Gibson Celebrates with a Government Series II Les Paul

Gibson managed to survive its ordeal with the government. I missed news reports on this, if there were any.  Anyhow, Gibson is now producing a “Government Series II Les Paul” model in celebration.

gibson2 Gibson Celebrates with a Government Series II Les Paul

Great Gibson electric guitars have long been a means of fighting the establishment, so when the powers that be confiscated stocks of tonewoods from the Gibson factory in Nashville—only to return them once there was a resolution and the investigation ended—it was an event worth celebrating. Introducing the Government Series II Les Paul, a striking new guitar from Gibson USA for 2014 that suitably marks this infamous time in Gibson’s history.

I am neither promoting or recommending Gibson or their product(s), nor am I opposed.  I am not affiliated with Gibson in any way.  This is just a story about the government punishing its political enemies.  I am happy to see people thrive in spite of the government.

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Gibson Guitar Settles Case With Justice Department

Gibson guitar and the Justice Department agreed to a settlement over charges that it illegally imported exotic ebony from Madagascar.

The Feds made two separate armed raids on the company and it took nearly three years to settle the dispute. Gibson agreed to a $350,000 ransom fine and to forfeit its claim on the wood.

This case illustrates, once again, the thuggish over reach of the out of control federal government.

Read more here and here.

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Deal on Milwaukee Cordless Drill

I know. I have been slacking off and neglecting this blog for a very long time.

But, here’s a deal you might be interested in.

CPO Milwaukee has a factory reconditioned 18V lithium ion cordless drill/driver at $114.99. That’s 50% off. The offer is for only 4 days.
I personally have this drill and couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve reviewed it here.

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The Gibson Guitar Raid Update

It’s been six months now since the Feds raided the facilities of Gibson Guitar.  Have you ever wondered why, who was charged with a crime or what happened at the trial?  Well, keep wondering.  The Feds seem to be in no hurry to tell Gibson, or anyone else.

This video discusses the Federal government over reach.  Sen Rand Paul is working on correcting the problem.

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year . . .

2012 happy new year wide Happy New YearMay 2012 be the best ever.

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Merry Christmas

I wish a very Merry Christmas to one and all.

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Preventing and Removing Rust

It’s not my intention to belabor the obvious, but woodworkers need tools.  And the tool to work properly needs to be in good condition.  Ideally, the tools should be clean, shiny and sharp (assuming it’s a cutting tool).

I have stated in earlier posts that I like to prowl the garage sales, estate sales and auctions.  Some of the treasures I find are rust encrusted.  We all should know that rusty tools are not in good working condition.

So the question arises, How can we remove the rust, clear up the tool and make it smooth and shiny?   And how can we protect the  metal so that rust doesn’t happen?

Moisture and oxygen cause the iron to react and form rust.  In a damp climate, such as near the ocean, this can happen very rapidly.  Close  enough to the ocean and the salt air will further hasten the corrosion.  There it is a never ending battle to protect the metal.  And, it is not only iron that is susceptible to corrosion, but in this discussion, I will focus on iron.

I won’t need to work very hard here because Ron Hock has already done it and I will just pass you along to his blog.

Ron is well known among fine woodworkers.  He produces and markets some very high quality plane irons, cap irons and caring knives, among other items.

Ron goes into the chemistry of rusting in part 1.  It may give you more information than you really wanted to know.  But, keep reading because it will give you a better understanding of how to prevent the rusting.

In part 2 he discuses some of his methods for protecting the metal, such as oils and waxes.

In part 3 he describes a method he uses to remove the rust that has accumulated.

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Milwaukee Combo Drill Kit Bargain

CPO has a Milwaukee combo 18v lithium combo kit for sale for $179.99.  I purchased one of these combos nearly a year ago and I am still very pleased with my purchase.  I think this about what I paid last year.  The offer expires 10/28/11, so don’t blame me if the link won’t work by the time you try it.  I reviewed the drill/driver here.  Anyhow, check it out.  And FYI: I have NO affiliate relationship with CPO.

Click here for the Milwaukee drill deal

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Gibson Guitar: Could the Feds Seize your Guitar?

The Feds raided the facilities of the Gibson Guitar company August, 24, supposedly to enforce provisions of the Lacey Act. The act, which was updated in 2008 essentially says that anything that violates another country’s laws also violates U.S. laws.

The allegation here was that Gibson bought and used wood that was illegally harvested in India, and consequently, in violation of India’s laws.

“By prohibiting trafficking in wood illegally harvested overseas, the Lacey Act prohibits companies from undercutting law-abiding U.S. wood-product companies, including numerous small businesses, by trading in artificially inexpensive raw materials that have been illegally harvested from foreign forests,” the two federal officials wrote. “The Lacey Act provides the federal government with an important tool to ensure that all businesses, including foreign companies that send their goods into this country, are operating on a level playing field by using only legally harvested wood.” [1]

The problem with this argument is that the wood was not “harvested” illegally. The Indian law that was violated merely specified how and by whom the wood was further processed after it had been harvested.

“The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India,” said Gibson in a press release on Thursday. [3]

So, are we at risk for prosecution or seizure?

The letter from Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich and Christopher J. Mansour, director of legislative affairs at Interior, said those who “unknowingly possess” an instrument made from illegally imported materials don’t have a criminal problem. [2]

Notice that the wording was that they “don’t have a criminal problem.” It did not say that the government would not seize your guitar or other wood product. And also notice that environmental activists have also gotten into the fray.

Andrea Johnson, Forest Campaign Director for the Environmental Investigation Agency, a research and advocacy group, said although the industry uses the rarest and most endangered species — including wood, ivory and mother of pearl — fears about instruments being seized are misguided.

“Let’s be very clear here: No one is coming to take your Les Paul guitar,” Johnson said. [2]

But, the Feds have already seized guitars from Gibson.  I’m not saying that the government will or will not seize our guitars, but I’m learning more and more to distrust the government.

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Woodcarving: a Book Find

Saturday, at a garage sale I found this book for a dollar.

Woodcarving book Woodcarving: a Book Find

I’m not expecting to get into wood carving, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The book has some plans and some very interesting and useful ideas and techniques.

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