Posted on January 14, 2010April 12, 2022 by Dale Phillips Review: Build Your Own Lap Steel Guitar by Martin Koch Review: Build Your Own Lap Steel Guitar by Martin Koch Reviewed by John Calkin Originally published in American Lutherie #83, 2005 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Seven, 2015 Build Your Own Lap Steel Guitar Martin Koch ISBN: 3-901314-09-1 118 pp., 2004 Build Your Own Lap Steel Guitar Martin Koch CD-ROM, 75 minutes www.stewmac.com Martin Koch (www.BuildYourGuitar.com) devolves the process of lap-steel creation to make it accessible to the most unsophisticated readers. At the same time he hints at the small added details that make construction more difficult but add a touch of elegance to an otherwise Plain Jane instrument. Two lap-steel designs are illustrated in this book/CD set. The first is literally a plank with lines for frets, a thick maple board just wider than the untapered fretboard. The nut end is scooped out to create a headstock. The nut itself is a length of aluminum angle stock. The “frets” are inlaid bits of maple veneer. The only guitarish hardware involved is a Les Paul Jr. bridge, the machine heads, a single-coil pickup, a volume pot, and an output jack. Another piece of angle stock might have been used for the bridge, but the LP Jr. item smacks more of a musical instrument and was a good choice. Construction was accomplished entirely with a few hand tools. A bit of decorative trim was added by making a control cover and pickup ring from the same wood as the fingerboard. The guitar was finished in Danish oil. There’s an understated innocence to this instrument that I admire. It would be fun to show up at a jam with it and rock out just as hard as the guys with “real” instruments. It would be a very in-their-face statement. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.