Last week I completed a new six-string steel guitar design. It was my intention to keep all of the components within the body of the 4×4 post, with just the strings flowing out of the body over the two brass bolts. The instrument has a really low top profile and the sides are fully intact to preserve the linear flow of the body.
The pickup is constructed from two 9 volt power adapter coils and has a different look than previous designs, because they were extracted from a different brand of adapter. Follow this link to instructions for building pickups from 9-volt adapters: https://junkshopaudio.com/9-volt-power-adapter-guitar-pickup/
A 1/4″ audio jack was mounted in a 1-1/4 drain to lessen the profile of the jack and shorten the protrusion of the guitar cord from the end of the guitar.
The tuners are based upon the design that I unveiled on the Baseball Bat Guitar that I featured last November.
I used two sets of three tuners, similar to those used on the Baseball Bat Guitar, and installed them vertically within the body. The end of the guitar was cut open so that a 3/8″ hex driver can be used to tune the strings. Brass studs and knurled nuts were used to keep the tuners straight and the body was carved to naturally guide the strings out over the nut to ensure proper spacing. If left in this state, the tuners would turn instead of tightening; therefore, I fabricated two small steel parts to hold the tuners in place, thus forcing the machines to tighten. They fit tightly, but slip off easily when the tuners are in a vertical position.
Additionally, the frets are filed grooves, the strings are mounted on an electrical barrier strip, and the body was stained with a mixture of steel wool and vinegar that has been fermenting for about a year—it results in an awesome rustic/worn finish and can be lightly sanded to imitate wear.
This was a cool project. I learned a lot from the experience and will make only a few minor changes upon creating its successor.