Friday, October 28, 2011

The 'Stratocrapper'

I've discovered, during the past couple years, that anything goes when building a cigar box guitar, and it doesn't necessarily require that a cigar box be used in the creation of a pretty cool instrument.  All that is required is a little creativity and a lot of imagination.

So, while taking a 'john' timeout, my imagination was wandering from one wild-assed (no pun intended) thing to another, and the thought occured to me that a toilet seat would make a great 'plank' guitar . . . it's shaped right; feels good when it should; some are made of wood, so construction would be easy; and it would be cool as hell (an oxymoron).

Off to Lowes I went in search of the perfect toilet seat.  It had to be wood, preferably oak, and it had to have a brass hinge arrangement.

I found just what I wanted, paid the lady, and beat feet out of the store . . . I bet they were wondering why I was in such a hurry with a toilet seat under my arm . . . they just didn't know the real mission I had in mind.

When my wife saw my new $30 prize, she asked, "Why are we replacing a toilet seat?"  "We aren't!," I said.  "Well, why did you buy that thing," she said.  Excited as all get out, I said, "I'm gonna make a guitar!"  She looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, "What?"  "Ya," I said, "It'll be a hoot!, and I'm calling it the 'Stratocrapper!"  To this, she didn't have a response, only a thousand yard stare, and walked away.

Off to the workshop I went.  It didn't take me long to decide what I would do with the Fender six-string neck I had on the shelf.  I took the seat apart, swapped the pieces around so the lid was the back and the seat was the front, attached the two pieces together, and measured twice and cut once (the recommended Rockler Woodworking approach) so the neck would fit just right on my new guitar body.

Now, what to do about electronics, 'cause this rig was not set up for acoustics.  Let your mind wander just a bit and I'm sure you can imagine the sound produced from a toilet seat . . . didn't want those acoustics.  ;-)

I created a box from a hollowed out piece of oak, with laminated Spanish cedar top, which would carry the pickups and the bridge, while hiding the wires in the routed channel below.  Next, I designed another cedar piece to rest on the seat ring, which would hold the controls recessed into another routed channel.  The electro parts were gathered and I commenced to put a wire harness together, which would fit the channels and openings in the covers.  All this didn't take long, thanks to the handy, dandy tools and layout in my shop.

Once the fabrication and fitting of pieces was completed, it was on to design.  The oak lid would remain golden, but the seat would be stained a very dark ebony for contrast with the lid and other wood parts, and to tie the neck and body together.  The hand painted graphic on the back speaks for itself, and the logo on the headstock finished the job.

My nine-year-old granddaughter Maggie saw the finished guitar yesterday, while visiting us for Halloween treats, and said, "Grandpa is that a toilet seat made into a guitar?"  When I said it was in fact a toilet seat, she howled, "Seriously, a toilet seat!"  "Seriously, did someone sit on it?!"  "Oh, no, I can't believe you would make a guitar out of a toilet seat!"  I didn't tell her it was new and unblemished, hee, hee.  I wonder what she'll say when she sees the bedpan guitar I'm gonna make. 

Here it is.  The 'Stratocrapper'.  What do you think?  I'll probably get a letter from Fender Guitars saying I must cease and desist in using 'strato' in the name, since they seem to be on a recent lawsuit mission scolding all the folks referencing 'strato' anything . . . look out weatherman, when you mention the stratosphere.

Hello George!

"The Impala'

I was cruising through the swap meet a couple months ago and happened upon an ol' gal peddling car emblems.  So, being the gearhead that I am, I stopped to look.  These weren't beat up old emblems, they were really nice stuff.

Normally, she was asking $10-$30 for each piece for the old stuff, but I managed to wheel and deal with her, and after learning that I send guitars to servicemen/women, she made me a sweet deal on a bunch of emblems.  I didn't tell her that not all my guitars go overseas . . . but, she didn't ask, so I didn't tell . . . military standard, don'cha know.

Long story short, I walked away with a dozen or so shiney pieces that I was sure would work nicely on the box of a guitar.

