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Post new topic First home-built lap steel
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Author Topic:  First home-built lap steel
Andy Henriksen


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 21 Nov 2017 7:13 pm     Reply with quote

I started this thing in January. I nearly had to do everything twice and several things 3 times, to figure out the right way to get what I wanted, but I mostly got there. There are several visible flaws that are all my doing, but it’s all asthetic stuff, so I can cope.

It sounds real nice based on the first 5 minutes of playing. The lollar console grande pickup has a clear chimey attack, and a rich tone. Sustain seems decent, but I haven’t A/B’d against my other guitars.










Bah! Sorry about the upside down pics. They were right before I uploaded em...


Last edited by Andy Henriksen on 21 Nov 2017 9:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Ron Simpson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 21 Nov 2017 7:24 pm     Reply with quote

Beautiful work.
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Ken Campbell


From:
Ferndale, Montana
Post Posted 21 Nov 2017 8:27 pm     Reply with quote

Most impressive!
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Mick Hearn


From:
United Kingdom
Post Posted 21 Nov 2017 11:22 pm     Reply with quote

Very nice. What diameter rod are you using for the bridge?
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ShoBud 6139, National D8 Console, ZB student, George Boards Lap Steel, National New Yorker.
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Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 1:56 am     Reply with quote

Looks awesome!
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Andy Henriksen


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 4:03 am     Reply with quote

Thanks everyone!

Mick Hearn wrote:
Very nice. What diameter rod are you using for the bridge?

1/2”. The bridge and nut are both made from cheap aluminum stock from Lowes or HD.
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 4:44 am     Reply with quote

Very nice build Andy. Did you use walnut and maple?
What do you mean...upside down picture? Isn't that the bottom????? Laughing
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currently own, 4 Gronertone lap steels.
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Joe Elk


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 4:54 am     Reply with quote

Very nice Andy!!
Joe Elk Central Ohio
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Andy Henriksen


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 5:53 am     Reply with quote

Bill Groner wrote:
Very nice build Andy. Did you use walnut and maple?
What do you mean...upside down picture? Isn't that the bottom????? Laughing

d'oh! Laughing

Yeah, black walnut and sugar maple. I still have about 6' of the maple slab left, so I'm sure another something will come of that someday.
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 6:48 am     Reply with quote

That's quite lovely! The bridge design is very aesthetically pleasing. Strings held in their spot by tension I assume, or is it slotted?

The fretboard looks like it was slotted with maple fillers, is that the case?

Someday I'll take a swing at doing this. I've built a lot of Warmoth guitars (cheating, I know) so it's a little trickier given my lack of woodworking expertise and equipment, but we'll see, maybe someday (or I'll pilfer an old body and use it as a base).
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Larry Phleger


From:
DuBois, PA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 7:47 am     Reply with quote

Beautiful job, Andy. What tuning are you using on it? Very Happy
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Andy Henriksen


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 9:00 am     Reply with quote

Nic Neufeld wrote:
That's quite lovely! The bridge design is very aesthetically pleasing. Strings held in their spot by tension I assume, or is it slotted?

The fretboard looks like it was slotted with maple fillers, is that the case?

Someday I'll take a swing at doing this. I've built a lot of Warmoth guitars (cheating, I know) so it's a little trickier given my lack of woodworking expertise and equipment, but we'll see, maybe someday (or I'll pilfer an old body and use it as a base).


bridge isn't slotted (probably should be). And yep - the "frets" and dots are maple. For the dots, I made a rough "pencil" out of maple at the saw and router table, then sharpened it in an electric pencil sharpener, which made the perfect tapered plugs.

I was several years in the thinkin' phase of this before I actually bought a piece of wood. It was fun, and super frustrating at times! I won't be doing another one soon, but when I do, it should be much faster and easier.

Larry, my default is C6 w/ a high G. But I'm thinking of trying (again) A6 on this.
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Bill Groner


From:
QUAKERTOWN, PA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 9:24 am     Reply with quote

Andy, what finish did you use on it? That picture of the bottom side, the darn thing looks perfect. Very Happy
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currently own, 4 Gronertone lap steels.
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Andy Henriksen


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 9:28 am     Reply with quote

Bill Groner wrote:
Andy, what finish did you use on it? That picture of the bottom side, the darn thing looks perfect. Very Happy

Thanks! It has a dozen very light coats of "tung oil finish" with high grit paper up to #0000 steel wool in between. Topped it off with some paste wax.
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Paul Arntson


From:
Washington, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 9:53 am     Reply with quote

Beautiful! I bet it sounds as good as it looks!
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 10:38 am     Reply with quote

Tung oil finish, is that the Formby's varnish blend? I've used that for a number of guitars and generally liked my results from it. Yours seems to have an especially nice finish though (mine occasionally seemed a bit rough in comparison), with somewhere between a satin and gloss effect...
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Andy Henriksen


From:
Michigan, USA
Post Posted 22 Nov 2017 11:21 am     Reply with quote

Nic Neufeld wrote:
Tung oil finish, is that the Formby's varnish blend? I've used that for a number of guitars and generally liked my results from it. Yours seems to have an especially nice finish though (mine occasionally seemed a bit rough in comparison), with somewhere between a satin and gloss effect...

Yep - Formby's. The finish is not quite as nice in person, for sure. Certain areas are duller/less glossy than others. And I have a lot of little scratches that I think happened just sliding around on the bench during sanding and stuff (custom relic job). But it still looks pretty nice. Thanks!
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Steven Cummings


From:
Texas
Post Posted 23 Mar 2018 4:19 am     Reply with quote

Yep.... it is purdy!
Can you tell us more about how you did the machine head and how you joined it all to the neck?

Nicely done mate
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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post Posted 23 Mar 2018 4:50 am     Reply with quote

Looks real nice to me! Beautiful work.
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George Piburn


From:
The Land of Enchantment New Mexico
Post Posted 23 Mar 2018 5:47 am     Awesome Build Reply with quote

Congratulations Awesome Build looks dandy.

1 constructive comment = if you invest into real brass nut and bridge parts same exact design just better material, your over all tone will be completely better to an extreme extent.

The home center aluminum is low quality for steel guitar parts , for Aluminum you want 6061 alloy , Brass 360 or 385 alloy. Both can be found online in short stock cuts. eBay is a good resource for short stock too.
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