A DIY project for the weekend: build a Lap Steel Guitar
A project by Shane Speal, the “king of the Cigar Box Guitar”
Do you have a free weekend and do you want to have fun with DIY?
This lap steel was made from an extra 2×4 I had in my shed, with just a few saw cuts to the wood. I even used a pre-wired acoustic sound hole pickup, so there was no wiring needed.
Here’s a quick video:
These plans will give you a very basic, yet absolutely playable lap steel. It might look like a lot of steps, but trust me, this instrument is easy to build. You are basically just marking down a few lines, making a couple cuts to the 2×4 and installing simple hardware.
- 32” section of 2×4 pine lumber. (Note: Due to harmful chemicals, do not use pressure-treated lumber!)
- Two (2) 1/2” diameter allthread rods, 3.5” long (Allthread rods are like bolts without a head. You can find these at hardware stores. I found a box of them at a flea market.)
- One pack of guitar tuners, three-to-a-side
- Pre-wired acoustic soundhole pickup
- One pack of medium-gauge electric guitar strings.
- Electric drill + two drill bits: 3/32” and 5/16”
- Table saw or circular saw
- Small screwdriver.
For the directions, with good photos, refer to the original article: