These started out as just scrap 2x4s, spray paint and pieces of plexiglass...

Article by Shane Speal.  A big thanks to all who purchased the 2x4 Lap Steel Kit from C. B. Gitty.  Portions of your purchase go back into Cigar Box Nation to continue developing exciting instrument concepts like this.  

I've been having a blast with the new 2x4 Lap Steel Kits from C. B. Gitty.  In a burst of creativity, I went to the craft store and bought a bunch of Rustoleum spray paints.  I even chose some radical glitter colors.

When I first developed the 2x4 Lap Steel, I kept the look very simple with raw wood and zip tie frets.  In fact, the C. B. Gitty kit features my prototype in the photos:

The more I looked at the instrument, the more compelled I got to treat the body as if it were a blank canvas.  In order to showcase the wood as much as possible, I cut pieces of plexiglass into 2.75" x 17.5" sections to serve as fretboards.  The plexiglass fretboards are shown in this video:

One of the most radical ideas was to spray paint one body a light blue and then create psychedelic shapes by using masking tape and then spray painting a darker blue over top:

That artwork was actually inspired by John Lennon's psychedelic acoustic guitar from the Magical Mystery Tour era. Note the handpainted fretboard. I freehand painted the lines and dots for a quirky look.  As with all these plexiglass fretboards, I painted the underside and then flipped it over to mount. 

For the white lap steel, I masked off the fret lines using masking tape and painted the frets black.  I then removed the masking tape and painted a red triangle shape over top.  When flipped over, the black fret lines show up and the red is layered underneath.  It has a cool retro vibe to it:

This is only the beginning.  In fact, C. B. Gitty is working on an optional plexiglass fretboard with laser cut markers.  The plexiglass lends to all kinds of ideas, such as mounting pictures underneath the fretboard, painting entire scenes and much more.

I'd also like to try to make a double neck lap steel with pickup switching and legs.  

Note:  The C. B. Gitty Lap Steel Kit actually comes with a Dual Rail Humbucker pickup.  I had a shelf full of P90's in my shop, so that's what I used for these.  The Dual Rails have more output and less hum.  As with cigar box guitars, there are no rules to 2x4 lap steels...

[Remember that May 2017 is going to be 2x4 Month!  We'll be having a contest for the wildest instruments created from 2x4s.]

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You're my favorite person ever, Jim.  I shit you not...

Cool Shane, you're the man! 

Well, Shane.

Sorry about stepping on any body's feet. I dig this site probably as well as anybody. Your stuff, and everybody else here has some really great instruments. And I truly mean that. I have learned more about homemade instruments here than any book or any other information I have seen over the years. So, feeling properly chastised, I hope you guys don't take me up on the cross offer. Besides, I'd never buy any of those Asian items some of you mentioned. In retrospect, a good ol' 2X4 (American made of course), is a whole lot more useful than that crooked crap brought in by ship. So maybe you guys could let me slide on my "Southern" rantings, and I'll hang around on the site, if that's OK with you "Yanks". I've got this girlfriend from Upper PA., and she pisses me off something awful. Not in any way an excuse, but maybe some of you guys understand what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I hope you guys can let me slide. Haha-----slide!

Steve Tucker, Macon, Georgia--The Southern By God U.S.A.

Permalink Reply by Steve Tucker 1 second ago Delete

Well, Shane.

Sorry about stepping on any body's feet. I dig this site probably as well as anybody. Your stuff, and everybody else here has some really great instruments. And I truly mean that. I have learned more about homemade instruments here than any book or any other information I have seen over the years. So, feeling properly chastised, I hope you guys don't take me up on the cross offer. Besides, I'd never buy any of those Asian items some of you mentioned. In retrospect, a good ol' 2X4 (American made of course), is a whole lot more useful than that crooked crap brought in by ship. So maybe you guys could let me slide on my "Southern" rantings, and I'll hang around on the site, if that's OK with you "Yanks". I've got this girlfriend from Upper PA., and she pisses me off something awful. Not in any way an excuse, but maybe some of you guys understand what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I hope you guys can let me slide. Haha-----slide!

Steve Tucker, Macon, Georgia--The Southern By God U.S.A.

The plexiglass fretboard is a great idea. On the ones I have built in the past I cut slots in the wood and filled them with something of contrasting color. Works good but really eats up the time. Love the drum wrap. 

Hey Guys,

Oh, and just for the record, I like the red and white striped one the best. Even though I went off the Reservation about the price. Sorry. They are all pretty cool after all. I took the cross apart. Turns out I needed the wood. Sorry about letting my mouth overload my ass. Again.

Here's a couple of pix of my very first attempt. Not a CBG, but I used what I had. It was built "on the fly" with absolutely no plans whatsoever, and has at least 10 things wrong with it. I followed most of you guys instructions, and just kept building till I thought it was finished. It took for frickin' ever and a day. So this one is worth about $75,000.00, and I am not joking. I figure at that price I will be making about $1.24 a week. It is stupid and crazy, and I wouldn't sell it for the world. It is almost too dangerous to play. Well, by me anyway.

Attachments:

Oh yeah guys,

I forgot to mention it can be a three or four string. Could be a five string if ya' add an extra tuner. Tuners on the wrong end. Rivet insets as string reinforcement on both sides which work like a champ, and there are five sets, so all the strings can be centered in any configuration. Bridge and nut held in place by friction/tension. Volume and tone controls, but tone don't have much effect. Volume is not all that bad unplugged, even though there's no "f" holes. Blows the windows slap out of the house through a Peavey amp through a computer with Amplitube and a Sanpera pedal set. The body was made from a kids spring loaded game kinda' like a little pin-ball machine with spring loaded flippers. Yard sale buy. Seymour-Duncan sitting angled, since nothing else is straight. Needs a new fretboard just cause I don't like the one on it. And I got a little carried away with too many screws holding it together. No chance of playing or flying it apart. Almost bomb proof.  Like I said, it has a few "eccentricities". Still, I am pretty damn pleased with it. And Southern Ingenuity at it's finest.

Thank you for your time. Your input in this project was invaluable, and I am forever in your debt.

Steve Tucker, Macon, Georgia

Very nice. Very nice indeed.

Just bought a few of the acrylic fretboards for these.

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