Remembering Guitar Legend Eddie Van Halen

How Pioneering Inventions and Aluminum Extrusions Have Revolutionized the Music World – and Our World

The recent passing of guitar legend Eddie Van Halen saddened rock music fans worldwide. This is especially true for me as well as my brother, Michael. We grew up listening to the great rock bands of the 80s, and Van Halen was among our favorites. Revered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Eddie Van Halen had a significant impact on our lives, inspiring an unwavering love of music that continues today. We remain dedicated rock music fans and concertgoers, and I still love to play my electric and acoustic guitars whenever I have the chance.

Eddie the Inventor: His Guitar Accessory Transformed Rock Music

Eddie Van Halen was more than just a rock legend known for his complex, high-speed guitar riffs and creative techniques; he also was an actual inventor! Like many of our Minalex clients, who use aluminum extrusions to pioneer problem-solving products, Eddie developed a unique electric guitar accessory to help musicians. Attached to the back of a guitar, the flip-down device rests against the player’s leg at a 90-degree angle. This stabilizing support plate allows the guitar to be vertically positioned like a tabletop, giving complete access to the entire playing surface and full use of both hands. Eddie Van Halen patented his part, revolutionizing how guitars and other stringed instruments can be played by creating new techniques, styles and sounds.

Aluminum Extrusions & Music: Creating Precision Parts and Signature Sounds

Although not as revolutionary or invented by a Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame legend, many critical electric guitar parts are actually made from aluminum extrusions. Among those commonly found in guitars are the bridge, knobs, tailpiece and a variety of tiny electronics elements.  

The advantages of using aluminum extrusions in guitars are significant. Aluminum extrusions have the benefit of being strong yet lightweight. They can be manufactured to incredibly small tolerances, which is critical for these types of precision electronics. Aluminum also offers a neutral transmission of sound that helps create the exact aural effects and musicality that the artist envisions.        

The Aluminum Advantage: Solutions for Any Industry

Minalex is experienced with many types of small custom aluminum extrusions, having manufactured quality, small-profile aluminum extrusions with tight tolerances and challenging specifications for more than 50 years. Our supported industries include military, computers and technology, data centers, aerospace, automotive, medical and electronic devices.

Among the custom electronics extrusions that we routinely manufacture are:

  • Electronics Communication (Wave Guides, Card Guides and Housings)
  • Heat Exchange Devices (Heat Pipes, Heat Sinks and Header Bars)
  • Electronic Component Carriers (including Microchip Enclosures)

Similar to the aluminum components needed for electric guitars, Minalex projects often require extremely tight tolerances. Minalex’s precision is accurate to +/- .001 in (0.025 cm) with walls as thin as 0.020 in (0.4572 mm).

If you’re looking to solve a problem as Eddie Van Halen did for guitar players, and you require custom aluminum extrusion, Minalex can help create the solution. Give us a call to see how we can help you create the perfect part. Perhaps your partnership with Minalex will meaningfully impact others, just as Eddie Van Halen’s invention did for musicians and their fans. As I shared on social media shortly following Eddie Van Halen’s passing:

“My love for music and guitar is because of this man! Thanks for all the years of great music and stuff that I’ll never be able to play. Rest in Peace.”

Specification Icon


We extrude and supply aluminum profiles up to 3.500 inches (8.89 cm) in diameter. Our aluminum extrusions can have tolerances as tight as +/- 0.001" on one or more dimensions of an extrusion, depending on the shape.

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Minalex alloys are sourced in North America and feature a number of series, including alloy 1100, 3003, 6063, 6463 and 6061.

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Our capabilities include Lbs/Ft <= 1.500, kg/m <= 2.2322; Sections >= 0.003 in, >= 0.076 mm; and circle size, <= 3.500 in. <= 8.890 cm.

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Get The Guide To Rapid Prototyping With Aluminum Extrusions

Prototyping - The Aluminum Advantage

Guide Includes:

  • Evaluation & Testing
  • Identifying Problems
  • Choosing the Right Materials
  • Case Studies, and more!