Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jimmy V's 'Pantie Dropper'

I dropped into the Burning Leaf Cigar Shop last week to say hello to Jeff and to pick up a couple boxes for future amps and guitars, and while there I made a new friend, Valter, who owns Jimmy V's Grill & Pub a block away.

Valter asked me to make a guitar for him.  We kicked the idea around and settled on a design, which at the time was a little different than what I finally created.  Valter really liked the 'Pantie Dropper', which I built for myself, and asked if he could buy it.  When I told him that it was not for sale, and that this particular box design was rare and no longer available, he decided something else would be just fine, so long as it was designed with the business logo. 

I got home and thought about it and decided to part with the 'Pantie Dropper', so that Valter would be able to enjoy it.  Some things are just meant to be, right?

The TotalRojo Guitars 'Jimmy V's Pantie Dropper' is a set neck, three-string, electro/acoustic guitar designed around a rare and old Oliva cigar box, which is no longer in production, and is perfectly shaped for a guitar.

The neck is oak with a walnut stained maple fretboard with stainless frets, which are hand set and dressed.  The 25.25" scale matches my Martin acoustic guitar.  BBs (my usual touch) are inlaid on the side of the neck to mark the critical fret locations.  Gotoh-type tuners stretch the 5-4-3 strings, from a regular 10-46 gauge set, over brass nut and saddle, from a tailpiece made from a silver spoon I stole from my wife's silverware collection.  (Boy, I'm in trouble! But, I believe it is much easier to receive forgiveness than permission).  I cut out the opening in the 'O' logo, on the face of the box, for a sound hole and backed it with screen to keep any varmints out and the stash in.  The output jack bezel, made from a metal sliding door thingy, is attached inside the box to a Piezo transducer for amplification (it's always a little noisy, when amped, but it's what one expects from a Piezo).  I tuned it to open G tuning (G-D-g), which offers great versatility for lots of songs.

To finish off the design, and to satisfy Valter's request, I burned the Jimmy V's logo into the back of the box and finished the entire guitar with Poly.  A little guitar wax, and it's ready to rock.

The sound is really cool, somewhere between a guitar and a banjo, and the volume and sustain, when played acoustically, is awesome and much greater than one would expect from a little cigar box. 

Yes, Valter, when you light this up in the bar at Jimmy V's, the girls panties are gonna drop right off.


Attached here are photos today of Valter receiving his new guitar at Jimmy V's in Columbus, Ohio. 

If you have the opportunity, drop by Jimmy V's Grill & Pub, on South High Street in German Village, for a lunch, dinner, or a drink.  It's a great place, with even greater social personality.  The outdoor patio is so comfortable, and Valter will make you feel right at home . . . I guarantee it!  You will not be sorry for stopping by.  And, tell him Jess sent you.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thank You Irene!

It's a matter of perspective.

Hurricane Irene screwed up my weekend plans, but I learned a long time ago, that for every action there is an opposite reaction, and a person just has to have the right attitude.  It's kinda like looking for a pony in a crib full of horse manure!

So what's the big deal, you ask?

Well, I decided, since the trip to York was off, to drop into my favorite cigar shop, Burning Leaf, to say hello to Jeff, and to pick up a box or three.  Jeff wasn't there, but I met a new friend, Valter, who just happens to own Jimmy V's Grill & Pub, a cool little place a block away.  Valter was quizing me about the guitars I build, and asked if I would build one for him, featuring the pub. 

Of course, I said yes.  We shook hands, and the rest is history.  I took off to create a guitar for Valter.  How's that for turning a situation around?

Thank you Irene!  You're a nasty little girl, but you couldn't keep a good man down.  And, thank you Valter!

Stay tuned for a peek at the Jimmy V's guitar in a couple days.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Irene Screwed Up My Weekend!

I was all set to head out this morning for York, PA to enjoy the York Fest and the annual Cigar Box Guitar Festival, but Hurricane Irene changed my plans.

The weather service assured me that I would be spending the weekend in a progressively worsening weather condition . . . rain, more rain, severe wind, and more rain.  So, I opted to drop the plan.  Who needs to drive six-and-a-half hours to experience the effects of a hurricane? 

