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Want to build a lap steel


bourniplus

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Hey guys,

I have this project for which I'd like to have a lap steel so I thought it would be relatively simple and fun to build one. I probably already have all of the hardware so this shouldn't cost more than a set of strings hopefully.

 

Now, the one site I found that tells you how to do it suggests to use a single piece (about 1 9/16' thick) of hardwood). I don't have that on hand but I have some 7/8 thick maple, I was thinking of laminating two boards, leaving only one board thickness for the peghead. Anyone foresees problems with this approach, soundwise especially? I'm also open to any suggestions you might have.

thanks!

"Show me all the blueprints. I'm serious now, show me all the blueprints."

My homemade instruments

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Aughtta work... don't know why it wouldn't.

 

Use extra heavy strings, many electric guitar players are unfamiliar with the HEAVY gauges that work best for lap-steel. 14's or even 16's could be in order.

 

What scale-length are you going with?

 

What pickups and electronics?

 

What tuning, and how many strings?

 

What are you going to use for a steel? (The 'slide'.)

 

Here ya go:

 

_____ [video:youtube]

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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A site I found said that southern white pine is actually better than harder woods for lap steels, don't remember why, but you could get a10' 2x10 for what, $20, and have enough wood to make a few of them.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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A site I found said that southern white pine is actually better than harder woods for lap steels, don't remember why, but you could get a10' 2x10 for what, $20, and have enough wood to make a few of them.

 

Probably has a nice ringing resonant tone that still has some warmth and body; I remember taping and banging on a pine plank with my ear against it yeeeaars ago, thinking it would be great for such duties...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I'm thinking 22,5'' for the scale, for the pickup I think I'll route a cavity wide enough for a humbucker, and experiment with a few pups I have available. 6 strings, normal tuning for a start and cheat with the tonebar, although I'll probably have fun with open tunings.

the project I'm playing in we do old country ala Hank Willams and some originals, I play guitar and mandolin. Last time we did this show I used a slide with my mexican strat but maybe next time I'll have my lap steel!

"Show me all the blueprints. I'm serious now, show me all the blueprints."

My homemade instruments

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Caevan that's a diddley bow, isn't it?

 

Yeah, you could say that; an electric one. IIRC, Muddy Waters used to do something like that- without a pickup or amp, strictly acoustic- with a wire on the side of their house, using a brick for the "bridge".

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I'm a cigar-box guitar builder, and lap-steels are a pretty popular build in the "community". You might check out our site, Cigar Box Nation... There should be plenty of pics and designs available:

http://www.cigarboxnation.com/

 

The diversity of slides is pretty great; everything from traditional wine-bottle necks to socket wrenches to bone.... Take your pick.

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I'm a cigar-box guitar builder, and lap-steels are a pretty popular build in the "community". You might check out our site, Cigar Box Nation... There should be plenty of pics and designs available:

http://www.cigarboxnation.com/

 

Hey, cool 'site! Lots of good stuff there; duly bookmarked. :cool:

 

The diversity of slides is pretty great; everything from traditional wine-bottle necks to socket wrenches to bone.... Take your pick.

 

True, very true; on "regular" electric guitar, for "bottleneck" style I favor concave-radiused, flared slides, such as the Harris slide offered by Dunlop; but when I had the use of a really cool old Supro lap-steel with a big honkin' wraparound horsehoe-magnet pickup, I found that the style of steels with the handle on top worked best, followed by the "bullet" style steels with one rounded end, and the other either concave or flat. Of course, "YMMV". :thu:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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I'm always blown away by really good steel players. We have an annual steel-guitar convention here in St. Louis, organized by "Scotty's Music", a long-time dealer.

Lots of the leading-light touring and studio guys come up.

We saw an incredible player years ago at the local Clayton Art Festival.. Sorry I can't recall his name; could play anything.

 

We also saw Tom Russell years ago when he was touring with a full band, including multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplan. Kaplan is a whiz on the steel as well, and was laying down some hot licks...

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