Greetings Darrel

I am elated to report that your cabinet is ready for inspection. In all previous images, it has been under-exposed. You’ve yet to see any details or close ups. Here they are.

If you see anything at all that dissuades you, do not hesitate to mention it as your reason to pass on this deal. Humorously put, I might want your cabinet more than your money, but the truth is that you are he first patron I have disappointed and I do not hold you to this deal. I should have triple checked the dimensions of your guitar before I designed the cabinet.

That offer extended, I will show you the final result in the hope that you like it enough to accept it.

Upon review, note one thing that I find fascinating. This wood has two colors. In low light and from a slight distance, t is pitch black. Up close and brightly lit, it is a mix of reds and dark browns. You’ll see in the close up views that follow.

3491 Rev 1.2


Final Images - 01

Final Images - 02

Final Images - 03

Final Images - 04

Final Images - 05

Final Images - 06

Final Images - 07

Final Images - 08

Final Images - 09

Final Images - 10

Final Images - 11

Final Images - 12

Feel free to call if there is anything you wish to discuss. Otherwise, I am busy wrapping it up and preparing for shipping. Your final invoice will be forthcoming once I know the shipping costs, with a 10% discount applied to the original price.

Thank you again for the pleasure of your commission. I hope to get another opportunity to build a slightly larger one for you someday.

Stephen “Mitch” Micciche


As of Friday evening October 10th, I am happy to report that you might be able to fit your ES335 into the cabinet, now that I have re-milled a new Yoke Block that holds the Yoke even closer to the back panel. In the images below, you will be able to see that my PRS fits with about 10-12 mm more clearance than it did in the previous test. That revives my hope that the ES-335 will, if carefully hung, fit.

In the first pair of images, I hope you can see that the new wooden Yoke Block is quite a bit thinner than the original. Combines with the modified Yoke, the guitar now rests closer to the back panel.



The next image is difficult to “see” but it shows the gap between the guitar’s body and the back panel.


More importantly, the gap between the door plane and the guitar has greatly increased, as shown below. In my previous status, you may recall seeing that this gap was small.



Lastly, please remember that my PRS is a small guitar. The ES-335 almost fills the cabinet, but Strat’s and Tele’s will be generously framed.


In summary, I am please with the new Yoke and Yoke Block and can assure you that your narrow guitars will fit quite nicely in the cabinet. I am also optimistic that the ES-335 will, if carefully hung, fit. I will install the door now, take a few more pictures and begin packaging the cabinet for transit. My Freight Carrier is working on an estimate for the cost of delivery and I will report that to you as soon as I receive it.

Thank you for your extended patience on this project.


I have adjusted the Yoke so as to host the guitar as deeply as possible in the enclosure. Upon testing the new setup, I am disappointed to report that the guitar will touch the inside of the door. When I say touch, I should point out that the door will still close and seal, but the guitar will be resting against it as it closes.

In the photos below, I will attempt to show you exactly what I am talking about, but before I do that, let me show you the good news. The guitar pops out against the suede very nicely.




Now, let’s look at the fit test photos. As you can see below, the headstock is up against the back panel. The yoke is not the limiter. Normally, the yoke prevents the head stock from touching the back panel so as to assure a straight hang. If the head stock touches the back panel, I fear stressing the neck joint of the guitar.


I doubt the suede will scratch the finish on the head stock, it is a very plush fabric - thicker and much softer than most guitar case linings. As such, I didn’t feel any reluctance to push it back as I settled the guitar into the yoke. I discovered that the guitar ‘landed’ in a variety of positions in the yoke.

After experimenting, I discovered that the deepest position required that I push not only the head stock against the back, but also the lower body of the guitar. It’s an unnatural tactic, but it gets the whole guitar into the case.


As you can see above, there is about 5-6 mm clearance between the guitar’s bridge and the door plane. Technically, it fits. But let’s bot celebrate just yet, the story is only half told.


Not long after taking the first picture, the guitar settled into the Yoke a bit. exhibiting the fact that the hang was ‘forced’ and not plum. Gravity won and the guitar shifted slightly.


In all of these images, you may be able to see that the bridge is touching the stick.


As you have heard, and I must say agin... I am deeply sorry about this situation and certainly willing to refund your moneys, if you desire.

On the other hand, I can assure you that the cabinet will host several makes and models of shallow bodied guitars such as Stratocasters, Telecasters (Flat Headed guitars...) as well as some low head angle guitars such as the Gibson SG.

Below, you will see one my favorite guitar in your cabinet. It is a PRS Private Stock, short scale and rather tiny in height and width, but it is the same depth as a Gibson SG. It also has a shallow neck / head angle.



At the risk of gloating... I traded this guitar for a cabinet long ago. The previous owner is Heart Guitarist and Hall of Fame Inductee, Howard Leese. He toured this guitar around the world several times and it is rather well beaten from the travels, but it is also the finest solid bodied electric guitar I have ever seen, head or played. If you are ever in Denver, you really have to stop by if only to play this baby.


But, back to the fit test. As you can see below, this is not a flat necked guitar. Although the view is shadowed, you may be able to see that the headstock is about 12 mm away from the back panel, and not yet stopped out in the yoke. In other words, the yoke could be reshaped (it’s easy to bend the arms) to host this guitar even deeper.


Again, we use a stick to represent the door plane at the point of the guitar’s body that protrude the most. As is typical, this is the bridge saddles.


