2020s Michael Buonaiuto Paddle Steel Guitar

My friend Michael actually made this crazy thing up himself! He's into trad jazz and jugband music and, folks, it fits right in for the latter. He calls it his "paddle steel" -- wok, wok!

I like the details -- a cedar body with the paddle bolted right on it, a mandolin-style movable bridge, Sharpied-on position markers, and a bolt for a nut. He'd originally cobbled it together with CG Gitty hardware, but the original pickup had a damaged coil and things needed tidying-up, so he hung-around while I turned this into more of a practical instrument.

To do so, I added a freebie P90 from my parts-bins, "routed" space for a volume control and better jack placement, wired it up, and made the hilarious decision to ground the strings to the wiring via a ground that runs from the volume pot all the way up the neck to the metal nut. It works!

As you might expect, it kind-of sounds like an old '50s Gibson P90-style lap steel and even has the same 23" scale.