Cigar Box Nation founder, Shane Speal created this weird monstrosity of a lap steel guitar using salvaged materials.  He documented the whole process here.

Yesterday, I got the urge to build something new, so I went into my woodshop and challenged myself to make something within one hour.  The time restriction made the project even more interesting and added an element of excitement.

Here's the demo video...

Note:  I am giving this guitar away to one subscriber of my Shane Speal newsletter.  You can enter by signing up at www.ShaneSpeal.com.

I had purchased four salvaged balusters from Re-Source York, an architectural salvage company run by a local York PA charity. Each tattered and paint-chipped piece only cost me $3!

I decided to turn one of these balusters into a 4-string lap steel.  Here's the parts list:

The first thing I did was to use a C. B. Gitty Centering Ruler (Buy - $8.99) to find the center point for bridge mounting.  This ruler is a genius tool that is essential in my workshop.  Simply place it on your project, match the numbers up on each side of the ruler and bazinga, you have a centerline.

Now that I had a center line, I could mount the bridge.  These Hardtails are a delight to use.  I especially liked the 4-string model for this project because it is designed to have the strings fed through the body and up over the saddles.  Since the salvaged baluster was weakened due to age, having the strings fed through the body gave the bridge one extra anchor to hold it tight.  

To get the strings fed through the body, I used a 7/64" drill bit and drilled right through the string holes under the saddles.  

I added economy string ferrules on the back of the body to keep the ball-ends of the strings from pulling through the wood.  Simply tap them in with a C. B. Gitty Fretting Hammer.

I must admit, the headstock was a bit of a mess.  I used a 1" forstner bit to remove some wood from the backside where the tuners would be mounted.  This is because the wood was too thick for the tuners' shafts.  The end result is kind of ugly on the back, but that's the challenge of building something within one hour!

I drilled and mounted the tuners.  Because I didn't have a lot of room for the tuners, two of them are actually mounted at the top of the headstock.  It just adds to the quirkiness of the guitar.

The pickup was easy to mount.  Dan Sleep's "SleepTalker" pickups are so thin, you don't need to route the body for them.  Just screw 'em to the top of the body!  I drilled a small hole under the pickup for the wire, which dangles out the back of the lap steel.  I then hardwired it to the Neutrik jack and mounted the jack plate.

I chose a C. B. Gitty floating bridge as the nut because I knew I could dig some very deep string slots in it.  (They need to be deep to handle the radical angles of the headstock string pull.)  I used a cutting bit on my Dremel to cut the string slots.

Finally, I strung the beast up. The biggest challenge was positioning the nut and the string angles at the headstock.  I had to add some round head screws to act as string trees.  It's tuned to open G (GDGB) or G Minor (GDGBb)

This was a fun build that went fast. (It took longer to blog about it than to actually build it!) 

 

Views: 1010

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

i like it !!! 

Nice work.

That Flat pickup sounds like a true Lap Steel pickup with that aluminum casing. Sweet

Mighty fine!

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Forum

Maximum Box Thickness

Started by Shawn Doyle in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Jeff 'Bones' Reilly 10 hours ago. 2 Replies

Viol Build Pics

Started by Greg Turner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Greg Turner 10 hours ago. 3 Replies

String selection

Started by Graeme Jones in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by gary herget yesterday. 7 Replies

String buzz

Started by Robert Bryan in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Taffy Evans on Tuesday. 6 Replies

Viol Build 1b

Started by Greg Turner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Greg Turner on Tuesday. 15 Replies

Floppy Nut Slot

Started by Greg Turner in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Greg Turner on Tuesday. 3 Replies

Latest Activity

Downtown Vinnie commented on Derek Rose's video
Thumbnail

Simple Twist of Fate - 6 string CBG

"Exquisitely played, and sang ,Derekovan....Play on!!!"
3 hours ago
Downtown Vinnie commented on Downtown Vinnie's video
Thumbnail

Bass Juice

"Thanks so much ,y'all.Have a great weekend.Just tryin to get my four string chops up for the…"
3 hours ago
Korrigan replied to Robbie's discussion Installing tele adjustable bridge (string through bottom)
"Thanks, but my spelling isn't so great, I meant to type zinc alloy. lol"
3 hours ago
sparky37 commented on Jason Mills's photo
Thumbnail

Michigan Three Stringy

"A fellow Michigander wonderful! Beautiful work, Wow!"
3 hours ago
Greg Mitchell posted a status
"It has been awhile since I last built or posted. But I am back with a few more to show."
4 hours ago
Greg Mitchell posted photos
4 hours ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Br Harold F Stubbs III's discussion Found on YouTube - Can you play Metal on a Cigar Box Guitar
"this guy is totally legit. He's got some really good advice and reviews on his channel. "
4 hours ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Jim_in_Tucson's discussion Gibson Guitar may be facing bankruptcy..
"Gibson guitars is caught up in their own mess. They still want to cater to the few who hold on to…"
4 hours ago
Profile IconBrad Schoonmaker, TEEJ, Jack McC and 5 more joined Cigar Box Nation
4 hours ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Robbie's discussion Installing tele adjustable bridge (string through bottom)
"Sorry Korrigan. I didn't read through the posts before I posted. Just jumped right in the…"
4 hours ago
Jeff 'Bones' Reilly posted photos
4 hours ago
Cause the Blue rat replied to Chuss's discussion Settings Overdrive
"Awesome Chuss! Mojo Mojo has some great dynamics and is one of the best overdrives in it's…"
4 hours ago

Music

Loading…

© 2018   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service