As you can see above, the door margin is about 6-7 mm. If I wanted to hang this guitar, I’d reshape the yoke to increase the door margin to at least 12 mm. That’d leave safe space for a swinging guitar.

If you’d like me to fit test any particular guitar, make or model, just ask. Otherwise, I leave you to your deliberations.


September 30th Status:

Shall I give you the good news first? Your cabinet is completed and it is stunning. The bad news is that, upon testing it for fit, I am not happy with the results. We will have to discuss this in order for you to fully understand my concern, so I will send you these images and look forward to calling you soon.

One of the final assembly steps is to apply a vapor barrier to the back panel, as shown below. Next, the fabric is glued onto the barrier and then the back is installed.


As soon as the back went on, I was eager to test the fit. Ann and I went into Denver to Guitar Center where we borrowed an ES-335.


As you can see above, it fits fantastically with respect to height and width.

Misc Notes: The door has yet to be installed as we do these fit tests. The cabinet is coated with masking to protect the lacquer and you can see the 50 mm (25 psi foam) padding we use as we build you shipping carton.


Everything looks great until you look along the door-plane. In this instance, the guitar MIGHT obstruct the door from closing.


I am making adjustments to the Yoke so as to bring the guitar as close to the back panel as possible. I will retest the adjusted configuration as soon as I can get back into Denver.


Welcome to your private status page. Here, you can watch your lumber progress from its rough form, all the way to completion. Click on any image to expand it and do not hesitate to ask for more details, if there is a component you wish to see.

Some of the tricks I use to fabricate your cabinet are unusual and, of course, proprietary. Please don’t show this page to any of your DIY friends. Thanks!

Here is your second installment of status photos, long overdue. These photo cover the most difficult millings and I am happy to report that your cabinet came through it all quite well. These images date back a few days. I lost some time when my web hosting service was hacked, taking down my ability to eMail you or update this web site. I apologize for the gaps in status, but it appears as if everything is back on track. Presently, your cabinet is being polished after the fifth coat of lacquer was applied. I am also fabricating the door, which will be installed in a few days. I expect it to be completed by the end of next week and will be calling soon to discuss shipping logistics.

Now, on to the photos...

The fully assembled shell will be sculpted on a home made 4’ x 8’ router table. The door jam, the outer edge round-overs, and a deep mortise to host the back panel are all cut with different shaper heads.


Each shaper head has a set of bearings to control the depth of cut for three successively deeper passes over the shaper. It’s important to nibble fickle hardwoods lest they explode.


I have lost a few cabinets on this monster router table, but yours came through it quite well. Below, you can see the rough cut door jam on the inner front edge.


Below, the mortise in the inner back edge will host the back panel (w/ fabric) and the French Cleat mounting brackets.


It all appears rather ugly immediately after rough millings such as these. Below, the outer corners.


All these millings have been polished. They look amazing.


The door hinges and latches are inset into mortises cut with some home made jigs.



It may be hard to see, but here’s the mortise immediately after the millings.


Again, millings are quite ugly until they are polished.


It’s a bit meticulous to get sandpaper into every nook cranny and curved, but I discovered that the effort is a great guitar picking exercise.



Another look at the door jam after a bit of sanding.


After the shaping efforts, I fabricate the back panel and a template that will be used to fabricate the door.


While I am making the back panel, some scrap Wenge is fashioned into the Yoke Block that will host our guitars.


Below, your Wenge sits next to a finished Yoke Block to show you how yours will look when it is done.


The French Cleat components are fashioned and then... one is glued to the back panel. The other will be drilled for mounting on your wall.


If you’ve never installed anything with this type of hanger, fear not. It is quite simple and rock solid.


The back panel is installed with 50 mm screws through the French Cleat, and 18 mm stainless steel screws around the perimeter. Any other shop would use staples at this juncture. We all know how long those last.



This batch of photos covers the first two weeks of work. Everything is going well, this is going to be a stunning cabinet.

Rough timbers arrive and are surveyed for straightness.

Wenge S4_01

Wenge S4_02

One edges is straightened on a planar jointer. The other on the table saw.

Wenge S4_03

In terms of flatness, rough lumber is always a bit wavy.

Wenge S4_04

The Planar Joiner is used again to flattened one surface.

Wenge S4_05

The opposite surface is flattened on a top planar.

Wenge S4_08

Before and after shots of the wood’s texture. As we mill the faces, the woods gets more and more exciting.

Wenge S4_06

Wenge S4_07

Three stages of surface: Rough (far left), Flattened (Middle) and Sanded (Right).

Wenge S4_09

After chopping the pieces to length, dovetailing begins.

Wenge S4_10

This is where a lot of trouble begins. Exotic hardwoods are very fragile. They chip and splinter easily. With slow, steady patience, and an ability to tolerate the smell of burning wood, yours came out beautifully.

Wenge S4_11

Wenge S4_12

Tight tails require trimming...

Wenge S4_13

Wenge S4_14

Assembly begins.

Wenge S4_15

The home made jig really speeds up the work.

Wenge S4_16

Wenge S4_17

After a few days of glue curing, and a touch of trim sanding, here are your dovetails.

Wenge S4_18

Next, the most frightening maneuver in the whole fabrication path... wish me luck as I put this “box” on a massive shaper table to add all the trimmings.