Comes with free CD-ROM*

*The free CD-ROM is a limited, special offer only available when you order the book at BuildYourGuitar.com. You can order just the CD-ROM at a reduced price.

It's easy to Build Your Own Lap Steel Guitar

ISBN 3-901314-09-1
Paperback, 198 x 246 mm
119 pages
225 b/w photos
40 illustrations

This book explains how to make a solid-body lap steel guitar. Because building a lap steel is relatively easy, it provides an excellent introduction into the art of guitarbuilding. With 225 photos and 40 line drawings, Martin Koch shows how to make two different lap steel guitars in simple, easy-to-follow steps. He even explains how to make your own guitar pickup using the world's simplest pickup winder. The author puts special emphasis on the use of hand tools.

Sample pages in PDF format

Sample page
Sample pages
(486 KB)
(Pages 44 and 45)

Accompanying website

As a reader of the book you have access to an accompanying website with all photos of the book in full color. You will find printable templates and additional information like links to tools and parts suppliers there too.

Online sample

You can find the complete making of the Project One guitar on my resources pages.

Martin Koch's take on lap steel creation was to devolve the process 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.
John Calkin in American Lutherie, the quartely journal of The Guild of American Luthiers. Read the entire review.
Your recent book on building lap steel guitars is very encouraging for novices who would like to try building an instrument. I used to think that I needed a big shop full of power tools to get started. I am now happily converting an extra bedroom to work in. Thanks for the inspiration!
Richard Groomer, Washington, USA
Hi, I really like your book and your approach to building. I live on a boat, and am pretty limited to all hand tools. I am building the second project, but I am building it as an 8 string. I have decided to wind my own pickup as there do not seem to be many available, and the ones that are available are expensive.
Dale Denton, California, USA
Hi Martin, just a short note to let you know the book arrived with no problem. I have not been able to put it down since it arrived it is absolutely wonderful and so informative and i cant wait to get started on the projects contained in the book. I wish you much luck with your future projects and thank you again
Anthony Anderson ( a true lap steel fan ), Australia
I'd been wanting to build a lap steel for the longest time, after seeing Ben Harper cover Jimi's "Manic Depression" live in concert on an old bakalite Rickenbacker lap steel - I found your book online and man is it great! your pictures are really good and descriptions accurate, as well as following a nice, logical order to the steps. I'm doing mine with a mahogany body and quarter-inch maple cap on top for brightness, and putting a seymour duncan humbucker in for some extra sustain and "punch" to the sound. Your book is the only one if its kind I could find on building lap steel guitars, you've written a greatly unique and helpful book, thank you!
Joe Perloff, Maryland, USA

Pictures from the book

Please note that the pictures in the book are in black and white. Color versions of every photo in the book can be found at an accompanying website or in the eBook edition.

Project One



Project Two




Everyone can wind this pickup using the very simple pickup winder described in the book.


Also in the book: How to make a protecting case.

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