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: 496

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

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

Cigar Box Nation News - Jan 17, 2017

Started by Shane (www.ShaneSpeal.com) in Cigar Box Nation News. Last reply by JL 2 hours ago. 1 Reply

Hub Cap cut out

Started by Mike "Honeyboy" Edwards in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Mike "Honeyboy" Edwards 5 hours ago. 5 Replies

SURVEY: What do I build with these antique tobacco tins?

Started by Shane (www.ShaneSpeal.com) in Feature Articles. Last reply by Gordon Cooper 8 hours ago. 18 Replies

ICE!

Started by Cause the Blue rat in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat 13 hours ago. 5 Replies

The Mysterious "Ukulele Echo Device" From the 1920's

Started by Shane (www.ShaneSpeal.com) in Feature Articles. Last reply by Gordon Cooper yesterday. 25 Replies

Travel case?

Started by Ken Vickerson in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Ron "Oily" Sprague yesterday. 23 Replies

Cutting fret boards

Started by Billy Jerrells in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by ChickenboneJohn yesterday. 2 Replies

My facebook page is no more......

Started by Cause the Blue rat in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat on Sunday. 10 Replies

Latest Activity

Uncle John replied to Uncle John's discussion What is your favorite slide and slide material? ( and more)
"Yup, Jonathan.  That slide in the attachment looks good and right.  And I love the price…"
12 minutes ago
Jim Morris commented on Jim Morris's video
Thumbnail

Ode to the Swamp Witch

"Thanks James O"
15 minutes ago
john mackay posted a discussion

Nut slots (with principles that apply to bridge slots as well)

 Here's a gnat's-eye view at the face of a nut as seen from the leeward side of the second fret.…See More
17 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's blog post 2 short stories - one is CBG relatted. A 2 pager and a 3 pager
"A good LOL and thank you very much, Captain.   Maybe I need an illustration (picture) off…"
18 minutes ago
CaptnCatfish liked Uncle John's blog post 2 short stories - one is CBG relatted. A 2 pager and a 3 pager
27 minutes ago
CaptnCatfish commented on Uncle John's blog post 2 short stories - one is CBG relatted. A 2 pager and a 3 pager
"Both stories are good to read, even for a german ;-) I learned a lot of new vocabulary, I think it…"
27 minutes ago
Andy Busch added a discussion to the group Building a Cigar Box Guitar 101
Thumbnail

Altoid Git Building Plan--what's the best?

I've started to get interested in building a git with an Altoid tin.  I saw them online a long time…See More
36 minutes ago
Jonathan replied to Uncle John's discussion What is your favorite slide and slide material? ( and more)
"Favorite slide is a 5/8's metal spacer from Tractor supply, cost 2.50 and is just long enough…"
51 minutes ago
Jonathan replied to Uncle John's discussion What is your favorite slide and slide material? ( and more)
56 minutes ago
Don Randolph replied to Uncle John's discussion What is your favorite slide and slide material? ( and more)
"1. What is your favorite slide? AcoustaGlide Brass 2. How many do you have? 7 3. What slide…"
1 hour ago
Andries D. EKER left a comment for Denny
"Hi there Denny Thanks for liking my track there  bud! come back any time and see my new build…"
1 hour ago
Uncle John replied to Uncle John's discussion What is your favorite slide and slide material? ( and more)
"First time I ever heard of using a Tobasco bottle.   Good idea.  I needed to put…"
1 hour ago

Music

Loading…

© 2017   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service