Flamin’ Folk Art Electric Lap Steel - Circa 1950-1960

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

When someone mentions folk art instruments, a screaming electric lap steel guitar made with old guitar parts on a six pound slab of mahogany might not be the first thing to come to mind. However, this lap steel, acquired by Shane Speal in 2021 from a used guitar store in York, PA, is definitely in the ‘folk art’ category.


- From the Shane Speal Collection - part of the Cigar Box Guitar Museum

- Discovered in York, PA - Unknown builder

- Playable condition. (Video demo coming soon.)

- 23.5” scale

- 39” overall length

- 6lbs 10oz weight (It’ll win any bar fight when used as a weapon!)

- One piece body with aluminum fretboard

- Unknown single coil pickup wired to vol/tone/output jack

The first thing one notices is the flames cut into the thick red plastic pickguard which are mated to the homemade aluminum fretboard. An old guitar bridge is situated mostly on the body with one edge sticking out the side.

The strings are anchored by a horseshoe shaped piece of aluminum that is screwed to the body. (Note: all screws on this instrument are flathead screws, giving evidence that this may be a guitar from the 1950’s or early 1960’s, prior to the popularity of Phillips head screws.) The lap steel is strung with flat wound strings that have red floss n