This came up in passing in another sub-forum, but I thought I would post it here. It shows how I pass  my time instead of doing useful stuff.

I've made electric lap steels in the past, but wanted to make an acoustic version. It was partly prompted by the biscuit tin electric (non-acoustic) guitars that my music-store-owning mate has been making and selling.

It is made entirely from salvage bits from my workshop, and the scale length and bridge location were dictated by the length of the plank. The scale length is one fret shorter than 25.5", and the fretboard is just a piece of masking tape and some scrapbook stickers. I'm thinking of going two frets shorter than 25.5" and thereby having the bridge more centrally located on the biscuit tin, but I think I might be sacrificing good sustain and tone for volume if I do that.

The key feature, IMO, is the way that the bridge goes through the plank to rest on the tin:

I'm now thinking about making one with a much narrower plank, in which the saddle could straddle it.

The tone is pleasantly reverby (even my wife thinks so) reasonably well balanced across the whole range, but stronger in the high mids that in the bass or highs. The weaker bass is similar to resos. It isn't very loud, which is fine because I only plan on playing it for my own amusement. I tried it with a Baggs piezo bug design for resos, screwed to the underside of the bridge base through the tin:

It worked fine, but the preamp I was using, a Maton AP5, wasn't designed for low-output piezos.
Last edited by Tony Done at Aug 12, 2017,
I did this once and it did not work structurally do you design flaws and improper materials.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
You can earn some modifications in the audio by how you choose the sequence (angle/attack/location). So, theoretically, you could get several different appears to be on one observe just by how you set the sequence into activity. 

Welcome to the forum.

Yes, picking position has some effect, but it isn't especially great in this instance, provide you don't get too close to the bridge.

I'll just note that the tone is good enough to be able to happily practice my lap steel repertoire, not just use it for novelty stuff, and this is against some pretty good gear in my collection.

Sorry, I'm not well set up for recording, and I suffer terrible microphone fright, but I might give it a go. 

This morning I've been working on a passive headphone set up for electric guitar that works like a stethoscope - nothing too weird to attract my attention.  
i have a cigar box guitar i mess around with. Its pretty fun making stuff out of old parts.

Quote by Matt_Perez

Did you buy or build the neck yourself?

i bought the whole thing for like 70 bucks. Ive started collecting cigar boxes to make into guitars but the neck is something i dont have the tools to do properly. You can get a nice custom neck for $70 with any headstock design you want, choice of woods,etc. I made a stomp box, but i suck at tapping my foot with the beat so its basically eye candy. Right now im working on an amp build in a box.
That's really nifty. I've been fantasizing about building a keyboard with a synth built into it from scratch, but I would have no idea where to start. I can't seem to find any resources online so I probably won't be doing it for now.

The latest episode in the lap steel build is electrification. Since the tin is made of steel, I reckoned I could use an ordinary magnetic pickup as a transducer, sensing the movements of the top directly:

I had also tried it previously with a Baggs reso piezo pickup and preamp, and this magnetic pickup arrangement sounds similar, not at all like an electric guitar. I'm happy with it as a first approximation, but there are plenty of options on this basic theme, like removing alnico slugs from the pickup, adjusting distance between pickup and top, and adding tone and volume controls.

More later.
Last edited by Tony Done at Aug 12, 2017,
Tony man I have to ask....... Is that recording of Scarborough Fur on your biscuit tin? That sounds just like my friends $3,000 early 50s National nickel brass resonator. Also I'd love a recording of all your stuff on CD or whatever format. I'll pay within reason for the inspirations That music gives me a good feeling I aint had in a time or so.

You're very kind.

Scarborough Fur was played on a Gibson LP Special with P100 pickups, in the Spanish position, direct to the PC via a Pandora Px4 on the Fender Champ setting. It demonstrates a recurring theme in my posts on electric guitars - the search for "acousticness".

I've never been interested in recording or performing, and just about everything that is listenable is on Soundlclick, and much of that is intended as demos of technical points. The only decent quality recording I have ever done was when I played in the duo Freight Train on the CD "Woe to go", done about 18 years ago,  all but two tracks of which are on Soundclick, neither of which are slide. I'll see if I can find some more, but there won't be much.
Last edited by Tony Done at Nov 1, 2017,
Tony Done 

Well Tony I am impressed and gaining sound like that from an LP is nothing short of amazing to me. Is there any way to take the music in that recording (I think it said 30 songs or something like that) could be downloaded in mp3 format? As I said, I would not only listen to it for pleasure..... I would try to emulate as much of that tone I could into mine allowing me to progress to new levels myself.
Tony Done 

Thank you my friend. I have downloaded the songs. I'm already practicing bass parts for some of these songs... I love new (to me) blues. You made my day.... Thanks again.
Last edited by StringsMcGhee at Nov 2, 2017,
Thanks guys. That style of playing is called alternating bass or Travis picking and it was used a lot by the early blues players in one form or another. The way I play Creole Belle in that lap steel demo is not much different from how John Hurt did it, though his was fingerpicking in standard tuning.