About Us

Our Mission

The Stringed Instrument Makers of Southern California, or SIMSCal, is an organization formed to promote association among stringed musical instrument makers & repair people (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 offer instrument-making classes, taught by some of the very talented and experienced craftspeople that we are proud to count among our members. Class offerings vary from year to year. Currently we offer instruction in Steel String Acoustic Guitarmaking, and Electric Guitarmaking. Check our Instrument-Making 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, banjos, 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 general meetings is free, and open to the public. To better support SIMSCal’s mission and club operations, please consider purchasing an Annual Membership. Scroll down to “Become A Member” at the bottom of this page to do so. And, of course, participate! We always need individuals to volunteer as club officers, suggest meeting topics, and give presentations and demonstrations at meetings.

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

Association Documents

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 is stil operational and contains an archive of the association’s monthly bulletins, with member-written articles and tutorials on violin-making, repair, and restoration. Visit the SCAVM website here.

SIMSCal Officers for 2024

George Leach

Mike Vollmert

Larry Pearson
Director of Instrument-Making Operations

Jim McWilliam
Assistant to Director of Instrument-Making Operations

Dan Greene
Director of Communications