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June 14, 2011 - No Comments!

Acts 29 Bay Area Bootcamp

A few pictures from the last 2 weeks. I took these on my D-90. I don't know anything about photography, as is evident below.

Scott Thomas (president of Acts 29) and Zimmerman.

Scott Thomas preaching at the Acts 29 Bay Area Bootcamp.

Q&A session with Scott Thomas, D.A. Carson, and Mark Driscoll.

Jeff Vanderstelt preaching at the Acts 29 Bay Area Bootcamp.

Mark Driscoll preaching at the Acts 29 Bay Area Bootcamp.

Matt Chandler preaching at the Acts 29 Bay Area Bootcamp.

D.A. Carson preaching at the Acts 29 Bay Area Bootcamp.

October 30, 2010 - 3 comments

Piano Project – Part 3

Click here for Part 2...

Next up was a set of new casters, because the old ones had seen better days and I knew I was going to be wheeling this thing around a lot. Excitedly I mounted them, and then realized maybe I should have waited. It turns out, my timing was right as I was going to be moving this thing a lot throughout the end of the project.

I knew I wanted to stain the inside and back, and paint the exterior frame complimentary shades of aqua and deep blue. Here's a quick shot of the finishes I landed on:

1. Behr primer/paint combo in flat. Sample can. Plenty of paint to hit the panels I wanted.
2. Glidden high gloss for the kick board. Easy to clean, durable, slightly different shade than the paint on purpose for depth.
3. Minwax water-based stain, dyed custom by the lady at home depot based on my paint swatch.
4. Clear coat for the stained areas.
5. Also, some serious wood glue I used for reattaching the bottom of the piano back on.

Then, a quick fit-test to see what kind of room I would have on the edges, and how big the plex would need to be that would function as my "bottom shelf". This 49-key Axiom fit nicely.

Next up: the shelves. I wanted the top one to be stained wood and the bottom to be made of plexi-glass so that I could inlay custom artwork in the 4 wood squares and they would be seen through the working surface. Picked up a piece of plex from a dear friend who is known for having this sort of thing on hand. Cut it with a jigsaw, then drilled holes in the notched sections to get the jigsaw running side-to-side to finish the notches. Despite all advice, I found running the saw quickly (instead of slowly like everyone suggested) made the cleanest cuts with no melted plastic.

Here's one of the glass laid in, with notches taken out of the back edge to stabilize any sliding. (It still has the protective blue coating on.)


Finally peeled the plexi-glass protective coating. Looks better than I expected. A huge thank you to Mr. Needham for the donation!

I spent the rest of my project time today fabricating some stops for the kick board on the bottom. Because of the pieces I took out, it doesn't have anything to keep it from falling forward or backward.

This one below is little more complicated because it needs to turn 90 degrees so that you can remove the kick board when access to the guts is required. Little square of foam on the end will keep the board from rattling too much.

Last coat of polyurethane is drying on everything that needed it.

The last step will be popping in the 2nd shelf, re-hinging the other half of the top, and getting started on the electrical wiring. The end is near!

Click here for Part 2...
Click here for Part 4...

October 30, 2010 - 2 comments

Piano Project – Part 2

Click here for Part 1 or here for Part 3...

I knew the next part was gutting this beast. All 88 keys came off pretty easily once the guard plank was removed. I removed the cheek blocks to maximize the width of the "bottom shelf". If you're trying this sory of thing, you must check the length of your desired control unity or keyboard before you get rolling. Next was the piano know, the kind gangsters kill people with in old mob movies?

Rather than unwind all of them with a piano wrench I did not own, I opted to grab the bolt cutters and go one by one with protective glasses on. 88 wires isn't too bad, right? Wrong. Most keys hit 3 strings so do the math...I was cutting a couple dozen a day for several days. Then I had to take a pair of vice grips and pull the remnant rusted strings off of the pegboard. Nasty.

Next was yanking the cast iron plate. That meant finding a way to pull the huge steel piece (75 lbs) from inside the wood frame. That was the hardest part of the whole project. Other than being heavy, there was no clear path to pull it out without deconstructing some of the frame, which was risky because anything I disassembled had to be rebuilt creating more work. Finally, I decided to drive it out the bottom, which meant I pulled off the bottom piece of the piano. Here she is, free of her piano prison:

If I am still feeling ambitious when this project is done, I may turn the plate into a coffee-table. One side is perfectly flush and would hold a custom cut piece of glass well. Legs would be easy to attach. Just an idea...

