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Making a Lap Steel Slide....


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#1 MCH

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 02:59 PM

And I want to know about pickups. I think I've decided upon a P-90. Is this a good or bad? If it's a P-90 do I use the 250K pots for volume and tone; plus a .047 cap? By the way it's a 22 1/2" scale; seems the most popular for this style of guitar.
Will post my build when done. It's quite inexpensive to build and hopefully it will do what it's suppose to do. This slide business is a whole new game for me. Will have many more questions when I attempt my first slide. LOL.
Not a craftsman, but know all about designer sawdust.

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#2 DemoEtc

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 03:23 PM

P90 should be sweet. Most of the older lap steels were singlecoil anyhow so it should be what you're looking for soundwise.

Pots and cap: sounds about right unless someone else has a better estimate on the capacitor value.

And you know about the nut-slot thing probably, where you have to file the string-grooves so the tops of all the strings are level, rather than the bottoms being even above the frets.

Other than that, you should be set to cook. :)

#3 MCH

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 03:49 PM

Well here is a early pic of my build.

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#4 Rockerbob

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 04:09 PM

I can't help you, but it looks good!

#5 Kirk Lorange

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 07:12 PM

Looking good, MCH ... :yes:

#6 DemoEtc

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 07:21 PM

Hey that thing looks coooo-ool!

#7 BENharperROX

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:07 AM

looks good. i'm still tryin to learn mine :( i've gotten a few songs down, but i can't learn back up for anything
I pray one day I can play....Good

#8 DemoEtc

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 08:02 AM

Funny you should mention back up playing. I think it's a bit harder on a lap steel because with the way it sounds and the vocal style vibrato (below-and-around-the-note instead of the regular guitar's above-the-note), you almost have to 'not play' it when the singer is singing; almost overpowers the vocals. And...it's not really a volume thing either. It's like that one Allman Brothers tune--I forget the title, but there's a video--and the guy from Govt Mule (I think) is singing lead. And then Greg comes in on the chorus, and even though it's mixed perfectly and way back, his voice just jumps out because of the way he sounds and all that emotion and stuff.

Same with steel imho; it's like you have to play just partial chords, soft single lines, short stabs, little runs, etc., almost like you're a second lead singer trying not to get in the way of the main singer.

That's something I'm still working on besides the slants and stuff :)

#9 MCH

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:39 AM

Ok. Here is a sample of what the lapsteel sounds like. I never played before. I tuned to open G and plinked around with it. I'm putting a big mozza ball out there.
This sample is just to give an idea of the sound.
I wouldn't dare post this in the "Member's Recordings". I'd get tarred, feathered and run out of town.
I'm pretty sure I can build, but I can't play.:crying2:

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Not a craftsman, but know all about designer sawdust.

#10 allthumbs

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 10:49 AM

Your gonna have some fun with that when you get more comfortable.

#11 DemoEtc

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Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:05 AM

Hey, the tone's nice!

May not have to worry about going to single coils after all unless you want :)

#12 eddiez152

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 12:53 AM

Yep, it does have a nice tone.
Nothin sweeter than the sound of music comin out of a 6 string box - EZ me Music / ASCAP "Music is a social act of communication, a gesture of friendship,the strongest there is"-Malcolm Arnold

#13 Chris C

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 08:49 AM

Beautiful job. What an excellent project. Sounds like it's got plenty of grunt too. :winkthumb:
"There is no magic secret, other than loving the process of learning and putting in the time."

Quote shamelessly stolen from ColoradoFenderBender at Guitarnoise.

#14 bolerama

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 12:32 AM

Your lapsteel looks great. I like the design. What did you shield the pup cavity with? I have also tried to make a lap steel and it works pretty good. I've put a single coil from a Yamaha Pacifica in it. I used the plans from a website I found and modified them a bit. Building was a lot of fun, learning to play is the hard part!

#15 MCH

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 10:21 AM

What did you shield the pup cavity with? Building was a lot of fun, learning to play is the hard part!


I use aluminum duct tape for shielding. I agree learning to play is quite challenging.
I don't know if you have seen the other lapsteel I built for my son shown in the Equipment forum, but it's a little more involved compared to this first build.
Not a craftsman, but know all about designer sawdust.




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