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: 933

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

Guitar Amp Stand / Sound Enhancer DIY

Started by Ron "Oily" Sprague in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Ron "Oily" Sprague 7 minutes ago. 11 Replies

Back on nights!

Started by Cause the Blue rat in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat 6 hours ago. 4 Replies

Gigging with a small amp

Started by Dustin Aurand in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by ChickenboneJohn 21 hours ago. 11 Replies

Speakers

Started by Dropout in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Timothy Hunter yesterday. 10 Replies

Diddley bow music?

Started by Snuffy Smith in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Gary W aka Rev. Bluejeans Jun 21. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

introducing cbg to guitarists

Posted by Donald Rees on June 21, 2017 at 10:27pm 12 Comments

Tricone Resonator CBG

Posted by Hal Robertson on June 21, 2017 at 3:30pm 4 Comments

Backslider Washboards

Posted by Milt Haselmire on June 19, 2017 at 6:30pm 4 Comments

Latest Activity

Richard Sundberg commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Hot Sticky Blues -Original Blues by me

"There's one app out there I know of that will give your video that vintage film reel effect.…"
5 minutes ago
Steve Arvey left a comment for Mike
"Nice builds. Next time I go through Knoxville I will come by."
6 minutes ago
Ron "Oily" Sprague replied to Ron "Oily" Sprague's discussion Guitar Amp Stand / Sound Enhancer DIY
"Rick, Presumably, you'd like the dimensions of the center one, which had the best performance…"
8 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Andries D. EKER's video
Thumbnail

Missisippi B Dylan - A D Eker 2017

"This is a switch up from your recent songs.   Very nice.   Playing style, sweet…"
26 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Derek Rose's video
Thumbnail

Double Rainbow - an original song

"Ha, ha.   Love it.   A little Jimmy Buffet and that Reggae sound.  …"
28 minutes ago
Uncle John commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Hot Sticky Blues -Original Blues by me

"Thanks, Andries.  I wanted to add the old movie 'flicker', but could not figure out…"
31 minutes ago
Estone Villan commented on Stefan Askernäs's photo
Thumbnail

two string wine box bass

"Or I wonder whether I could just stain a tiny strip onto the bindings half way between the frets…"
35 minutes ago
Estone Villan commented on Stefan Askernäs's photo
Thumbnail

two string wine box bass

"It does look great doesn't it. There's no reason I couldn't do it with a fretted…"
39 minutes ago
gary herget commented on Mr.C's photo
Thumbnail

Not bad for a hand made neck

"That's really nice "C", great work!"
52 minutes ago
Stefan Askernäs commented on Stefan Askernäs's photo
Thumbnail

two string wine box bass

"For my first build I used nails, but two builds ago I came up with this: Since I currently only…"
1 hour ago
Dave Lynas commented on Elio's video
Thumbnail

J. S. Bach: Cello Suite Nr. 1 BWV 1007, arr. Smaro Gregoriadou, rectangular guitar

"Fabulous! Bravo! I feel like an ape. Dragging my knuckles on the gravel. Perfection is hard to…"
1 hour ago
Rick McAlister replied to Ron "Oily" Sprague's discussion Guitar Amp Stand / Sound Enhancer DIY
"Ron, I am very interested in the dimensions to this enhancer. I apologize if this is not a PM but I…"
1 hour ago

Music

Loading…

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

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service