963 Gibson Patent No. pickups

I got an old "Gibson Patent Number" humbucker in this week to rebuild.

Early Gibson humbucking pickups had a sticker on the bottom that read “Patent Appiled For”. Gibson got the patent for its humbucking pickup in July 1959 but the PAF sticker stuck around until late 1961 or early 1962. At this time a new sticker started showing up on the base plates of the Gibson humbucker. It was “Patent No 2,737,842”. Humbuckers with this sticker from 1962 till 1965 are called “Patent Number” pickups and are starting to become very sought after.

The earliest Patent No. units are identical to the more famous PAF pickups in every way.

In late 1962 Gibson started using black jumper wires at the end of the coils and white jumper wires at the start instead of the all black ones of the PAF.

In Late 1963 they started using Polyurethane coated magnet wire to wind the bobbins instead of the dark colored plain enamel of the PAF.
The bobbins are made form butyrate and prone to warping.

The magnets are sand-cast Alnico 5 magnets and the maple spacers are just like the earlier PAFs.

This one is all done and heading back out to CA. today. We didn't wax pot it because they were not potted to begin with and this is a restoration.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jack Frost

Once in a while I actually sit down and record music. Here's a song I did a little while ago called Jack Frost.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bobbin, Bobbin whose got the bobbin?

Mother nature tried to stop me but the new bobbins are finally in from China. Look how shinny they are!

Sand Cast Magnets

Lots and lots of sand cast magnets have made their way into the shop this week. These are going to be used in the new generation O-2 and B-2 pickups.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jim Warkway's 1967 Fender Jazz Bass

Here's a rebuild I did a few years ago.

The W. Jeffrey Jones "Proteus"

Perhaps you remember the new prototype humbucker pickups I made for W. Jeffrey Jones a few months ago. Well, those pickups went into a guitar that is currently making the rounds at some guitar shows and feed back is great so far. Here's what one player had to say about it.

"The Proteus is one of the very best electric guitars I've ever played. Not only is the design beautiful and comfortable to play, the clarity of the sound brings out each note that I played like separate voices in a vocal quartet. The harmony comes out rich and united, yet each note has a great vocal quality to it. The guitar responded well to single-note playing as well as more contrapuntal solo jazz guitar work. I couldn't stop playing it and it made me want to keep making music. Truly, any instrument that can inspire creativity is special and this is definitely unique. Kudos to Jeffrey for putting so much love into his work."

Az Samad

It's nice to hear things like that once in a while. Oh, and Jeffrey has ordered some more of those so the shop bustling with black humbucker bobbins right now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Six String Bliss Retro Zone #10

For the last few months I have been hosting some special Six String Bliss show while Pipes and PT take a break. We are calling them Retro Zone shows because we are covering the lost 12 shows from the guys early work. Show #10 is currently up. If you would like to give a listen just go click on this link. Six String Bliss

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The V-90 single coil

I've been working with W. Jeffrey Jones on a lot of new designs lately. We have brought back the classic V-90 pickup from a few years back for some of his newest guitars like the Deamon Sassefrax .
There have been several new P-90 single coil pickups. One of them is the new Tap-90 that features an honest to god old school coil tap. It runs about 8K tapped and about 12.5 K un-tapped. I'm looking forward to seeing these put to use!