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Post new topic A good craftsman never blames his tools...my noob mistake.
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Author Topic:  A good craftsman never blames his tools...my noob mistake.
Tom Young

Sacramento-California, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 11:56 am    
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I'm the new guy who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, because after 25+ years of playing/teaching music and building things that make music - lap steel was getting the best of me. One of the fun things about playing is that often you can pick up a stringed instrument and figure out the scale degrees and I, IV, V and just drone along etc...

For some reason it was not happening with me and lap steel. So I naturally assumed I must have a bad lap steel (blame the tools!) so I measured the scale and it was correct, so perhaps I had a bad tone bar..5 tone bars later - still sound bad. So it must be that I need "sweetened tuning", nope. Has to be "overtones" throwing me off, has to be....there's no possible way I suck this bad...aaargh! And then I see this.

I didn't realize there were two sets of holes on the bridge plate - so half of my strings were breaking at a different angle (different tension) I had even laid tone bars across the strings to make sure they were all touching. when I checked the octave of each string it was spot on in relation to itself but once you put a tone bar in hand...it was off. I am hoping it helped with my vibrato technique because I had to use a lot to approximate intonation.

File Under: DOH!


The One & Lonely Tommy Young
Virtuous Victualer.

Now is the time for drinking;
now the time to beat the earth with unfettered foot.
-- Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) (65-8 B.C.)
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Bill Groner

Post  Posted 6 Jan 2019 12:06 pm    
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If you learned something from it, then it was worth the mistake. Pretty sure you won't make that one again........if you do, shame on you! I started out building cigar box guitars. I thought it would look neat if I angled the neck, so at around the 17th fret I started the angle. When I strung it up from the 18th to the 24th it played great. From the 17th to the 1st.......NOTHING! Now that one you can file under DUH! Embarassed
Currently own, 5 Gronertone lap steels.
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