How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

Postby RobertR » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:02 pm

An acoustic lap steel guitar is a perfect instrument for the blues. Lap steel is similar to slide guitar except the steel bar is solid rather than hollow and all the notes, except for the open strings, are played with the bar. Slide guitar players can fret the notes on the guitar as well playing notes with the slide. The solid steel bar produces a thicker and fuller sound than a hollow metal or glass slide. It is not difficult to convert an acoustic guitar into a lap steel guitar. Maybelle Carter, from the Carter Family, can be heard playing lap steel several of the recordings. Turning one of your old acoustics into a lap steel is a less expensive way to go than spending money on a Dobro or Weissenborn guitar. You can always purchase one of those later after you have developed your lap steel chops.



http://www.wikinut.com/turning-an-acous ... /1tn0kj7./
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Re: How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

Postby zhyla » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:09 am

Robert,

You obviously have a lot of articles you'd like to link to. They look useful enough, so feel free to post them all in a single thread. This is a blues forum, not a Robert Russell forum.
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Re: How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

Postby LesRichardForgue » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:16 pm

During the 1960s I had an acoustic guitar with a neck so curled it was impossible to get correct tones wiith fretting, so I turned it into a lap slide guitar. I did not have to make any modifications to the guitar, all it took was to place the guitar on my lap, strings facing up. Not too difficult.

For a slide I used a polished section of beef rib. (still have that, but not the guitar)

I thought about posting some detailed instructions on how to move an acoustic guitar from the standard playing position into the on your lap position, but then I figured it could get too complex.
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Re: How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

Postby NEONMOONY » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:07 am

:lol:
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Re: How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

Postby De Ferre » Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:42 pm

This kind of modification is what I did to an old acoustic I had. Very useful. And that's how I learned to play lap steel style as well. Most people out there don't know this is possible, specially here in Europe.
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Re: How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

Postby LesRichardForgue » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:30 pm

De Ferre wrote:This kind of modification is what I did to an old acoustic I had. Very useful. And that's how I learned to play lap steel style as well. Most people out there don't know this is possible, specially here in Europe.



Thanks for posting that link...
I LOVE your sounds!!!!!!!!
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Re: How to Turn an Acoustic Guitar into a Lap Steel Guitar

Postby A J Davies » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:45 pm

Cool ideas.

Although it's not always super expensive to get resonators if you are willing to have a good search around. I was lucky enough to find a musical instruments supplier who is a muso himself, so even though I dealt with him only through email he gave me a complete guarantee and right of return if I wasn't happy with the sound, ended up with a Mannix knock-off dobro for just under $300 which is a pretty good price, if you ask me.

But an interesting turn for this thread may be if anybody has gutted an old guitar and installed a cone successfully or done any other mods to convert it into a resonator. I've heard of it being done, but not known anybody who has actually done it themselves.

Neck strength would likely be a bit of an issue I would imagine.
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