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Death of a lap steel

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by swooda, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. swooda

    swooda Tele-Holic

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    Friday night after a pretty nice gig, I'm just finishing loading up the wagon. My bass player goes back in the club and grabs my Tele and Lap Steel off the pool table. The case for the steel pops open and she hits the floor snapping her clean in half.

    She was a pre-war Rickenbacker panda I had owned for over 30 years. Irreplaceable. 20 years ago in a drunken stuppor after a gig I had carved Papino in the metal pick guard. And while I'm not into that name your guitar thing for the most part, she became Papino, and she could sing.

    When I first got her I was mostly into the blues and southern rock thing. I'd tune her open E and use all the licks I stole from Duane. Later I began experiment with different tunings and applying her to different styles. Lately I was using C6 and using her mostly on swing and country.

    Saturday I started getting phone calls from friends and fans of my band expressing their sympathy. It was like a death in the family. The gig Saturday night seemed like a wake to me.

    I know this is stupid for a grown man to be so upset over the loss of a guitar but I had a lot of good memories in that thing. Thanks for letting me get some of this out.....

    Does anybody know a good glue that would work on bakelite?
     
  2. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    A lot of antique automotive electrical stuff is made of Bakelite...ignition switch housings, dimmer switch housings, magneto/distributor caps, and there are definitely adhesives that are known to repair/restore these things.
    Condolences on your loss.
    I had to sell my "family" a couple years ago due to unemployment.
    I don't know what's worse...either way, they're gone and it's a bummer.
     
  3. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Sorry to hear that bro. :(

    As for glue that can fix bakelite, I don't think there is anything like that.
    What you COULD do is let a luthier use the parts of your Ricky in a new lap steel shaped like your old one and Keep the old body around.
     
  4. E.D. Patton

    E.D. Patton Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't see why gel-type super glue wouldn't work.

    I think you'd want the slow setting kind that uses an activator.

    What have you got to lose?
     
  5. Clive Hugh

    Clive Hugh Tele-Afflicted

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    What about fixing the whole thing to a new base, it would make it a bit heavier and thicker but you wouldn't have to worry about glue types and the risk of the glue letting go at a future time.
     
  6. BritishBluesBoy

    BritishBluesBoy Former Member

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    Not stupid at all. I feel for you man, that's a tough one. I hope you can find a way to fix Papino.

    All the best,

    BBB.
     
  7. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    2 options.

    If just the body split it might be able to be epoxy glued back together if the neck split also there is too much tension on it to glue.

    Option 2 buy another one $700-1200 is the range I see them sell in.

    And another thought might try your homeowners insurance.

    Whatever you decide to do keep the pickup and tuners nothing on earth sounds as good as an old Ricky steel.
     
  8. kellicaster

    kellicaster TDPRI Member

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    Gorilla Glue sold at your local hardware store might work
     
  9. E.D. Patton

    E.D. Patton Tele-Afflicted

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    Now there's an idea!

    I accidently glued a putty knife to some plywood with that stuff and it took a crowbar and everything I had to break the bond.
     
  10. pohorsky

    pohorsky Tele-Holic

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    Like a friend always told me, always carry the case so that it will open towards your leg, not away from you. He has worked on many a guitar that met the cement.
     
  11. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati R.I.P.

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    Makes me cringe reading that story swooda.

    I don't want to be morbid, but you might want to post some pics to show everyone the damage you're talking about.

    If nothing else, you could probably do what Blazer suggested, and build a new Lap Steel using the old parts.

    Sounds like good rules of thumb. That, and don't let the rhythm section carry your guitars.

    Pete
     
  12. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh Tele-Meister

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    Over al the steel guitar forum there have been a number if threads on doing this sort of repair www.steelguitarforum.com search in the no pedals section
     
  13. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    You might try contacting Rick Aiello at http://www.horseshoemagnets.com/ He knows much abour Rickys.

    When you say "clean in half" do you mean the neck? I believe they bolt on. I have seen people repair non structural parts with epoxy but bakelite is difficult to repair. I had a 29 National Triolian with a broken bakelite neck and could not fix it. I have a 36 Rick "Silver Hawaiian" lap steel.
     
  14. Rock on

    Rock on Tele-Holic

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    i dont know the first thing about lapsteels but you should post pics so other could help you.

    Did you keep it or is it 6 feet under? Creamated?


    Sorry for your loss
     
  15. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A bakelite Ric in C6 is a thing of beauty!

    As it was said, contact Rick Aiello or post at the steel guitar forum. You're guitar is broken, but it's far from dead!
     
  16. kp8

    kp8 Friend of Leo's

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    i'd be careful with that gorilla glue and consult with someone first. I hear that stuff is strong, but partially cause it causes the wood to swell.
     
  17. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This lap steel is made of plastic so it wont swell.
     
  18. Bill  Hullett

    Bill Hullett Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    fwiw

    About 10 years ago I snapped the head off of my Ricky lap steel (Bakelite) Joe Glaser drilled it and put in some support dowels and glued it....Not only does it still work.....The repair is about 99% invisable.....

    Joe is a genious at stuff like that

    Bill Hullett
     
  19. WBC

    WBC TDPRI Member

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    I'd check with 3m. They manufacture many different types of adhesives and should be able to tell you what would work best with bakelite. A few years back I had to glue some Delrin, a slippery machinable plastic, sure enough they had a product that did what I would have thought would have been impossible. It's still holding together.
     
  20. Jelly

    Jelly Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey Swooda, where you at? Don't sweat it - you'll get that thing repaired, no problem. Bakelite can definitely be glued. Like others have mentioned, go cautiously only after you have talked to someone who has done it before, but you'll get it looking right.
     
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