Guitar Building Classes
Learn how to make a flat-top, hollow-body guitar (steel string acoustic or nylon string classical) from scratch, including side-
Building Methods Taught
Choose to build either a steel string acoustic, nylon string classical, or an electric guitar. The steel string construction method, based on the technique of Bob Mattingly, uses a combination of both hand and power tools, and employs a contemporary spline joint to connect the neck and body. The nylon string classical guitarmaking method is based on the techniques of the Spanish maestros Torres and Romanillos, and utilizes the solera workboard. The electric guitarmaking method will involve instruction on operating a CNC routing system to cut out the body from a digital template, as well as some traditional construction techniques, to build a Fender Telecaster-
Click for more detailed information on the Steel String Acoustic Guitarmaking Class.
Click for more detailed information on the Nylon String Classical Guitarmaking Class.
Click for more detailed information on the Electric Guitarmaking Class.
Class Schedule and Procedure
Contact the appropriate instructor for the current class schedule. In general, our guitarmaking classes consist of 20 weekly evening sessions, commencing in mid-
Because of space limitations, enrollment is typically limited to 6 students per class. This allows for personal attention from the instructor, so that each student can proceed at his/her own pace.
Meetings consist of lecture/demonstration and shop time. It is an ambitious project to complete a guitar in 5 months, even with a fair amount of "homework" done by the student. All the information necessary to complete a guitar, including a nitrocellulose lacquer finish for steel string guitars, will be provided. Due to the nature of lacquer finishing, actual demonstration is not possible at Woodcraft. In the past, we have had "open shop time" available for students – and club members – through the summer and early fall months, for students who wish to continue working on their guitars.
Prior woodworking experience is not necessary. Students will be instructed in the proper and safe use of the tools used in guitarmaking. Although those with experience may proceed faster than those without, the small size of the classes allows for personal attention. No one will be left behind.
Costs – Tuition and Materials
For classes beginning in January of 2019, tuition cost will be $1250. This includes group and individual instruction, shop time, and access to the required power and hand tools. A non-
Additional costs: Each maker will choose his/her own guitar materials — woods and hardware. These material costs will be about $300-$500 for a basic, attractive guitar of excellent sound quality.
You will also want to invest minimally in some tools (for home assignments) such as clamps, rules, adhesives, etc. — most of which can be had at local stores. Finish will be another cost to consider, and this will vary depending on the type of finish you choose. All this will be explained in the first meeting. Finally, personal tastes may lead to upgraded hardware and additional guitar ornamentation; these costs can be discussed with the instructors.
Meet the Instructors
The Steel String Acoustic class is taught by Eric Nichols, a luthier with over 20 years of experience building guitars and teaching guitarmaking; he is a former instructor of guitarmaking at Orange Coast College in Southern California.
Eric is assisted in the class by Drew Richman. Drew is no stranger to wood;
The Nylon String Classical class is taught by Jason Wolverton, a professional guitar player, composer, and luthier who has studied Spanish guitar construction with legendary maestro José Romanillos in Siguenza, Spain.
The Electric class is taught by Larry McCutcheon, an independent luthier under the label of Huntington Beach Ukuleles. Larry has a passion for incorporating modern technology into the traditional art of instrument making, particularly the use of CNC routing systems.