Building a Lap Steel Guitar

Making the peghead

The peghead area has to be made quite thin to allow mounting the tuners the conventional way (i.e. from the back of the peghead). Standard tuners can be mounted on 1/2" to 5/8"(13-16mm)-thick pegheads.

Marking the peghead contour

Choose one side on one end as the face side, measure 5-1/2" (140mm) back from the end and pencil line A parallel to the end across the plank. Mark this line also on the sides of the plank. Adjust a marking gauge to 19/32" (15mm) and mark the peghead thickness up to line A on both sides and the front of the plank.

Put the plank face down on the bench and measure 7" (180mm) back from the end of the guitar plank. Draw line B parallel to the end all the way round the plank. Mark a round transition from the peghead to the body of the guitar on both sides. See if you can find a circular object with a diameter of 4" to 4-3/4" (100 to 120mm) that can be used as a template; a compact disk, for example, would be fine. I used a plastic cup with a diameter of approximately 110mm. Finally, draw a line at a distance of about 1/32" (1mm) from line C (i.e., 5/8" (16mm) under the face-surface of the peghead). This will be the line for the saw guide to follow.

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