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Post new topic Complete noob, with a complete noob question
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Author Topic:  Complete noob, with a complete noob question
Logan Bunch

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 4:00 pm    
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Hey everyone! This is my first post as I just joined the forum. I’m looking forward to getting to kno you guys on here and hopefully pick up a ton of knowledge. I’m just begining my journey on this instrument and have found out, it’s going to be a lot harder than I thought, I’m a guitar player, but have always loved pedal steel, anyways, my number one issue I’ve got that’s really kinda holding me back at this time is comfort and ability to use everything I need to, so my first question is for any of you bigger guys, I’ve got a problem getting underneath the instrument, as I work my volume pedal, I have my leg completely laid over, and my other leg is the same way on the other side with my abc pedals. I just own a fairly inexpensive gfi that I bought to learn on, so some of your guitars may be bigger, but is there anything I can do to Get the guitar up? There is no adjustments on the legs and I’m pretty sure I would have to have longer rods if I raised it without raising the pedals to l, regardless, I’m sorry my first post is kind of a dumb question, but I’ll appreciate anyone with a tip or trick, or possibly something simple I’m not thinking of, thanks for any help!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 4:53 pm    
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Welcome. I am NOT tall but here's some answers.
I do not know anything about the GFI student guitars so whether this applies or not needs to be checked out. It would apply to pretty much all pro guitars.
You would want to buy adjustable legs and you can get these rod extenders -- two sizes available -- and then you would be good to go.
https://www.steelguitarshopper.com/accessories/?sort=featured&page=3

Ergonomics with the steel guitar are pretty important so yes, you want to solve this problem and feel like you and the guitar are a good fit.
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Kevin Fix

 

From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 6:05 pm    
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Check out Ebay for adjustable legs. Type in, pedal steel guitar or sho bud. I have seen them there.
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Dave Meis


From:
Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 6:14 pm    
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Logan, If the GFI legs are not adjustable, you could buy 4 new adjustable legs, but you would have to be SURE that the pedal bar attachment would work, also. Most legs these days are 1/2-13 or 5/8-11 thread. Best to call GFI, see what they can offer and go from there. I'm 6'3, and all my steels are raised 2".. I can't get under a standard height steel, either, and that makes it impossible to play. Sorry you have to start out this way, but hopefully you'll get it solved soon! Lots of guys here play GFIs, and I'm sure one will chime in soon!
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Harry Dove

 

From:
Michigan, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 6:30 pm    
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I am tall and have the same problem. Standard size is about 3/4 to one inch too short for me. What I did on mine is use aluminum tubing that will just fit over the smaller tube of the legs to lower the pedal bar while extending the legs.

Start by placing something under the front legs and raise the guitar up until you find what height is just right for you, just the guitar at this point as the pedal bar will be well off the floor and not in a useable position. You will probably need to take the rods off as this point. Cut the lengths of tubing whatever length you raised the guitar. Place these pieces above the pedal bar and below the tightening collar. Then lengthen your pedal rods the same amount.

I don't know what type of ends are on the GFI student guitar but both my Emmons and Sho-Bud took a standard hex threaded extension that screwed into the existing end and then the rod screwed into the extension. I got them from McMaster-Carr https://www.mcmaster.com/93620a174. I painted them a flat black to match the rod ends. Since the tubing already looked polished, it looks just like the legs and isn't noticeable. I used a tubing cutter for a nice even cut and filed the inside so it would slide on easily. Hope this helps.
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Logan Bunch

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 6:30 pm    
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Thank you guys so much for the help!
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 9:02 pm    
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This is not a dumb question. The same issue vexed me when I started. I am tall with long legs (I shrunk to 6'4" as I got older) and I cannot get my legs under any standard-height steel. The standard solution is to make or buy a lift kit - I make them using parts from McMaster-Carr. Here are a few old threads with particulars:

https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=283325
https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=203787
https://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=1175173

The female-female standoffs are here - https://www.mcmaster.com/threaded-standoffs

The set-screws to couple the standoff to the rod coupler are here - https://www.mcmaster.com/set-screws

But you may have a problem doing this since your guitar is a GFI. For example, see this old thread - https://steelguitarforum.com/Forum5/HTML/013741.html

Looking at the GFI website, the front legs on a GFI are not adjustable at all, and the rear legs only adjustable by 1/2" for leveling on an uneven surface. So that seems to leave you with the option of replacing both the legs and the pedal rods with longer ones. Hopefully this is not correct, but I fear it is.

I have a lot more details about making lift kits, but you need to first see if there's a way to make a lift kit work for your GFI.
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Dave Meis


From:
Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA
Post  Posted 23 Dec 2018 10:02 pm    
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Would be good to know if the GFI pedal bar will fit on 'standard' legs..
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Doug Earnest


From:
Branson, MO USA
Post  Posted 24 Dec 2018 6:27 am    
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Before you do anything else, check with the nice folks at GFI.
Their legs are a little different than most. I think they can supply extensions specifically for the legs that they use, and pedal rod extensions too.
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Logan Bunch

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 24 Dec 2018 6:27 am    
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I have no idea about other steels, or much about mine, I don’t kno how the standard pedals mount to the legs, but on the model I own, I believe it’s just two holes with all thread and wing nuts, I will honestly have to take it apart again, I’ve only put it together a couple times and it’s been a while since I done it
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Richard Alderson


From:
Illinois, USA
Post  Posted 25 Dec 2018 9:16 pm     GFI - Great company ! You're in Luck !
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Doug Earnest has great advise - check with GFI, you are lucky to be dealing with a company that is active, and still in business. Start with them, and go from there. They will respond to an email as listed on the GFI website.
_________________
Derby SD-10 5x6; GFI 5 x 5; GFI 5 x 5;7 String Washburn - Fender 400; Fender Rumble 200; Nashville 400


Last edited by Richard Alderson on 1 Jan 2019 8:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bobby D. Jones

 

From:
West Virginia, USA
Post  Posted 25 Dec 2018 9:40 pm     Complete noob, with a complete noob question.
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The first thing to do, (Put on the shoes you will be playing in). Take some pieces of wood and block the guitar up till guitar is level and your legs clear, You can reach the Knee Levers and use the Volume Pedal properly. Measure from the leg socket to floor along the leg to the floor. To get the proper leg length you need. Then the Pedal Rod length.

