Friday, May 27, 2011

Afghan Girls!

Let me introduce you to Navy Corpsman Charles Setzer's Afghan girls, 'Crystal' and 'Blondie'.

Crystal's long, sleek, dark, neck accentuates her slender, honey-colored and art-adorned body, and when you carefully move your hands over her smooth form, she purrs like a kitten.  The more you stroke her the better she performs.

Blondie's more compact body radiates a certain warmth, and when you turn her on, the sound can be deafening.

Whoa!  Now that I have your attention, I confess that I'm describing the cigar box guitar and mini amp that I built and shipped today to Chuck, who is stationed at Bastion Hospital in Afghanistan.

'Crystal' is a 25.25" scale, four-string, electro/acoustic guitar, based on an Ashton Crystal No. 1 cigar box, with an oak neck and maple fretboard.  The art on the front of the guitar is a selection Chuck enjoys; the eagle and Blondie are my idea; and the Caduceus is the insignia.  Chuck is a Sailor, but he considers himself more a Marine, thus the 'Devil Doc' art on the inside of the box.


'Blondie' is a mini amp constructed from an Acid Cigars Blondie Belicoso cigar box.  The GuitarFuel harness and speaker is powered by a 9-volt battery (AC, when using an adapter) and controls include volume, tone, and tone expander.

Stay safe and well Chuck, and come home soon.

Remember Our Servicemen/women

Remember Them!
The men and women who serve our country,
so we can be free.

May God Bless Them

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Anthony Got 'The Bee'

EO2 Anthony Dennis, a US Navy Seabee, stationed somewhere in Africa received his cigar box guitar today, and the following is what he had to say:

I received the coolest thing anyone has ever made for me.  This cigar box guitar is amazing and more than I expected to receive when I made the post (CigarBoxNation).  I will have this one for the rest of my life and I'm sure it will be passed down to my son one day.  This guitar will always remind me of the appreciation people have for what we do and mark another deployment down.  This is truly the highlight of this deployment, thank you very much.
Anthony Dennis"

Stay well, and safe, my friend!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Bee In Africa

Anthony Dennis is a Seabee stationed somewhere in Africa, who is receiving this guitar as a gift to show appreciation for what he and many other servicemen and women are doing to preserve our freedom.

Like other GIs, Anthony placed a message on the CigarBoxNation site asking if any of us creators could make a guitar for him to help pass the time in a place most of us would never think of visiting, especially under his conditions.  So, I took the opportunity to give back a little for all the good things that I've experienced.

This three-string electro/acoustic uses an Oliveros cigar box as a basis for the build.  A neck made of oak and a poplar fretboard is the setup.  Strings pass from an exposed tailpiece to one-piece tuners for a sleek transition, and the action is low for finger style playing (amplified sound may be a little scarce in Africa).  But, if Anthony gets the urge to crank out a little Delta Blues, he can easily adjust the saddle to add a bit more string action.  The electro part is a Piezo pickup located under the top near the bridge, which transfers sound nicely to an amp.

Give it hell Anthony!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh, Momma!

I took a brake from building CBGs and amps this week to volunteer at the rummage sale for our church.  Anyone who has ever done this knows that it's a boatload of work, no money, a handful of strong backs doing the heavy lifting, a weak mind or two telling everyone else what to do, but the rewards far outnumber the weaknesses.

I didn't pay a lot of attention to where the music was coming from, but when I did get curious, I spotted this old cathedral style mantle radio surrounded by TVs, computers, other radios, and miscellaneous junk, pumping out great sound.  I looked around to make sure no one was watching me sneak up on this jewel, 'cause I wanted it, no matter the cost.

Oh, momma, this is awesome!  What an amplifier this will make.  So, I beat feet over to the lady running the show and asked her if I could buy it now?  She thought about it and said, "I guess so, but can you leave it plugged in for the sound around here?"  How much?  "Is twenty bucks OK?"  I nearly kissed her.  Sold!

After I got it home, I decided I just couldn't rip it apart, it really is an awesome radio, so I'm going to install my super-duper-monster GuitarFuel amp harness inside the radio cavity with all the other wires and crap, for a real sanitary creation, which I can use in many ways for entertainment. 

It now commands a very special spot at the end of the bar in our basement, which is finished in a music theme honoring our dog Wyatt, who passed several years ago . . . the 'Black Dog Blues Bar'

And, after drooling over it for awhile, I got the screwy idea to build a guitar shaped like the radio, complete with cutouts and recesses, which would match the radio. 

Geez, I can't wait to get started, but I gotta finish a couple guitars and an amp for servicemen in Afghanistan and Africa, first.

See ya later, gotta go!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

'La Gloria'

'La Gloria' is a three-string electro-acoustic guitar using a very unusual La Gloria Cubana Artesanos de Obelisco cigar box as the basis for the construction.

This is a beautiful cigar box with unbelievable finish throughout, and the shape screams to be made into a guitar.

I chose to retain the beauty of the top by not creating any sound hole openings, and to only add string ferrules and a thin Corian bridge to the surface.  To compliment the bridge, I crafted a nut from Corian to hold the strings in place at the head of the maple fretboard.  This is my first attempt at using Corian, but it surely will not be the last.  The Corian material is easy to work with and it maintains the same sturdiness of bone, and it polishes out very well.

So, where would the acoustic opening be placed? . . on the back side of the box.  The opening is designed to fit the lower contour of the box, and it is more than adequate to let sound resonate well.  The recessed output jack plate works nicely from its position near the top of the box allowing the amp cord to be used without getting in the way.

To finish the backside, I chose to add a hand painted graphic flower arrangement, which lends itself nicely to the clean front. 

I played this guitar for the first time yesterday, and I fell in love with the resonance of sound, the shape, and the sustain is awesome, so I guess this will stay in my stable along with a few other special creations I cannot part with.

Please let me know what you think of 'Gloria'.

Alarming Discovery!

Last month, Montreal University scientists released the results of a recent analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer.

That's right, beer contains female hormones!

Men should take a concerned look at their beer consumption. 

The theory is that beer contains female hormones (hops contain Phytoestrogens), and that by drinking enough beer, men turn into women. 

To test the theory, 100 men each drank eight schooners of beer within a one-hour period.  At the end of the hour, it was observed that 100% of the test subjects demonstrated the following symptoms:

1 -- They argued over nothing.
2 -- They refused to apologize when obviously wrong.
3 -- They all gained weight.
4 -- They talked excessively without making sense.
5 -- They became overly emotional
6 -- They couldn't drive.
7 -- They failed to think rationally.
8 -- They had to sit down while urinating.

It was deemed by the researchers that no further testing was necessary.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Want Your Comments!

OK, all you folks from the US, and from around the world!

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT OR TWO on the blog posts that you review.

Or, email me with comments at the address listed here...
I want to hear from you.  And, I want to know what you think, and what ideas you may have to share with me.

You're visiting my blog, so, DON'T BE TIMID!   Leave a message for me.

I don't bite!