Bone Nut & Saddle Making

Upgrade the tone and clarity of any guitar, bass, or other stringed instrument, electric or acoustic, by making a properly fitted and carved bone nut and saddle! Learn how to expertly cut a bone saddle and a bone nut. This is a skill that is a necessity for any guitar tech and one that is highly coveted.


Almost all modern guitar makers use a synthetic, injection molded material that is pre-slotted to save time and money. Make no mistake – hand carving a nut or saddle from a piece of bone is tedious and difficult work. The skill required to cut a piece of bone by hand into a beautiful finished product is a dying art. In this workshop you will learn that skill and keep the art of luthiery alive for future generations.

Techniques and demonstrations covered in this workshop:

  • The correct method for laying out string spacing for any neck
  • Material selection – distinguishing between real bone and imitation
  • The differences in working with bleached and unbleached bone
  • The correct use of various specialty files
  • How to properly fit any style of nut and saddle
  • Various era-correct shaping styles for matching the aesthetic of vintage replacements
  • Various methods for polishing bone to a marble-like finish

Materials and Supplies

The school provides each student with their own individual workstation and the use of instruments to work on for those who do not wish to travel with their own. Excellent specialized tools are provided for your use during the class.

These tools include:

  • High Quality Japanese Nut Slotting Files
  • Nut Shaping File
  • Nut and Saddle Vise
  • Specialty String Spacing Ruler
  • .010 Gauged Saw
  • An Assortment of Polishing Compounds and Abrasives


Weeknight: 7pm – 9:30 pm over 3 weeknights

Weekend: 12pm – 5pm


$380.  Weeknight workshops

$440.  Weekend workshops

*An early registration discount may apply. Tuition includes lectures and demonstrations, handout materials, use of specialized tools, guitar workbench and shop supplies.

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Pete Mueller Pete is a guitar builder and repair technician at Specimen. Pete teaches Electric Guitar BuildingLap Steel Guitar BuildingSetup & Maintenance for Guitar and BassBone Nut & Saddle MakingGuitar and Bass Repair and Fretting Workshop at the Chicago School of Guitar Making.

How to Register:

Registrations are limited to 8 students. You can register for any of our classes online, by phone or in person.

Register Online

Make your selection of the class dates you wish to attend (and if applicable, the type of kit) in Available Dates column on the upper right of this page and click ENROLL NOW > Enter the required information and then proceed to pay by clicking the Paypal button and choose your method of payment.

NOTE: It is NOT necessary to have a Paypal account to use their service.

Register by Phone 773.489.4830

Call us if you prefer to register over the phone with your credit card. We will send you a confirmation via email, or by snail mail if you prefer.

Register in Person

Come by the shop during business hours and enroll using cash, credit card or a personal check.

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday: 12 – 7

Saturday: 12 – 5

Map our location


Click Here for a list of nearby places to stay during seminars, along with transportation information.

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Choose Date
Expired December 6, 7, 8 & 9
Tue - Fri 7pm - 9:30pm
$425.00 (USD)
-$50.00 (USD) Early Registration Discount
Expired February 21, 22 & 23
Tues - Thu 7pm - 9:30pm
$380.00 (USD)
-$50.00 (USD) Early Registration Discount
April 29 & 30
Sat & Sun 12pm - 5pm
$440.00 (USD)
-$50.00 (USD) Early Registration Discount
July 10, 11 & 12
Mon - Wed 7pm - 9:30pm
$385.00 (USD)
-$50.00 (USD) Early Registration Discount
August 19 & 20
Sat & Sun 12pm - 5pm
$440.00 (USD)
-$50.00 (USD) Early Registration Discount


Classes are taught by Specimen owner Ian Schneller, or guest instructors Richard Phillis, Pete Mueller or Kye Kennedy. The course description will state who the instructor is for the given class


All classes are held at Specimen located at 1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. Click here for a map

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Mail In Registration

Please download this form if you want to register for a class by mail