Here's the pinblock cleaned of all its rusty whiskers.

In an attempt to have a clean canvas to begin rebuilding, I started pulling off wood pieces that were either cosmetic, or structurally unnecessary. Now we're getting somewhere!

Click here for Part 1 or here for Part 3...

October 30, 2010 - 1 comment.

Piano Project – Part 1 of 4

On various tours, I've seen a few bands pull off a DIY project that I always thought would be a fun undertaking; converting an old upright piano into a MIDI workstation. The basic concept is:

Step 1: Find an old upright for cheap. Really cheap.
Step 2: Gut it.
Step 3: Refinish it to your liking.
Step 4: Install your favorite MIDI/audio devices.

The reasons for the project are functional as well as aesthetic. It could be used by the bands at my local church, as well as look cleaner and cooler than a table full of wires and cables.


Last month I decided to stop just thinking about it, and try it. Step 1 was finding a piano for "free-fifty". I had noticed a guy on Craigslist that was always selling old uprights, and in some of his photos it seemed he had a storage space full of them so I gave him a ring. Our conversation:

DZ: Hello, I have a question for you that you probably don't get a lot. Do you have an upright that is damaged beyond repair?

GUY: Why yes, i was taking one to the dump tomorrow. Want it today?

Sweet. That was easier than I expected.

Click here for part 2.

June 7, 2010 - 2 comments

The Band Rivalry

Okay folks, feast your eyes on this:

Benefit Concert for Romania Orphanage
FRIDAY, June 11th.
at Grace Church
at 7pm
All ages. Tix are $10 at the door, and all proceeds go to the orphanage.

Alldaydrive and Zimmerman will be playing tunes for your enjoyment. Spread the word...we're depending on you!


April 28, 2010 - No Comments!

Changes: Worship Ministry Update

5 years ago, only Harvey and I were on staff and I tried to take care of anything that wasn’t preaching. It was messy.
When I think about where God has brought us now, I get a bit foggy eyed at the sheer amount of people pouring out their lives for something bigger, and mostly just grateful God has kept the wheels on this thing. It’s been a twisting road thus far, and certainly not a script that I am smart or brave enough to have written.

We’ve been receiving a lot of questions recently about all of the changes in the worship ministry of Living Stones. Some of those questions have come in from those curious and caring. Others have wielded them as weapons.

One thing I have gleaned from those wiser and more experienced is that effective ministry is built on an unchanging Gospel through constantly changing means. So the “why” we do ministry and the “who we do it for” is constant, while the “when”, “where”, and some of the “how” is always in a state of flux. Things like Jesus and the Scriptures stay in a closed hand while things like music style, ministry structure, and systems are in an open hand.

This past year, it became clear that in order to grow we were going to need to revamp some of the systems in the open hand. My role was shifting from leading a team every weekend at services, to overseeing six bands and developing band leaders. As the needs of the ministry grew, I knew we were going to eventually tear down what he had previously built in order to grow, progress, and serve the community.


Many have noticed that the faces on stage every weekend have changed, including my band ‘Zimmerman’. Actually, all 6 bands have been reworked and more changes are planned for the rest of the year. The “why” of ministry hasn’t changed; to worship Christ with our lives and to help the LS community articulate things of the faith in song. But as the ministry continues to grow, the needs and requirements of what I oversee have grown too.

New objectives have arisen, such as:

-providing a consistent worship experience for all of the services

-limiting new material presented to the community so they can learn and engage with current songs

-balancing out the bands in terms of maturity and talent

-setting a consistent schedule so that the community feesl more connected to their worship leaders

-providing opportunities for new musicians to prove faithfulness in using their gifts for the Kingdom

These are the moving targets we are striving for.

‘Zimmerman’ is changing too. Aaron is moving his family to Las Vegas and will be missed. He’s a good friend and has been a servant to the community for many years. Brennen is now singing with Ricky Turner’s band, ‘Outlet’ to help take that band to the next level and will be singing at Living Stones a lot more often really soon. What has been known as ‘Zimmerman’ in the past will look different in the future, with some musicians playing with me at Living Stones, and others playing outside events when they arise. I have been revitalized by some songwriting and recording these past few months with several different artists in the LS community.

I can honestly say that I have never been this excited or at peace about the worship ministry of LS. Things are still messy and I’m trying to learn as much as I can while applying the Gospel to how we grow and develop. I am desperately trying to make sure the right things stay unchanging, and the rest is held in a very open hand.

Prayers appreciated.