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Author Topic:  Home made Pedal Steel
James Shenk

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 8:30 am    
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I'd like to share a few photos of my third attempt. I've been playing pedal steel (marginally at best) and making acoustic guitars and mandolins for twenty-some years. So it was only a matter of time before I tried this. I've managed to do this with my bench top drill press, bandsaw, and endless filing and sanding. Pull/release changer because that's what I can understand. It does play nice and easy, stays in tune most of the time, and sounds great to my ear. Still so much to learn about both building and playing these machines, but I'm having a blast.



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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 11:00 am     Looks great.
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Hi James,
Looks great. Keep up the good work.
Andy Very Happy
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Promat S-10, 3&4 Black with wood neck.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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Gary Spaeth

 

From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 12:50 pm    
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cool looking pedals. rest is nice too.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 2:32 pm    
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The wooden pedal rack is unusual, but why not? Looks nice. The whole thing looks well made and deserves to sound good Smile
_________________
Make sleeping dogs tell the truth!
Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 3:06 pm     Wooden pedal rack
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Ian Rae wrote:
The wooden pedal rack is unusual, but why not? Looks nice. The whole thing looks well made and deserves to sound good Smile


Hi Ian,
The old 1956 Dewey Kendrick PSG I'm restoring has a Birdseye Maple wood pedal rack so not unheard of.
Best wishes,
Andy
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Promat S-10, 3&4 Black with wood neck.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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James Shenk

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 4:16 pm    
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Ian Rae wrote:
The wooden pedal rack is unusual, but why not? Looks nice. The whole thing looks well made and deserves to sound good Smile
Yes, not to mention the peghead as well. It's also made of hardwood. I tried cutting one from a block of aluminum, and then smoothing it up with a file. That was a disaster, so I I started over and relied on my woodworking skills.
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Greg Forsyth

 

From:
Colorado, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2022 7:56 pm    
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Fine looking machine James. The cabinet looks to be made from plain sawn cherry, one of my favorite woods. I hope I'm correct!
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James Shenk

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2022 4:00 am    
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Greg Forsyth wrote:
Fine looking machine James. The cabinet looks to be made from plain sawn cherry, one of my favorite woods. I hope I'm correct!
Thanks, the cabinet is hard maple with ⅛" cherry veneer. I wanted the strength of the hard maple, but the look of cherry. The neck, pedal bar, and peghead are all solid cherry.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2022 8:51 am    
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Haha, Andy - I've never heard of a Dewey Kendrick so its wooden pedal board is, technically, to me at least, unheard of!
Smile
_________________
Make sleeping dogs tell the truth!
Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2022 10:13 am    
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Nice work James!
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Tim Toberer

 

From:
Nebraska, USA
Post  Posted 22 Jun 2022 4:51 am    
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Quote:
I've managed to do this with my bench top drill press, bandsaw, and endless filing and sanding. Pull/release changer because that's what I can understand.

I think we are in the same place with this. I do have a mill/drill which helps a lot. I use router cutters for milling the aluminum changer parts. They work very well. For nut rollers actual milling cutters are needed. Great job! Very well thought out and practical looking. I have never seen springs like you have where the pull rods attach to the bell cranks or I guess those might be retainers? I was just going to use small shaft collars. I mostly play lap steel, I haven't got a pedal machine up and running yet. Its a huge undertaking with lots of problem solving, but so much fun!
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James Shenk

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 24 Jun 2022 5:36 am    
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I managed to make the nut roller string grooves with a machine screw and nut chucked in my drill press. It was a little hit or miss. It took about fourteen tries to get ten that I could use. I saw the spring retainers on another steel somewhere on the internet. They are kind of a pain to make, but they are easy to release and re install when making adjustments.
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Sonny Jenkins


From:
New Braunfels, Tx. 78130
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2022 4:35 am    
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Looks like your shop is just about as well equipped as mine. You have certainly made the best of your resources!!!! BEAUTIFUL GUITAR!! I think we can take a lot of pride in being able to figure out HOW to accomplish something with the limited resources we have available. BTW I'd love to see how the legs are attached?
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2022 6:11 am    
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Didn't Fender pedal steels have wooden Pedal bars? Hudson has wooden pedal bars.
_________________
Carter D10 8p/8k, Dekley S10 3p/4k C6 setup,Regal RD40 Dobro, "The Loar" (brand) mandolin, Cozart D6 lap steel, NV400, Nv112, Mackie 12 ch mixer, . Playing for 52 years and still counting.
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James Shenk

 

From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2022 7:12 am    
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Sonny Jenkins wrote:
Looks like your shop is just about as well equipped as mine. You have certainly made the best of your resources!!!! BEAUTIFUL GUITAR!! I think we can take a lot of pride in being able to figure out HOW to accomplish something with the limited resources we have available. BTW I'd love to see how the legs are attached?
Yes! I'm not trying to do this for a living (I do well enough with guitar repair work). So I just made the parts with the tools I have and then ended up taking a lot of time to get them as accurate as I can, smoothed up, and looking right, using the woodworking skills that I do have.

I made the leg mounts pretty simple with a chunk of 1" x ¾" aluminum. Here's a photo of that.
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Tony Glassman


From:
The Great Northwest
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2022 8:34 am    
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If you built that entire steel using only a drill press, band-saw and hand files, I am impressed 👀……and with a scalloped neck too. My hat’s off to you!
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2022 9:38 am    
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I'll second what Tony said! I've been there....not anymore gladly, my shop is dreamy with tools. But that's after 48 years in the trenches...trenches that seldom had all the tools I'd have liked to have on hand.

I wouldn't trade my early years making do with whatever I had or could afford for anything. There's no way I'd be able to do what I do today without the problem solving skills this instilled in me.

It's all about solutions! Again great job!
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Springfield, Oregon
Post  Posted 25 Jun 2022 12:51 pm     Your right
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Richard Sinkler wrote:
Didn't Fender pedal steels have wooden Pedal bars? Hudson has wooden pedal bars.


Your right. I'd forgotten that the 800, 1000 & 2000 had a maple pedal bar.
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Promat S-10, 3&4 Black with wood neck.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Johnie King


From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 26 Jun 2022 2:05 pm    
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Nice build!!!
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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 30 Jun 2022 8:34 pm    
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That is a unique way to build the fixtures for attaching the legs.
The spring clip for the pull rods are unique.
Neat set of pedals.
Great Craftsmanship
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Rich Sullivan


From:
Nelson, NH 03457
Post  Posted 1 Jul 2022 3:23 pm    
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That is a beautiful guitar. Good job.
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post  Posted 4 Jul 2022 5:51 am    
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awesome guitar 👍
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