Turning Aluminum Tokens into Music: Burls Art’s Unique Lap Steel Guitar Build (VIDEO)

Turning Aluminum Tokens into Music: Burls Art’s Unique Lap Steel Guitar Build (VIDEO)

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Turning Aluminum Tokens into Music Burls Art's Unique Lap Steel Guitar Build (VIDEO)Turning Aluminum Tokens into Music Burls Art's Unique Lap Steel Guitar Build (VIDEO)

Burls Art, a YouTuber known for his unconventional and inventive guitar builds, has taken on a new challenge. What do you do when a relative drop off 20 lbs of aluminum dollar tokens from a retail chain that’s gone the way of the dodo? Well, if you’re Burls Art, you make a lap steel guitar out of them.

While Burls has made guitars out of colored pencils, aluminum cans, and 700 sheets of newspaper in the past, a lap steel guitar made from aluminum tokens presented a new and exciting challenge for him. He had never made or played one before, but he was up for the challenge.

The first step was to create a pattern and a sand mold for the tokens. Burls Art wrapped up the tokens in foil. As he called it, a “coin burrito,” and he melted them down in a furnace. After that, he fed the melted aluminum into the mold. Then he left it to cool and form the chassis for the lap steel guitar. However, the first pour didn’t go according to plan. The aluminum didn’t reach the required temperature, and the mold had to be remade.

The second mold, which weighed well over 100 lbs and took four to five hours to make, was successful. Once the chassis was ready, the next step was to create the top. Burls Art chose to make the top from aluminum but lacked experience with casting thin materials. This added to the fun of the project, but it also presented a challenge.

Burls Art took the cooled cast top and the chassis to a local welder who put them together. Burls Art seeks professional assistance when necessary despite preferring to handle most work in his shop.

Click here to see more guitars made by Burls Art!

The final step was to anodize the body of the instrument. Burls Art had no problem taking on this task himself. The guitar did have some imperfections, but that added to its unique and homemade appearance. The fit and finish of the guitar were precise and exact, as is typical of Burls Art’s work.

When Burls demoed the lap steel guitar on his Vox AC15, it sounded incredible. It’s clear that he rose to the challenge and created something truly unique and special. If you want to see more of Burls Art’s unconventional guitar builds, be sure to check out his YouTube channel or website.

What are RadioShack Dollar Coins?

The now-defunct electronics retail chain, RadioShack, used aluminum tokens called Dollar Coins. as a form of store credit or promotional currency. These coins are no longer in use since the company filed for bankruptcy in 2015, but some people may still have them in their possession.

In recent years, some individuals and artists have found creative ways to repurpose these tokens. They use them in an art project or craft them into unique musical instruments. That is the case with Burls Art. He made a lap steel guitar from these tokens.

What is the anodizing process?

Anodizing is an electrochemical process that increases the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of metal parts, usually aluminum. The process involves immersing the metal part in an electrolytic solution and passing an electric current through it, which causes oxidation to occur on the surface of the metal.

The resulting oxide layer is thicker, harder, and more durable than the naturally occurring oxide layer, and provides a protective coating that resists corrosion, wear, and abrasion. The manufacturing of automotive, aerospace, and architectural components, as well as consumer goods such as cookware and electronic devices, often uses anodizing to add color to the surface of the metal. Anodizing can add color to the surface of the metal and it is a process that can be used.

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