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Home lap steel slide guitar (wip)

Discussion in 'Open Bar!' started by Madbrush, Apr 5, 2015.


  1. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    What's that Madbrush been upto, @Mr.Micron , I had a little discussion about this privately with the aforementioned Mod Man Herb.

    A long while ago I came across a video on YouTube which inspired, I have always loved guitars and the sounds they make, but the video I found almost made me cry mainly because it was my Mum's favourite song and she used t sing it herself, I was very fortunate not to be embarrassed when my mum sang because she sang like an angel and I was always proud, but what's even better is that I was totally in awe of the sound this guy made, here is the video, now everyone's cup of I know;



    Thanks to this I just had to have one of these guitars, I've looked everywhere and can't find one left handed so I thought it would be cool to make my own.

    I bought a plank of hardwood, having had a look at all the different designs I didn't like the idea of them being made to look a little like traditional guitars, so I decided to stay with the plank theme a leave it all straight, here is my plank dressed and bevelled ready to get started on;

    20150405_125922.jpg
    I spent the whole day today cutting out and routing for putting everything on the tail end, I have cut out for the tone and volume pots as well as for the jack-plug socket, and as you can see, the fully adjustable tunomatic bridge and hum-bucker pick up are in place and fit perfectly, the hum-bucker pictured here is temporary due it being for the neck position but a bridge position hum-bucker is under way as I type as are new lovely chrome control knobs, the little chrome rings you see where the white arrow is pointing are old servo spacer tubes form my model building days, these are there to protect the wood form the strings when the are on, the strings will be fed through a steel plate on the under side, I still have to make that yet, following the line of the control knobs from right to left, the jack plug socket is situated on the end of the plank on the same line.

    20150405_171652.jpg
    I still have to install all the nut and tuning machine heads at the other end but this will take while due to the fact that I will placing the tuners on the underside out of sight, I feel that the tuners look out of place on this type of guitar so all that will be seen on top will be the tuner's capstans where stings are wound, I wan tot arrange this cluster so that the strings follow the same line from one end to the other and don't veer off to one or both sides as with some acoustic and Les Paul type guitars, for me it has to be aesthetic to look at when it's done, so to get the tuning end the way I want it I have to be patient and wait for the right parts, other than the the capstans there will be no evidence of tuners but I'll be able to tune without having to dismantle anything, I'll explain that later on when I'm at that stage.

    Once I have all the ironmongery situated as I wan't it, everything will be removed for painting of the body, I intend to paint the body with a similar mother of pearl design the guys in the video except mine will be blue, when I get to that part I will do a full SBS explaining the process from start to finish, I remember a question a while back asking how to achieve depth when someone was doing a gears project, this SBS will also help with that same project although the person who asked the question has since never been back.

    Feel to ask questions here if you have any:)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2015
  2. haasje dutchairbrush

    haasje dutchairbrush Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Cool project, you'll have to do a little vid when it's done as I'm realy curious how it will sound :thumbsup:
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  3. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    Very cool project and nothing sounds like a good old lap steel guitar.
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  4. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Thanks Haasje, I was planning a little video so that we can all hear what it sounds like, but I expect it to sound similar to the one above, the only thing that might ruin that is if I can't find the steel nut I need, the normal plastics nuts are useless for this type of guitar, I might have to make one myself from brass and have it chromed, when it's finished everything on will be chrome with blue paintwork, even the fretboard will be chrome, these types of guitar normally have a printed fretboard since the have no real brass frets so I shall be making the fretboard and markers from chrome finishing tape.
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  5. matty171

    matty171 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    A man of many talents, i will also be interested to see how this sounds when ur finished
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  6. beanpoleuk

    beanpoleuk Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    Is there no end to your talents ? I am very impressed ..
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  7. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Thanks Bean, this was in my head since way before my wife got sick which put the plan behind some so all I could do was plan how I was going to approach it and that paid off, I know exactly how I want it to turn out and so far so good.