Contact GFI and ask about, Proper legs, Pedal Rods and Price.

Then it will be your decision. Buy New Legs and Pedal Rods, Or purchase a lift kit, Or put a lift kit together of parts till you can properly raise the guitar.

GFI aluminum legs are Light and Sturdy.
Once you get the proper height for you have legs that fit you personally you need no adjustment.
I have 2 steels with heavy steel adjustable legs, I ended up putting dowel rods in the legs when the leg clutches started slipping. If you change the height of the steel you have to have new Pedal Rods at extra cost if moved over about 1/2 inch. A GFI Ultra S12U is my gig guitar.
Good Luck and Happy Steelin.
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Logan Bunch

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 26 Dec 2018 4:13 am    
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I did just contact GFI, they informed me they would sell me the legs, all I have to do is drill the holes for the pedal board, then extend the rods, I am gonna take the advice stated above and block the guitar up to make sure I get it right before purchasing the legs, thank you guys so much for all of your help!!!!
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Danny Letz

 

From:
Old Glory,Texas, USA 79540
Post  Posted 30 Dec 2018 7:24 pm    
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The problem with the GFI student is that the front legs are not adjustable, just an aluminum tube. There are holes drilled thru for the pedal bar. These holes have to be clocked so that when You tighten the legs in the socket, the holes are lined up for the pedal bar studs. I built a pair of extenders to go between the leg and the guitar. The problem was getting the clocking right because of the holes in the existing legs. I didn’t want to mutilate anything so it could be retuned to normal height if needed later. I don’t think I would want do it again. You can just use readily available extenders to lengthen the pedal rods. I think the new legs from GFI is the best answer. You probably have to carefully drill the bar holes to get the clocking right when the legs are seated and then keep them right and left.
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Logan Bunch

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2018 11:42 am    
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I ended up ordering the legs from GFI, they have been extremely nice to deal with, so that helped the decision
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Ronnie Boettcher


From:
Brunswick Ohio, USA
Post  Posted 31 Dec 2018 8:27 pm    
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If you didn't order longer pedal rods, whatever length you want to make your rods, there is a easy, and inexpensive way to lengthen the rods. Just find out what the thread size is, and go to a hardware store. all you have to buy is 3 rod couplings, and 3 long machine screws, like 4 inches long. Or if the hardware store has some threaded rod to cut your 3 pieces. If you go the machine screw way, just cut them to your length, so the wasted part of the screw has the head on it. You just need the rod, not the head. then screw the coupling onto your rod, half way, and the extension piece into the coupling, and the piece that connects the rod to the pedal. For a better, tighter fit, buy 6 hex nuts, and use them as jamb nuts to keep them tight. Total cost less than $10.
_________________
Sho-Bud LDG, Martin D28, Ome trilogy 5 string banjo, Ibanez 4-string bass, dobro, fiddle, and a tubal cain. Life Member of AFM local 142
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Danny Letz

 

From:
Old Glory,Texas, USA 79540
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 5:42 am    
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Some of the commercially available extenders are just that coupler with a proper length allen head set screw secured with red loctite for the stud. It just eliminates one of your locknuts but it’s pobably not less expensive if you have to buy some loctite.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Missoula, Montana
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 7:34 am    
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Danny Letz wrote:
Some of the commercially available extenders are just that coupler with a proper length allen head set screw secured with red loctite for the stud. It just eliminates one of your locknuts but it’s pobably not less expensive if you have to buy some loctite.


It is cheaper. Even if you buy loctite. You could probably do 25, probably a lot more, extenders for the price of lift kits.
_________________
2020 - 50 years of Steel Guitar playing
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Danny Letz

 

From:
Old Glory,Texas, USA 79540
Post  Posted 1 Jan 2019 8:10 am    
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Being the mechanical genius that I am (and humble too) I also buy 3 ft of 3/4 “ aluminum tube at tractor supply & make my own leg spacers for the adjustable leg guitars. I’ve found that sometimes they need to be a fraction longer than the rod extenders. You can get fancy & polish them or real fancy & drill & thread & put in a tiny set screw to hold them in place.
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Gary Hegland

 

From:
Washington, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jan 2019 1:51 pm    
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Paul Franklin drove this subject home and parked it in the garage.

Also, listen to Mr. Chalker for the gutting technique similar to what a jazz organ would do.

And, it took me several years to realize bar placement vs where the picks are. The higher your bar, the closer to the bridge the picks.
_________________
Emmons Lashley Legrande II 8+5, Lol Izzy, NV1000, NV112, Hilton VP, Lexicon MX200, Presonus Tube Pre.

Mostly play at home through the sound system, playing along with tracks. Getting spoiled with that tone!
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Logan Bunch

 

From:
Tennessee, USA
Post  Posted 3 Jan 2019 3:00 pm    
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Well guys, I went ahead and ordered the rod extenders offered by GFI since I was already ordering the legs, thanks a ton for all of the help though!
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