This is another instrument i would love to build any books you would recommend or where i can get plans.

Ian Supplee

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If I could be so bold as to give you a word of unsolicited advice.

Slow down.

You are obviously very excited about this field right now and you appear to be trying to do everything at once. There is time for you to do these thing but it's much better to do one project very well than to try to do two or three poorly. Without going back and counting, I seem to recall at least 5 different projects you appear to be undertaking. One or two that are related are probably all you can managed to do properly. If you want to learn to wind pickups then why not focus on that and incorporate it into the double neck guitar project you have already started? Take your time and do them right then use what you learned and move on to the next. From where I sit, you appear to be on the road to a quick burnout with a trail of unfinished projects behind you and that would be too bad.

Just my 2 cents worth. 

"Just throw some geetar hardware on a 2x4 & you've got it (:"

That sounds like one of Tim Mace's replies, doesn't it?  I get a kick out of his replies (-:


Seriously man, we all applaud & encourage your eagerness to learn & do, but consider taking things one step at a time my friend. So far, you've approached pickup winding, complex finishing, scratch building, banjos, mando's, etc.  Any one of those skills by themselves takes years to learn to do well & professionally (read: as not to be an embarrassment to the craft).

When starting out, it's more important to learn as much as you can about a concentrated subject than to be a jack of all trades and master of none.  Trust me, we've all tried that at one time or another.  Learn as the opportunities present themselves, like when something comes in for repair. It pays to have excellent "specialty skills" as opposed to knowing something about everything.

I think that most of us will admit to having specialty skills.  I (we) refer jobs out of our professional comfort range to other more skilled practitioners. It's a close knit brotherhood and referring work to an associate who is more talented in the subject matter will never diminish your credibility.

Here's an example: Most small scale independent electric guitar & bass builders subcontract their finishing jobs.  Why?  Because building a quality instrument and applying a quality finish are two entirely different disciplines.  Conversely, the best finishing guys in the biz aren't building instruments.  Buying tools & materials needed to make the instruments is expensive. Setting up a professional EPA approved spray operation is even MORE expensive.  By employing two different specialists/experts, you'll have a great product.  If you're good at building, but just OK at finishing, you will have a great sounding/playing but an amateur looking instrument.  The other way around nets a great looking but poorly playing/sounding instruments.  Other aspects of the craft follow the same logic trajectory. It's called synergy.

Please don't interpret this as an admonishment, but an attempt  to encourage you to focus your skills & desires into a highly professional talent. 

Now, in reality, I don't know jack about lap steels. To me they are nothing more than a bridge, a pickup and some painted lines on a 2x4; but I bet we'll hear from an expert who can guide you in the right direction.  See?  BTW: I've been meaning to build one for myself for over 25 years, but I've never gotten around to it as repairing guitars & basses have kept me sufficiently intrigued .

Kindest regards, buddy (-:


Lol yeah your right im sorry but when an idea comes to my head it gets exciting that i could build that but thank you guys. but can ask if you dont mind how long have each of you been in this field. a buddy of mine has been it in 20 years.

and finishing im starting experimenting last week and its actually going well i will give up dates as i go again all of your wisedom is welcome i am always gathering my knowledge of instruments that i love thanks again.

I am undertakeing alot but yes one at a time. but the more i studied each instrument and all the questions i have asked i am learning alot. the lap steel and the dobro were just ideas and i wanted to know if anyone ever wrote a book on any of them. same with the pick up winding. but my two main focuses are the double neck and finishs.

I've been a working player for 47+ years and a working tech for 35+.

We really like you Ian but you're wearing us out with overkill.

Maybe you should rely more upon your eminently skilled buddy with 20 years of experience for advice.

And like I mentioned in a private message: learn spelling,  grammar and for gawd's sake, punctuation.. It will greatly increase your credibility. Enough text speak. Every time you LOL at the beginning of a reply, it makes the poster feel like you're laughing AT him/her.  If you wish to interface with an adult world, learn to communicate like an adult.

While I'm on a roll....your "Show us your stage rig" post: this ain't Harmony Central or a "mine's bigger than yours" contest. My point is proven by the way it's been ignored.

I'm not angry or upset Ian, just really weary.

(: P

Ned and Paul, thank you for telling these things a non native-english-speaker can feel hard too express with tact.

By the way, Weissenborn plans are available at LMII ( maybe you should have check before asking, LMII is a must-know supplier).

About your last question, I've started repairing and building 15 or 16 year ago, and I've been a full time pro for more than 6 years now.


  I really appreciate your enthusiam. It's fun to see someone so excited about these thing but a lot of what you are asking isn't easily answered in this format. A forum just isn't a good place to cover such broad subjects. It's easy to ask a question but it can take a long time to frame the answer and there will always be something that was left out of it because it just too much to expect a 100% complete answer in this medium.

That said, it's my opinion that the Internet is the best thing to happen to instrument repair/building business since the invention of steel and nylon strings. There is a LOT of information on a LOT of different web sites available. Of course Frank's site is the best for all around repair information but there are others here that have good sites. Paul Hostetter has a great site to complement Frank's and there are many other posters here that have sites that will give you very good information. Beside that there is an ocean of information waiting for you but you will need to exercise patience and learn how to search on the internet for what you want to know.

I don't think anyone here doesn't appreciate your excitement, we just want you to reel it in a bit. Burn slowly so you don't burn out.

 BTW, I've been playing for about 35 years and I've been involved in repair and building as a hobbyist for just about 6 weeks less than that, when my brother and I had to figure out how to re-attach a broken head stock ( the epoxy and wood screws held up fairly well even if it was UGLY. )  I've never done this for a living though I do, occasionally get a trade or something for my "help". I'm not really interested in ruining a good hobby by trying to make a living at it.

Thank you everyone for your advice. And i will say this along with other thoughts in my head instruments are one of them. this form has helped me so much seeing the error of my ways. before i got books i searched the internet all the time for things that would help me understand. And paul its ok i love to hear old storys of when you had to walk miles for this or that i have done some walking myself for a few things myself.


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