After building a couple other CBGs, I got to the car parts and 'The Impala' hit the road first.  It's a straightaway electro/acoustic three-string using an Oliva cigar box for the basis.  Damn, I like the sound produced from this box.  It resonates very well acoustically, and the sustain is awesome for such a little box. It's rivaled by the Padron and Cohiba, but in my opinion it is the best. 

Take a look and tell me what you think.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

'LaGloria II'

Several months ago, I happened onto a really cool LaGloria cigar box, which I turned into a CBG.  It's featured here on my site, if you're interested.

A week or so ago, I popped into my favorite smoke shop to see Jeff, and staring at me from a stack of empty cigar boxes was the sister to the 'LaGloria'.  I couldn't leave the Burning Leaf  without that box.

The 'LaGloria II' is a three string electro/acoustic, like her sister, but not quite as shapely.  She does, however have the same deep chocolate color with a little honey tossed in for an attractive and distinguishable appearance.  Her mellow sound can make a fella play hard and groan loud.

Since this box opens from the center, I used clasps at the front and back of the box to keep the lids in place. 

The oval sound hole covers are from a ladies belt, which I picked up at a flea market.  I think they add the right touch to the overall appearance of the box and complement the oval LaGloria logo.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's A dog's Life!

This is so funny, you gotta see it.   Enjoy.

Two dogs go into a restaurant for a meal, and the rest is history.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Probably The Best Quote, Ever!

I hope all of my wealthy friends and acquaintances read this, and that they decide the tax breaks they've been enjoying for years should be elimninated, and that they should encourage Congress to accept Obama's tax proposal on big business, so they can start paying their fair share, NOW! 

Can You Believe This Crap?!

In their most infinite wisdom, the Ohio Legislature passed a bill, which recently went into effect, that allows anyone with a 'conceal carry' permit to pack their hidden firearm into a bar or restaurant, any bar, anytime!

A stipulation in the law is that the 'packer' cannot drink alcohol, and the bar owner/tender is the one responsible for ensuring the 'packer' isn't drinking.  Between pouring a whiskey sour and a black Russian, the bartender must determine who is carrying and drinking, and to be the one to tell the armed guy he cannot have the drink he ordered.  Yup, I think that will surely happen . . . and I believe in the tooth fairy, too!

Jesus Christ (there I go, praying again), are non-gun-toting patrons going to be subjected to a search now, when they enter a bar or restaurant, simply because some asshole thinks he needs to carry a weapon to protect himself.

What?  Are they all nuts?!   Mixing bullets with booze is a recipe for disaster!

Oh, I know, all the gun nuts I know, and those I don't know, will throw a fit if they read this or hear that I'm criticizing the decision.  They will cry that they have a right to bear arms.  OK, I get that.  I just don't agree with hidden guns, any time, any place.  If they're so gawd damn afraid of their shadows, perhaps they should hide in their basements or bathrooms, and let us less fearsome individuals walk the streets and visits establishments without wondering when someone will whip out their sixshooter to start settling old scores.

But, I don't give a damn what they think, the conceal carry law is clearly a bad decision, and letting anyone, but a cop, carry a concealed weapon is lunacy.   But, the decision is political, and the NRA has an enormous lobby, so our good political whores are selling out for the gun nut vote.

Try this on for my reasoning.  A 60-something-year-old woman was filling her car with gas a couple weeks ago in a neighboring community, when the gun she was carrying slipped out of it's holster, fell to the ground, discharged, and shot her in the leg.  What if she had been sitting on her whoopee cushion eating an egg-Mac-muffin, when this happened and someone else got shot.  What then?  I suppose her excuse would be that she feared that crazy looking Ronald McDonald.

It's not Bubba the beer drinking redneck that scares hell out of me, you know he's got a gun, it's in the back window of his pick-em-up truck.  It's the half wit scared shit less, by the lame brain media, with no understanding of firearms, who thinks they can protect themselves from the bogey man with a gun, who I'm concerned about.

Perhaps, the gun toter should be required to declare he/she is carrying a concealed weapon upon entering a public place, and be required to wear a visible badge of declaration.  I'll bet that would be good for the economy and the business, as the non-toting folks hastily beat feet for the nearest exit.  How would the NRA explain that economic misfortune?