Designed for REAL Cigar Smokers!
Finally! An ashtray for REAL cigar smokers! What's wrong with most cigar ashtrays? Ask Stinky and he'll tell you they don't work very well. Real cigar smokers agree the bowls on most traditional ashtray designs are too small and/or too shallow. The enjoyment of fine cigars is often done in the company of others. Like many cigar enthusiasts around the world, Stinky meets with other cigar enthusiasts every week and finds that cigar smoking creates a substantial amount of debris, a mountain of ash, cigar butts, matches, even an occasional cigar band. Most people don't want to litter the table, so often times, they toss the cigar cellophane and cedar packaging sleeves into the ashtray. With Stinky's big bowl design you can smoke all evening without stopping to go empty the ashtray. After years of feedback from cigar enthusiasts across the country, the deep bowl design has proved to be 'wind proof' . . . and, they will float in your pool or spa! ! !
Traditional ashtray designs fail because the lit cigar resting on the stirrup may contact the debris in the ashtray and ruin the burn. Stinky's Cigar Ashtray employs a deep bowl to accommodate an evenings worth of ash, butts and debris without obstructing a lit cigar momentarily placed on the stirrup.
And what about them cigar stirrups? Did Stinky just make them for show? Well, of course not! The cigar stirrup must be the right length, width and curve to work properly! Many traditional ashtray designs fail here too. If the notch intended to hold the cigar is too short, it becomes very difficult to find the center of gravity and balance the cigar. The cigar tips into, or worse yet, out of the ashtray and rolls off the table! It is undesirable for a cigar to contact any debris inside the ashtray. Nobody wants his or her fine cigar to contact (and melt) cellophane or even touch someone's old butt. Any cigar enthusiast knows how important the burn ring is. A true cigar enthusiast does not want to knock off the ash inadvertently by tipping the cigar into an empty ashtray, not to mention resting a cigar on the lit foot.
Many ashtray designs have an extra long groove. While this may look nice and invites the display of big, long cigars, the idea is flawed! The idea of a cigar stirrup (or cigar holder, rest, notch, trough, channel, groove) is to be able to set your cigar down for a few moments then pick it up easily and continue smoking. Knowing how critical the burn ring is, you certainly do not want to place a lit cigar on a groove leaving the burn ring in contact with the ashtray surface to obstruct the airflow. The tobacco could tar up and ruin the taste! Furthermore, when using ashtrays designed with an extra long groove, you must place the burn ring and ash over the bowl leaving the head (or mouth piece) of the cigar in contact with the surface of the groove! Nobody wants to put a cigar back into his or her mouth after it has been in contact with the community ashtray!!!
On Stinky's Cigar Ashtray, each cigar stirrup is less than 2 inches long and only 1 inch wide with a bend radius to accommodate cigars well over one inch in diameter (or up to an 80 ring gauge). The length is necessary to enable the average eye hand coordination and ability to set any size cigar down and hit the center of gravity within this 2-inch envelope. Anybody can do that (unless they are too drunk)! The cigar can be smoked down to less than 3 inches and still meet the logical placement on this cigar stirrup design. The large radius curve accommodates all ring sizes from 3/16" cigarettes up to the largest cigars that measure over one-inch (note; one inch diameter is a 64 ring). The oval shaped cigar stirrup is less than one quarter of an inch deep which allows the smoker to pick up their cigar without digging it out of a deep groove that covers the sides of the smaller ring gauge cigars.
After an enjoyable cigar get-together, the Stinky Cigar Ashtray is easy to clean. The polished stainless steel finish is completely heat resistant and easily wiped clean. Let all cigar butts set for at least 15 minutes and they will extinguish themselves. When you are sure the burn is out, simply dump all the debris into a trashcan and wash like any stainless steel vessel.
All this and countless hours of cigar testing went into the size and shape of the Stinky Cigar Ashtray!
Stinky got his name from his wife when he started smoking cigars and came into the house with that familiar odor. Now, he's Stinky to hundreds of fellow cigar enthusiasts.
The Stinky Cigar Ashtray's Pre Production Story
As you know, I developed this ashtray out of a need at our weekly herf. We need bigger ashtrays! The first Stinky Cigar Ashtray was a second hand silver bowl that I had for years. In January of 2004, I took three souvenir coins to a radiator shop and had them soldered to the rim. The guys loved it and wanted me to make some for them. It was a lot of work, so I said no. Each week they would repeat their desire to have a large bowl ashtray.
Out of curiosity I contacted a company in India and started researching the idea. In March of 2004 I attended the NATO convention here in Las Vegas. I only had the original Silver plated ashtray and one makeshift stainless steel prototype. Most of the cigar storeowners seemed to like the idea. At that time I was laid off work and found myself doing a lot of research and corresponding with a company in India. They quoted me prices for a minimum order of 10,000 pieces, tooling costs and the cost to produce and deliver samples. I figured there was plenty of time to get samples in time for the RTDA in July of 2004.
By the month of May, I realized that I needed help if I was going to import something. A friend suggested that I contact the Small Business Administration (Government SBA) for free business counseling. They found a local consultant who is a retired import - export executive. His help with the import details, marketing and cost projections gave me the courage to send the money needed to pay for tooling, samples and delivery.
Well, there was plenty of time to prepare for the RTDA, except the manufacture was late delivering the first sample. It was all wrong! They had agreed to send 30 samples in time for the RTDA. They were very, very slow to respond to my calls and e-mails, but they finally delivered 36 samples just days before the RTDA! And, when these samples showed up. they were not what I wanted! They looked good, but the stainless steel they were made out of was just too thin! I decided to show them anyway and explain that the production ashtrays would be much thicker.
These samples were still very well accepted at the show. Even though we sold a couple thousand, there was some resistance due to the thin, lightweight metal. I spent the next two weeks working with several manufactures to get a heavier gauge sample that was the exact same size and shape. Finally the properly engineered samples arrived. They are outstanding!!! Nice and heavy with each cigar stirrup silver-soldered to the rim.
All along, I wondered what to do with the remaining samples. Some were "lost" at the RTDA and I sent 7 pieces overseas to various manufactures for quotation. I just couldn't let these "defective" ashtrays get out in the market where they would be perceived as thin, lightweight and cheap. So, I decided to modify the samples and have them engraved as gifts for the people who have helped me along the way.
The problem with the thin metal was not only the feel. The thin metal and "spot weld" method of attaching the stirrups would not hold up under any abuse. And, they really needed some extra weight. So I decided to put concrete in the base. But, due to the shape of the base cup, the concrete would not stay in place. I took all the samples to a custom sheet metal shop and had each stirrup reinforced with a small "Tig" weld under the lip. And, while in the metal shop, I had them spot weld 3 tabs of stainless steel to the inside of each base cup to secure the concrete. While the ashtray samples were being welded, I ordered custom nameplates to commemorate each ashtray. And, as I polished each of the welding marks out of the finish on each stirrup, I decided these really do deserve a Certificate of Authenticity. Each of the 25 limited edition Pre Production Models are being packaged for my friends who helped from the beginning.