Our Mission

The Stringed Instrument Makers of Southern California, or SIMSCal, is an organization formed to promote association among stringed instrument makers (also known as luthiers) in Southern California, to further the understanding of stringed instrument building, and to help improve the instrument-making skills of our members.

We also teach guitarmaking classes, hosted by Woodcraft in Fountain Valley, CA. Currently we offer instruction in Steel String Acoustic Guitarmaking and Nylon String Classical Guitarmaking. New classes start in January. Check the Guitar Building Classes page for details.

About SIMSCal

Established in November of 2004, SIMSCal currently has about 50 active (dues-paying) members, consisting of both hobbyists and professional instrument builders, as well as a mailing list that reaches over 350 subscribers. Our members build traditional, hollow-body instruments (including flat-top steel string, classical, flamenco, and archtop guitars, ukuleles, violin-family instruments, lutes, dulcimers, and everything in between), as well as solid-body, electric guitars and basses. Our goal is not only to provide members with meaningful information about lutherie, but also to promote the practice and tradition of lutherie within our local communities.

We encourage those interested to attend one of our meetings. Attendance at meetings is free, and open to the public. To become a member, we ask for a donation of only $10 per year, which helps to support organization activities. Scroll down to “Become A Member” at the bottom of this page to do so.

If you would like more information about SIMSCal, visit our Contact Us page to send us your questions.

Association Documents

SIMSCal Meeting

Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022
1:00 PM
online via Zoom
Topic: Fret Work, Spray Booth

See Meetings & Events
page for details.

Welcome SCAVM Members!

For over half a century, the members of the Southern California Association of Violin Makers (SCAVM) held regular meetings and distributed a monthly bulletin to share knowledge and advance the art of lutherie within the violin family of instruments.

In June of 2017, SCAVM officially merged with SIMSCal, in the interest of broadening the knowledge and experience of all of our members, creating a stronger, more vital organization. All former SCAVM members were automatically made active members of SIMSCal for the calendar year 2017, and the wealth of literature and educational materials from the SCAVM library was transferred into the SIMSCal library.

Thanks to SCAVM members Ed Glass and Jerry Welner, who recognized the overlapping goals and interests of the two groups, and proposed the idea of joining forces to the SIMSCal board.

The SCAVM website can be found here.

SIMSCal Officers for 2022

President:  George Leach
Secretary-Treasurer:  Fred Brooking
Dir. of Guitarmaking Ops.:  Eric Nichols
Dir. of Communications:  Dan Greene

Clockwise from top left: George Leach (President), Fred Brooking (Secretary-Treasurer),
Eric Nichols (Dir. of Guitarmaking Ops.), Dan Greene (Dir. of Communications).

Explore what SIMSCal has to offer…

Guitar Building Classes

We offer classes for you to learn how to build a Steel String Acoustic Guitar or a Nylon String Classical Guitar.

Meetings & Events

Participate in one of our upcoming meetings, where we discuss and demonstrate instrument building techniques.


Our collection of Web Links, the SIMSCal Lutherie Library, Videos, and Members’ Lutherie Websites.

Luthier's Gallery

View some of the finest examples of custom, handmade stringed instruments by our members.

Become A Member

Join today or renew your SIMSCal membership for only $10. For your convenience, you can join or renew your annual membership via PayPal.

Pay with PayPal Credit or any major credit card