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I've been building mountain dulcimers for about 35 years, and had a friend ask me today if I could build him a lap guitar.  I've never made anything but dulcimers before.  He said it's called a "steel lap guitar," but they can be made out of wood as well.  Anybody ever made one?  Can you tell me where to get instructions on building one, and supplies, i.e., pre-cut pieces?  Thanks!

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Two things you absolutely must know....

1. Randy S. Bretz

2. Old Lowe

Both members here...go to their pages and look at pics.....then you'll be a lil better equipped to discuss Lap Steels with 'em.


Disclaimer: numbers are used only for the purpose of documenting the fact that there are two listed. This list is in no particular order, and in no way infers that Randy makes a better instrument than Lowe. Of course Randy built one with a snake, Lowe just stomps snakes...but I digress....there's two to get ya started.

Thank you!  I'll check these two snake abusers out & see what information they have to offer.  I, personally, would never abuse a snake; I make my instruments out of baby seals.

Hi Molly,  you can find lots of info and ask questions in the Clubhouse group Lap Steel Guitar.  A dulcimer has similarities to a lap steel.  For the record, the word steel refers to the solid steel bar held in the hand to chord the strings.  You can find Randy and Old Lowe most evenings in the chat room.


Good luck!


Maybe you can share some of your dulcimer creations and share your knowledge in the group Dulcimer Village.

Thank you, Ted.  I'll definitely be hitting Randy & Old Lowe up for pointers!  This will be my first attempt, but I'm too stubborn to tell somebody I can't do something!



same as a dulci really, just leave the frets out and jack the strings up bit taller cos no need for fretting.   Should be very familiar to you really, same as what you've been doing , but easier.   Often the fret lines are still marked out, but not always.  also look at hawaiian guitar, squareneck guitar, dobro..


PS there are many many ppl here who made lap steels, not two.  Ted's also made a few interesting ones, and cajun too

Thank you.  I'll check these out.  I think I can handle making one, after looking at some & getting a few pointers.  Just need to do a little more research.

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