#1
Hello everybody. I have got the idea to build myself a lap steel. I will make the most parts myself, the things I will not make is the tuners, and the electronics.

Specs:
Spruce one piece body, about 90 cm long
60 cm scale length
Six strings
Unknown fretboard, I will buy some veneer with a nice look
Bridge, nut and tailpiece made by some kind of angles, I hope to get hold of stainless steel ones.
1 single coil
1 volume, 1 tone

I will do some kind of stain, I have some nice mahogny stain that I think I will use.

Pic of the wood I got today:



Since I'm poor, and saving for a double bass, I will try to keep the costs as low as possible, and because of this I am using spruce, and angles for hardware. I payed about 3 dollars for the wood, and I can't imagine the angles being overpriced. The pickup will come from my guitar, a stock lowbudget-Ibanez neck pickup.


One thing I have not decided is the fretboard markers. I have not decided if I will paint them, or do something like a fretless fretboard, with lighter wood fret markers, if you know what I mean. Or just wood putty.


Right now I have almost NO spare time at all, tomorrow I will go to my local hardware store and look for some fitting angles, and I will hopefully start cutting and rasping the body on saturday or sunday.

Comments are appreciated!
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#2
Call me sheltered but I had never heard of this instrument until now. Interesting and thank you . Good luck on your build, I'll be watching your progress.

Chris
#3
seems like a good project! i find lap steels very intriguing .

although I dont understand what you mean by "angles"?

p.s. look here and help please
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Quote by ShadesOfNight
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#4
Quote by RCShadow
Call me sheltered but I had never heard of this instrument until now. Interesting and thank you . Good luck on your build, I'll be watching your progress.

Chris


I'm pretty sure that even if you havn't heard OF the instrument, you have heard the actual instrument. Think Hawaii!

I have no idea what I'm talking about. Don't belive me.
#5
Update:

I havn't had time to look for angles yet, I have only been in one store, and they didn't have what I needed.

I have also drawn a blueprint of the lap steel, and decided to make it shorter. Instead of a scale length of 60 cm, I will make it 50 cm. And, by making a wraparound-bridge instead of a two piece, the total length of the lap steel will be about 75 cm.

More things I have done is that I have marked everywhere to cut, now I just need to cut it. I think I will do this tomorrow, if I just can get my thumb out of my ass.

In my other thread a guy said this:

a string that is EXACTLY half the length will be SLIGHTLY SHARP


That's not true, in the scale length of 50 cm, the correct fret position for the 12th fret would be 25,00015 cm from the bridge, using the formula X/17,817. If the fret should be placed on exactly half the string, it would be slightly flat****. However, the 0,00015 cm would not make any difference in the real deal.

****That is, in the tempered scale. "For real", this would make a true, clean octave, like the 12th fret harmonic.

Here is a light-verision of my blueprint, done in paint:




I have also calculated the fret positions, and pretty much settled for marking the frets by cutting the wood, and filling it with wood putty.

Wish me luck!
I have no idea what I'm talking about. Don't belive me.
#6
Quote by m_hedborg
I'm pretty sure that even if you havn't heard OF the instrument, you have heard the actual instrument. Think Hawaii!



Ok. That did the trick! I'm 42 and didn't know the name of it . I would have guessed Hawaiian music was being played on a Resenator on it's back . But I did learn something new today and thanks again .

Chris
#7
Quote by RCShadow
I would have guessed Hawaiian music was being played on a Resenator on it's back


That's how you played before the electric era yes, and people still do it, of course. I like the size of an electric though, and it's easier to build as well.
I have no idea what I'm talking about. Don't belive me.
#8
It would be interesting to put a tramalo on one .

"Tiny bubbles..."...{insert dive-bomb here}. Just being silly.

Chris
#10
Update!

Today I have done a lot, I have cut the plank to the actual length of the lap steel, cut out the headstock, and shaped the headstock. Next step will be to get the damned angles, screw them on, and then I can route the pickup and control cavitys, and the holes for the tuners.
For cutting and shaping I used a regular saw and a rasp.