    This is allowing me to combine all the skills I have, model building and the electronics involved, my own job as painter and decorator (old school) and airbrushing too, until now the only thing I wasn't sure of was soldering the sound elements but I found a couple of idiot proof diagrams on the interweb, lol

    I would imagine I'll get the same feeling of satisfaction when it first plays as I did everytime I built a new plane and brought it home in one piece after its maiden;)
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  8. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    I haven't had a play with one of those before, but would love to. Look forward to hearing you play it.
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  9. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Thanks Squishy, I ordered a shiny new pickup and control knobs for it but they didn't have them in stock so it could be a couple of weeks before its completed.

    I haven't played one of these either yet although I have done a little slide on ibanez, I will make a little video but just don't expect Stevie Vai lol
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  10. Smiler65

    Smiler65 Detail Decepticon!

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    Looking great so far,love seeing things made from scratch it gives you a feeling of great satisfaction knowing you've done everything yourself. Looking forward to seeing the paint job being done.
    I don't expect you to be like Stevie but I'm expecting a full rendition of the duelling banjos:whistling:
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  11. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Come on now, please don't tell me I have to make a banjo as well:p
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  12. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    The hardest thing on the old traditional banjo's is the hoop and getting the skin worked down to the right thickness for tuning.
    My old boss use to make fiddles and banjo in the traditional manner . They sound better then the mass produced ones.

    he is the curly gray haired man on the left of the screen . He built that fiddle he is play. I forgot to add he passed away the same year my dad did
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  13. splasha

    splasha Detail Decepticon!

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    Love this stuff, MB.
    Nothing beats the really cool sound of a slide!
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  14. Nada

    Nada Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Cool project . ive built some guitars, but this is really interesting.
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  15. MeeshellMP

    MeeshellMP Goddess Queen of carts Mod

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    Wow!! Super cool project!!
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  16. Oddball

    Oddball Detail Decepticon!

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    Nice one mate! :thumbsup:
    Is that the Hill Billy "Clampet" gene emerging? :whistling:

    @Madbrush are you planing on putting frets on it as well?
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  17. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Yes Marty it will have a fretboard, on this type of guitar the strings never tough the frets so normal brass frets serve no purpose, on these they are usually printed either onto the wood or onto the back of a piece perspex, in my case I'll be creating the board and the fret markers using fine chrome tape in such a way that the finish of the body remains seen, once it has been painted, I'll apply the board before clearing which in this case will water be based varnish but the tough stuff used for laminate floors.

    I forgot to mention that while I was researching and planning this I discovered that guitars in general use different scales (lengths) to measure the distance between the nut and the bridge, I'm the standard Fender 25.25 inch scale, although most Gibsons these days use the same scale but a lot of their earlier jazz and classic guitars used a 24 inch scale their, this won't mean much to non guitar players but it's important to know since the twelfth fret has to be the same distance form the bridge as it is from the nut, I have taken great care to get this precise because although the absence of frets means that that isn't entirely necessary, I like to mess with harmonics so without precise intonation the harmonics would correspond to the open notes.
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  18. Oddball

    Oddball Detail Decepticon!

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    Yep I understand what your saying, I was just curious (read nosy! lol)
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  19. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    LOL, I've been messing around with guitars for few years now and because I play by ear I never delved much into the ins and outs of it all, now because this has be spot on I have had to do a lot of research and it's incredible how much maths is involved, I remember years ago having to plot graphs and manipulate sine waves and stuff and it's all relevant here, I've only just found out in the last week why they have different pick-ups at the bridge and neck positions and it's to compensate for different heights in string vibration, so the neck pick-up's poles are wound less to allow for the greater height at the 22nd fret, cool stuff when you get into it and even cooler when you actually understand it:confused::)
  20. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    I'd expect Steve Vai if you were making one 9f those 7 string Jem jobbies Lol, I already have a banjo, so could do the duel PMSL Though I suck at it, I do have the look, and can get some dungarees lol

    Would love to be able to make my own guitar, but me and woodwork don't mix.
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