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?

On this article on GuitarWorld, Shane Speal proposes a funny project for the construction of a Lap Steel Guitar: ugly and basic, but it sounds good! :-)

This lap steel was made from an extra 2x4 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 2x4 and installing simple hardware.

Parts needed

  • 32” section of 2x4 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.

Tools needed

  • 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: