A couple months ago, I built lap steel guitars with six students at a local elementary school. One of my professors had invited me out to guest speak for her gifted and enrichment class; so I discussed how pickups work, showed them my baseball bat guitar, and then we built some rockin’ guitars.
I had drilled and finished seven boards, and then outfitted them with a 1/4 inch jack and my very own 9 volt adapter pickup. The rustic finish was the result of a mixture of vinegar and steel wool that had been corroding in a jar for the past couple of years. It brushed on fast and then turned out like this over night.
The students chose their lumber and then we got started. First, they screwed in four eyebolts and inserted two bolts that would serve as the bridge and the nut.
Then, the they screwed down the slotted angular piece that would later hold the eyebolt tuners.
Next, they screwed in the six screws that would hold three strings tight over the nut.
Each student added the three eyebolts and nuts that would tune the guitar.
Each guitar was personalized with artwork and some even earned a name.
The students added the strings and I tuned them up.
I had two amps set up and they all took turns playing their steel guitars with their
Cu63 copper slides.
That’s it—a few hours spent building guitars with a bunch of fun and creative students.
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