Turkish Walnut Lap Steel Guitar (One-off)


One-off Turkish Walnut Lap Steel Guitar

For years I have been in awe of Turkish Walnut, the dark marbled streaks running through earthy browns and creamy butter yellows. This timber is highly prized within gunstock manufacture and is hard to get hold of, or at outrageous cost and even then unlikely large enough for a musical instrument.

In the end, after fifteen years, I took a complete leap of faith and spoke directly to a supplier in Turkey and imported it myself.  This piece was just wide enough and long enough once book-matched to create a one off lap steel.  With its added beauty of having flamed figure throughout this lap-steel is one of my true exhibition grade instruments.

The fretboard was a very rare find – just to add to the excitement of creating this instrument! It is actually English oak that has been infected with a fungus (fistulina hepatica) which turns the timber a deep rich brown with black areas running throughout. It’s a visually striking timber, so I chose to use New Zealand Abalone shell makers to compliment.

I started experimenting with walnut in 2008 and found it was a great companion with mahogany. They are both warm and articulate without becoming muddy or over pronounced in the mid range nor having any treble brittleness or sharp squark. I have lifted the pickup a little higher to make sure there is some good higher punch over the innate warmth.


Brazilian Mahogany through neck 25 inch scale length
Turkish Walnut facing, head plate and control cavity cover
English Oak (Brown Oak) fretboard with Abalone shell markers
Inlaid marquetry maple slide markers
52mm carved bone nut
Scarf jointed neck with walnut dowel
Gotoh 510 tuning pegs
Bareknuckle hand wound BlueNote bridge humbucker sized P90
550k tone and volume controls
Mineral oil capacitor
Graphite shielded control and pickup cavity
Barrel jack socket
Chrome plated brass tail piece and bridge
11 – 49 D’Addario XL half wound strings ENR370
Tweed hard case