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Post new topic Homemade lap steel
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Author Topic:  Homemade lap steel
Fred Kinbom


From:
Berlin, Germany, via Stockholm, Sweden.
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 6:00 am     Reply with quote

So, having never built an instrument before in my life, I have now built a crude lap steel. That actually turned out great sound-wise. Smile

My girlfriend's half-brother (he's 12 years old) needed to make something for a school project as a collaboration with someone else, and the opening scene of the film "It Might Get Loud" (where Jack White makes a crude 1-string slide guitar) gave me the idea to suggest that something along those lines could be a good idea.

However, when I started looking for parts, I realised that tuners, bridge etc. always come for a 6-string anyway, so the idea was "upgraded" to a functional 6-string lap steel.

I got really cheap but decent components, to keep the costs minimal, and we used an old Epiphone Les Paul stock humbucker that I had. We had no access to even a work bench for this project, it was made out of two planks of wood (I think from an IKEA bed) with a drill and a sub-standard saw. Smile We went to a carpenter's shop to have the pointed "headstock" cut, a friend helped with the soldering of the pickup/pot/jack, and Jason Dumont of Lap King Guitars kindly made me a 23" fretboard that he e-mailed as a PDF and we printed and fastened under a piece of plexiglass.

Here is the result:



Smile

While crude (apart from the stylish fretboard) in looks, it actually sounds really good! A special, sort of hollowbody sound. I will make a video and post when time allows.

And - best of all - the 12-year-old owner and co-builder shows real talent for playing it (he studies classical guitar). I was really amazed at his intonation and ability to handle a bullet bar without having ever played a lap steel before. So I will teach him to play it too.

One more lap steel, and one more lap steeler, in the world. Smile

Fredrik
_________________
www.fredrikkinbom.com - New lap steel album "Oil" out now - listen here: fredrikkinbom.bandcamp.com/album/oil
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 9:01 am     Reply with quote

It looks good from over here in the USA!
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currently own, 4 Gronertone lap steels.
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Ron Simpson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 9:20 am     Reply with quote

Excellent steel.
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Fred Kinbom


From:
Berlin, Germany, via Stockholm, Sweden.
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 10:18 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Bill & Ron! I will try and make a video next week.
_________________
www.fredrikkinbom.com - New lap steel album "Oil" out now - listen here: fredrikkinbom.bandcamp.com/album/oil
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Will Houston


From:
Tempe, Az
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 12:44 pm     Reply with quote

Crude but cool, I'd love to hear your Gm tuning on it.
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 1:08 pm     Reply with quote

Danka
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currently own, 4 Gronertone lap steels.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 1:45 pm     Reply with quote

Unique pickup placement.
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Fred Kinbom


From:
Berlin, Germany, via Stockholm, Sweden.
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 1:54 pm     Reply with quote

Jack - it's pretty much a normal neck pickup position. I'm a neck pickup kinda guy. Smile
_________________
www.fredrikkinbom.com - New lap steel album "Oil" out now - listen here: fredrikkinbom.bandcamp.com/album/oil
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Fred Kinbom


From:
Berlin, Germany, via Stockholm, Sweden.
Post Posted 16 Jun 2017 1:55 pm     Reply with quote

Will - hope to make a video with it next week. It's tuned to E at the moment, but I'm sure I can manage something in Gm too. Smile
_________________
www.fredrikkinbom.com - New lap steel album "Oil" out now - listen here: fredrikkinbom.bandcamp.com/album/oil
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

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