Not me.  Been there and done that.  I remember too well the effects of Hurricane Bonnie when it hit southeast Texas back in the mid-eighties.  We survived it with no major damage, but I saw a very large tree in my neighbors yard fall and take off the end of his two-story house, while he stood there in his undies watching things collapse around him.

Geez, I'm gonna miss seeing friends and hearing a lot of great music.  Oh well, there's next year to look forward to.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It's So Depressing!

The US financial condition and the economic recession has hit everyone so hard, and it is so depressing.

I was so depressed last night thinking about the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline.

I got a call center in Pakistan, and when I told the listener I was feeling suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.

When I told my friend about it, he said, "Ya, it's bad, so bad that . . .
  • my neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail
  • Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen
  • Wives are having sex with their husbands, because they cannot afford batteries
  • I saw a Mormon with only one wife
  • If the bank returns your check marked 'insufficient funds', you call to verify, you or them
  • Angelina adopted a child from the United States
  • My cousin had an exorcism, but couldn't pay for it, so they re-possessed her
  • A truckload of Americans were caught sneaking into Mexico
  • The Treasure Island Casino in Las Vega is now managed by Somali pirates
  • And, CEOs are now playing miniature golf

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bastion Hospital Gets Another CBG

US Navy Corpsman Nicki Tarant requested a CBG, and I'm glad that I'm the person chosen to provide her with it.

Like all of the folks at Bastion Hospital, whom I've had the opportunity to build guitars for, Nicki doesn't make any demands, she just would like a guitar.  Well, Nicki, yours will be on the way Monday.

It's a three-string electro/acoustic ready for you to start playing.  As an accomplished six-string player, you'll have no trouble making this little TotalRojo rascal romp.

Perhaps you can form a 'Sand Band' with LT Virginia Sullivan, Chuck Setzer, and Brittany Saulsberry, along with some others who have received guitars from builders on CigarBoxNation.    q;-)   Please say hello to them for me.

Life at Bastion is not 'cake walk', and the daily pressure of treating traumatic injuries can take a toll on the best, and my friends there are THE BEST!  If I can bring a little pleasure to them in the form of a musical instrument, then I consider it the least I can do to thank them for keeping me safe here at home.

Four-string Bound For Kuwait

Tomorrow, I'll ship a four-string electro/acoustic guitar to another courageous serviceman, Navy Petty Officer Jeff Noack, who is stationed in Kuwait.

Jeff wrote me recently that it is the hottest place he has ever been stationed . . . '130 degrees on a regular basis.'

Perhaps a little cigar box blues will take his mind off the heat.

Thanks Jeff, for keeping us safe here at home!  And, say hello to Laban Thompson.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The 'Wide Dinger'

Annually, my son Jay hosts a Father's Day ride for all his road bike buddies, from near and far.  Guys and gals of all ages show up in their Spandex finery to sit on a razor blade-wide seat, on an expensive, skinny-tired, twelve-pound bicycle, to ride in a non-supported 35-, 65-, or 75-mile trek through hill and dale of central Ohio.  It's known affectionately as the 'Peckerhead Ride'.  I wonder why?

In a prior post, I wrote about the 'Peckerhead Guitar' that I created for Jay to show off at this year's event.

Well, after the ride, some of the guys were sitting around admiring the little three-string git, and questioning me about it.  During the conversation, the subject of battery-powered mini-amps came up.  I explained that phenomenon to the group, while they were giving me blank stares . . . 'little' guitars and 'mini' amps are to hard-core peddlers, what bathing and clean clothes are to a Harley rider . . . a mystery.

But, out of the crowd came a comment that got my attention.  Jay's friend Tom Weidinger told me he had an old radio in his shed that he thought I might like for an amp.  I tried to pay him for it, but his wife Jenny said no . . . I like a level-headed woman.  

Geez, I jumped on that like a wino on a jug of Thunderbird. 

The old tube-driven radio works had to be removed, and the speaker cloth replaced.  I added a back panel with access door to cover the cavity which was originally open for the careless tinkerer to be electrocuted.  Then I installed a GuitarFuel amp harness, using two of the original radio knobs for controls and the other knobs are there to make it look original.  An input jack is tucked in the outside corner, and voila, I got a cool not-so-little amp.

Here's the finished blower, which I call the 'Wide Dinger', named after my friend Tom, of course.

Thanks!, Tom and Jenny.