I got this really cool Montecristo 'Epic' cigar box from my buddy Ed Paxton, owner of Woodland Cigars, but I didn't have a clue how I'd put it to use.
The box itself is quite heavy in the manner in which it is constructed. The top is 1/2" thick and the reinforced inside lends to the weight. And, to complicate things a bit, the overall design is really different, in that it is straight at the hinged side, concave on either ends of the box, and convex at the front. And, to make matters even more interesting, the front is rounded as well as convex. Because, the original finish is factory sprayed bright red enamel with silver accent, I had to be very careful to not screw it up in the design/production process.
I chose a real nice stick of walnut for the neck, which like all my guitars, has an eight- degree scarf joint at the headstock. Twenty handseated frets finish off the Ziricote wood fretboard (check out the magnificent grain in this wood). The scale is 25.4" like all of my rigs. Open geared tuners draw the strings over Corian nut and saddle, which is recessed in the Ziricote bridge. I chose to use the same stick of Ziricote to design the stylistic pup bobbin top, volume control knob, bridge, and string retainer (they each conform to the curved design of the body).
I couldn't bring myself to carve openings in the top for sound distribution, so the 'Epic' is electric only driven by a TotalRojo magnetic pickup. I wound the pup to produce a very warm and mellow sound, and it worked out exactly like I wanted.
I think this is one that will remain in my personal stable.
Let me know what you think.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
The cherry wood neck has an eight degree scarf joint at the headstock, which lends to style, strength and string tension.
The nut is hand formed from Corian stock.
The fretboard, complete with 22 hand shaped stainless frets, is rosewood. Check out the beautiful grain in this wood.
Open back geared tuners stretch the strings over the 25.4-inch scale, from the hand formed Corian saddle recessed into the rosewood bridge.
The string retainer tailpiece is also designed from the same stick of rosewood, and it anchors the strings to the back of the body.
To accommodate the acoustic needs, I drilled 5/16" holes in the domed top to let sound escape, which is adequate for a nice mellow resonance.
The TotalRojo magnetic pickup is designed to allow only the posts to be exposed through the top, which I feel is less obstructive to the overall design. And, it does not take away from the bright red hurricane design of the box.
To complete the design, I decided to create a volume control knob from rosewood. It looked good, but it didn't stand out like I wanted. So, I rummaged around through some old coins left over from a European trip and came up with a French coin depicting Caesar. When the ol' boy's head is turned, the volume increases, probably similar to his behavior all those years ago.
The top is slightly domed (visible in the photo at the left), which is very strong, but a little more difficult to work around.
It plays nice, sounds good, and I'm a happy camper.
Hope you enjoy it.