History of Stinky
Stinky cigar and long ash 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. More stories and photos will be published in the near future.

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.