Some pics!

The whole thing:

Close up from the side of the headstock:

Close up of the headstock, note that I will NOT drill the tuner holes before I mount the bridge, these are just an idea of general placement


The pickup I will use:

The knobs I'm planning to use, jazz-style with one big vol and one small tone. Either this, or white strat knobs, but I like this a lot more.



And finaly, a pot I got. This used to be in my Jazz bass, it's 500k. I shouldn't use this for a single coil, right?


Comments please!


edit: please notice the cut I got from my saw on my index finger
I have no idea what I'm talking about. Don't belive me.
#11
You can use a 500k with a single coil, but most people use 250k pots.

By the way, the tuner for the G string is going right through that knot in the wood. I'd be worried about that knot if I were you.
Will says:
DON'T FEAR THE REAPER!
- SmarterChild - says:
I don't know if I can help it.

Member #6 of the "I play my guitar as high as Tom Morello does" club
#13
Quote by Will_Minus
You can use a 500k with a single coil, but most people use 250k pots.

By the way, the tuner for the G string is going right through that knot in the wood. I'd be worried about that knot if I were you.


Yeah I don't see why I coulnd't use what I already have. However, I need to buy at least one more pot, is there any problem using different values on the pots? I E, 500k for the volume, and 250k for the tone?

And as I said, the tuner holes are not decided, just mock ups. If I end up placing it in the knot, I will just be careful. But trust me, I am a bit worried to.


Quote by Ippon
Awesome! Can it be configured so that you can play it standing up?



This has crossed my mind, and I actually think I will add strap buttons, so I can play standing. This will make the Lap steel hang outwards though, like a regular guitar, but since people are playing with slide tubes on regular guitars, standing, I should be able to do the same.


Also, I will go to a hardware store tomorrow and look for angles.

I have begun to think about what kind of wood I will use for the fretboard. I will make the fretboard of some veneer, and glue it on the body.
I basicly see the options dark fretboard vs. light fretboard, if I choose the light option I will probably go for maple. But, I would love to have a teak fretboard as well.

What do you guys think? Keep in mind I will stain the body dark, using the same stain I did for this bass:
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#15
looks awesome so far, i need to find some wood still
Quote by asfastasdark
+1. This man knows his ****.


Walker Rose.
#16
Yeah, I agree that teak, or some darkish wood would be nice. I will check out prices and such when I go to the timberyard, don't know when that is going to happen though... =)
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#17
Update!

I have only found angles with pre-drilled holes, in every hardware store. And of course, the wrong holes.

So, yesterday I got idea of making the angles myself, of an enclosure I bought a few months ago, to a pedal build, but the parts never came.

The enclosure:

I measured with my pickup for the string spacing of the bridge:

Then I made a rough cut with a metal saw:

These need A LOT of sanding.


I have a problem though, as you can see in the second picture, the poles on the pup are staggered, but my bridge won't be. So, I used a hammer to tap down the poles, making them flush with eachother. When I was doing this, one of the magnets broke:

I used epoxy to glue the magnet back, what effect will this have on the pickup?
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#18
More updates!

I've been thinking, and I'm not sure about the bridge to take the pressure of acting like a wraparound-bridge.
Instead, I got an idea of making some kind of ferrules, I'll take the lid of my metal box, and cut it to fit, and drill it to the back of my lap steel. Then, I will drill holes through the metal plate on the back, through the body and the bridge. This is the same idea as with ferrules, but more primitive.

A picture of my idea:


It would be nice to hear your thoughts, about this idea and about the build in general.

Regards!
I have no idea what I'm talking about. Don't belive me.
#19
Well i know now what im gonna use for my nut. Thanks man, and i think the "Bridge/ferrule" thing might work but it wont look as clean as it would if you used real ferrules.
Quote by asfastasdark
+1. This man knows his ****.


Walker Rose.