Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Y'all come on in and sit a spell. All things Slide and alternate tuning. Celtic, country...whatever. Get your fill of DADGAD, open G and whatever tickles your fancy. Strictly on topic please.
gnease
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Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by gnease » March 5th, 2009, 10:17 pm

finally got this sucker finished to a point where it's usable. it's been so long since I first cut out the body, I don't remember when I started it (3 summers ago?). still haven't settled on the fret marker shapes, so those shown are temps

vitals:
6-string
23.5 in scale
2 1/32 in total string width nut and bridge
aluminum nut, wrap-around LP Junior tailpiece/bridge
Grover "Keystone" tuners
2-piece maple body
G&L MFD single-coil pup (S-500 bridge pup), 500k audio taper volume and tone pots with treble bleed on volume
Currently set up for C6 (CEGACE) tuning

Image

and now I will learn to play it ...

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dogbite
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by dogbite » March 6th, 2009, 4:37 am

whoa dude. how cool looking. I had no idea you were curious about lap steel, especially with the building part. but your vast knowledge of pups and wiring...makes sense to me.
can't wait to hear you play that beauty.

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dhodge
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by dhodge » March 6th, 2009, 6:54 am

I like those fret markers. Very art deco look. Also can't wait to hear it.

Peace

FrankyL
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by FrankyL » March 6th, 2009, 7:00 am

Image isn't working for me. Link? I'd like to see it. I'm fascinated by the idea of trying to build a guitar of my own someday, combining my older woodworking hobby with my newer guitar hobby, and I'd like the inspiration of a successful build.

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dhodge
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by dhodge » March 6th, 2009, 7:12 am

I just rightclicked on "properties" and got this:

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak ... 3035_n.jpg

Hope that works.

Peace

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Ricochet
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by Ricochet » March 6th, 2009, 7:25 am

Man, that is really cool looking! I'm sure it sounds great, too!
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KR2
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by KR2 » March 6th, 2009, 7:33 am

Yep . . . art deco scyscraper . . . like the Chrysler building . . .

Image
It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by FrankyL » March 6th, 2009, 9:13 am

dhodge wrote:I just rightclicked on "properties" and got this:

http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak ... 3035_n.jpg

Hope that works.

Peace
Tried that myself, but it didn't work. I think I'm having a local internet problem. I'll see it later, I suppose. Thanks!

EDIT: AHA! There it is!

Very cool instrument! I love the art deco look of it. Any interest in detailing your build? Did you have a good set of instructions for the build?

gnease
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by gnease » March 6th, 2009, 10:23 am

thanks, guys.

no instructions, FrankyL -- this is a completely original design from the ground up. I did some checking on typical scale lengths and string spacing, checked my parts stash, bought wood at Loews and went to it. it was a half art, half engineering project.

I'd have to reconstitute the design and build process from memory to document it. a lot of it was "design-build," meaning I started with a basic idea from sketches, then modified the design as necessary for real-world materials, available tools and parts. the most difficult design decisions were around the headstock (tilt, thickness, tuner placement), pre-routing of the two maple layers for internal component chambers and wire channels to the pup and bridge ground (I allow for grounding channels to stud-anchored LP Jr bridge or Fender-style hardtail, as I hadn't decided early on which to use). finishing was the most challenging part. I went with "little red wagon red" lacquer + clear lacquer because the maple would not take a good staining.

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Dan T.
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by Dan T. » March 6th, 2009, 2:12 pm

Nice craftmanship! 8) Now, learn to play that thing! :twisted:

Dan
"The only way I know that guarantees no mistakes is not to play and that's simply not an option". David Hodge

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Steinar Gregertsen
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by Steinar Gregertsen » March 6th, 2009, 3:14 pm

That's a very cool design,- great work! I love the mix of National New Yorker/Dynamic and 'something else'. I would have kept the position markers, they really add to the overall 'vibe' of the steel,- those on position 5, 7 and 9 almost looks like huge birds flying outside a skyscraper... 8)
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gnease
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by gnease » March 6th, 2009, 3:57 pm

thanks again.

Steinar: I can do pretty much anything within reason for position markers. are you referring to those of a particular model or suggesting I keep my temporaries? the design isn't really inspired by any other lapsteels. I'm just an art deco/moderne fan. I'll have to have a look at the Nationals to see what you mean.

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Steinar Gregertsen
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by Steinar Gregertsen » March 6th, 2009, 4:39 pm

I'm referring to your temporary position markers, I really like them.

Here's a National New Yorker, inspired by the Empire State Building:

Image

and here's a National Dynamic:

Image

They're both my favorite vintage lap steel designs...
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gnease
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by gnease » March 6th, 2009, 6:49 pm

ah ... I see. both very nice. and the resemblance is in the stepped "shoulders" concepts. those are far more elegant than mine, which I think of as a somewhat SF inspired deco -- maybe something like a kid's toy from the era. I had more MOTS decorative sections cut out for the shoulder and "tail fin" areas, but they just seemed to cluster the look too much.

I've actually been outside on a ledge/parapet of the Empire State Building, and not in the public areas. my team installed some experimental antennas on the outside of the 83rd (IIRC) floor. got to ride some old, really cool, wood lined deco elevators to the upper private areas. had to crawl out a window to get on the ledge.

KR2: I believe the Chrysler Building -- my fave in NYC, is considered art moderne as opposed to deco.

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KR2
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Re: Homebrew Lapsteel up and running ... finally

Post by KR2 » March 6th, 2009, 7:38 pm

I don't know if you wanted to continue with the art deco theme . . .
but here's an idea for the fret markers . . .
art deco numbers
Image
I noticed the New Yorker had Roman numerals . . .
. . . or you could do art deco Roman numerals . . .
which would be the forward leaning slash of a V or X in thin line and the backward leaning slash of the V or X in a thick line
It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.

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