Developer from the UK, currently a Senior Front-end Developer at Zinc Digital.
Podcasting weekly at

Mark Hoppus Bass build is complete!


How it started life…

Best of* 2019

* more like my favourite things, but oh well

Another year (decade) over! I thought I’d put together a few of the things I enjoyed the most this past year.


This one is easy…too easy. I hinted at it in last years post but the music I was most excited for this year was the new Angels & Airwaves album along with the new blink-182 album, well, we kinda got that, or at least most of it. The two new Angels & Airwaves tracks have been on repeat ever since they came out and the new blink-182 album (Nine) has been in rotation as well.

Rebel Girl – Angels & Airwaves

Kiss & Tell – Angels & Airwaves

My favourite new discovery of the year has been a British band called Hot Milk, you can check them out here.

I also started using (again) this year, so you can check out my listening habits here. Spoiler alert: It’s just blink-182 over and over.


Not too many standout additions this year. I’ve been getting more and more into using “Things” as my to-do app of choice, it’s a high buy-in price but well worth it if you can stay committed.

The other main app that I’m surprised I’ve stuck so well to is You Need a Budget! This time last year I made the conscious decision to track every single penny going in an out of my accounts, and that’s exactly what I’ve done for the last 12 months and counting. Whether you’re in financial difficulty, I think using a budgeting tool (there are loads, spend a little while and find one that works for you) is an essential tool, really helps deal with unexpected surprises (I’m looking at you cars).

This isn’t really a “best of”, actually, it’s quite the opposite, but can we just give a quick shout out to the new YouTube app on the Apple TV for possibly being one of the worst user experiences I’ve seen in a long time? Apple provide these native video playback controls that work with their remote really well (no matter what you think of the actual remote) but YouTube have successfully used none of that, and it’s the worst. The irony is when the 4th generation Apple TV launched, the YouTube app was great! Used the native video controls etc. and just worked….why fix something that isn’t broken 🤷‍♀️

TV & Film

Toy Story 4. Enough said. Easily my favourite movie of the year. I was a little worried about how they were going to carry on after the ending of the 3rd film, but it ended up very well done and super fun to watch, and oh boy that animation, just wow.

Favourite TV series of the year has to go to Stranger Things 3. After the no so good season 2, season 3 absolutely knocked it out of the park. The storyline was great, the visual effects were great and the soundtrack was outstanding.

Honourable mention to the latest season of Orange is the new black, they really pulled it back together with the last season.


Another great year for our show over at, record numbers and I think we’ve really stepped up the quality of the show this year. We’re also approaching 10 years this January, which is nuts. Super excited for the things we have planned for that episode.


I’m running out of wall space. This year I’ve spent more time than ever in the shed learning so much about the process of making guitars. Still working on the second one, but the first one you can see the process here, here and here.

The colours might not be to everyone’s taste, but I’m a fan. The first one is a Surf Green Tom DeLonge Stratocaster and the current work in progress is a Hot Pink Mark Hoppus bass – more on that soon.

So here’s to 2020 and the decade beyond, Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone!

New Ernie Ball “String Theory” video!

Could listen to these for hours…

Building a TD Fender Strat – Part 3: Final assembly

It’s been a little while since I last posted an update but here’s the final (kinda) post on the build. We’ve got it all painted and put together, I’m now in the process of slowly perfecting the setup.

The only long term changes will be correcting the pickup (currently a SD neck, ideally needs to be a SD bridge) and a few minor wiring tweaks. Eventually I may sand the finish down and redo it, we learnt a lot painting this guitar and there a few areas where we could definitely improve.

Overall though, super psyched about how the guitar came out, it looks and sounds great! Onto the next build (watch this space…)

Link to gallery

Sunday Morning Cars

Is there a better way to spend a Sunday morning? I don’t think so.

Audiobook: Adam Savage’s “Every Tool’s a Hammer”

For any “maker” (I use quotes as Adam does a fantastic job of explaining the many, many kinds of people that can be described as makers) this book is a must read/listen. It covers everything from how Adam got started in “making” all the way to how Mythbusters began and much more.

Audible link | Amazon link

On Repeat: Rebel Girl – Angels and Airwaves

Building a TD Fender Strat – Part 2: The body!

View part 1

We now have an almost complete body after a lot of template building and routing (including some close calls with fingers)! Next up is getting the holes drilled for the bridge and tidying up around the neck pocket. From there it’ll be onto sanding, sealing and priming ready for paint! Can’t say I’m too excited at the prospect of so much sanding…

I’ve put together a little album on SmugMug to show each stage so far. Once I’ve added some more photos to the album, I’ll try and go through them all adding captions explaining each stage.

Ferocious attack animal*

*kidding, she’s scared of literally everything

Building a Tom DeLonge Fender Stratocaster – Part 1: Introduction and parts

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m a huge blink-182/AVA/BCR/+44 fan and I seemingly can’t get through a single 24 hour period without playing a song by the aforementioned. So ever since I started to learn the guitar, it feels like the natural progression is to build a Tom DeLonge signature Fender Stratocaster, right? Well, that’s the plan! I currently own one of his Epiphone ES-333 signature editions and a slightly modified Squier Bullet Strat (I’ve switched out some of the electronics in it) – so I’m itching to add to the collection!

Having watched a number of videos (probably more than I’d care to admit) online about his Strats, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s definitely not one for the Fender purists. It ditches the famous 3 single coil pickups that give the Strat that iconic tone and replaces them with a single humbucker at the bridge. It also ditches the 2 tone knobs and 1 volume knob for just a single control. I love the sound it makes, it’s a really simple tone that doesn’t have much versatility (it’s a single humbucker with one control after all) and it screams of that early 00’s pop-punk guitar tone, which is exactly what I’m after.

The build…

I’ve spent a little bit of time looking for an original but they’re just so expensive (similar story with the Gibson version of the Epiphone), so I thought why not build one! I’ve already started to compile a rough parts list which I’l go over below. I’m planning to document as much of the process as I can but I’m by no means an expert, so there will be a little bit of trial and error involved. I’m not going exactly like-for-like but I’m trying to get as close as I can.

The Parts

There are a few things that have made life easier in figuring out which parts were used on the originals. The first being the fact Fender have a service document available in PDF form right on their website, secondly “LittleRedGuitars2” on YouTube has also done some incredible builds over the years (he also does epic Blink covers and original work too) and lastly Tom sold off a lof of his older gear a few years ago which means we a) got some decent pictures of everything and b) some of the purchasers have figured a few more things out, all really useful!

I can’t stress enough that this list is still a work in progress and that some things like the body and neck are UK specific.

After that, it’s just the little things such as the actual potentiometers, the control knob, output jack, paint etc.

Talking of paint, which colour will it be?! This is a tough one, I’m torn between pretty much all of the colours. I know there were the 4 colours you could buy it in originally, and I’m pretty sure he had an off white version and he used a brown one in BCR at some point as well.

The colour options are:

  1. Daphine Blue
  2. Black
  3. Surf Green
  4. Graffiti Yellow

The current front runner is “Surf Green” (pictured below).

To be continued…

Update 23-03-2019: I’ve gone ahead and started purchasing the parts (slowly ticking them off above). I’ve also decided to get a block of Alder wood for the body and cut my own with some templates, so here goes!

Update 02-5-2019: View part 2

Older Posts