Maple top lap steel

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Maple top lap steel

Postby Peter Wilcox » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:04 pm

I've decided to make lap steels for awhile. Mechanically they're much easier than other instruments - no frets or fret issues, no neck angle or action issues, and I can play them, though in a mediocre manner. I made an 8 string years ago, but never learned to play it, so thought I'd make a 6 string. I've had a quilted maple top lying around with a crack that precluded its use in a full width instrument, so cut it down to lap steel size. It wasn't long enough, so I made a neck which I could have glued in, but decided to make it bolt (screw) on so I could work on and finish the body and neck separately. I used stuff I had on hand, so it didn't cost me any money. The nut is from the dog's bone and the saddle a steel rod from the copy machine I used for my first build years ago. Unfortunately the strat knobs are white instead of cream colored, but beggars can't be choosers. The pickup spacing is short due to 24 fret markers in a 22.5" scale, but there is still a world of difference in their timbre.
Attachments
lapsteel6_1.jpg
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lapsteel6_2.jpg
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Re: Maple top lap steel

Postby Steve Sawyer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:22 am

That is really interesting, Peter! I'd build one of those just to have a chance to goof around with it.

Is that a typical scale length for a lap steel?
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Re: Maple top lap steel

Postby Peter Wilcox » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:34 pm

22.5 " is a standard short scale length for lap steels, as it's easier to play bar slants on the lower frets. There are also longer scales, in the 24" - 25" range, which are felt to have better sustain and a richer tone. As usual in life, it's a trade off.
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Re: Maple top lap steel

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:34 am

You are a man of many talents Peter!
That is a nice looking instrument.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Maple top lap steel

Postby Karl Wicklund » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:15 am

I keep coming back to glance at these photos again. I especially like how it steps out, and feels balanced without being symmetrical. And of course, a beautiful piece of wood.
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Re: Maple top lap steel

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:44 am

Nice!
It has an Art Deco vibe that seems to fit a lap steel.
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Re: Maple top lap steel

Postby Peter Wilcox » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:15 pm

Thanks for the compliments. Took it to an acoustic jam with a very small amp (instead of my dobro), played some nice soft leads and fills that fit right in and was enjoyed by all.
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