$50 Off  WORKSHOPS  Registered by Phone  773-489-4830 

Bone Nut & Saddle Making

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

Almost all mass production modern guitar makers use a synthetic, injection molded material for their nuts that is pre-slotted to save time and money. Make no mistake – hand carving a nut 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 consecutive weeknights

Weekend: 12pm – 5pm

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Ian Schneller Ian is the founder and chief instructor of the Chicago School of Guitar Making. With over 800 handmade instruments bearing his Specimen moniker, he brings a wellspring of knowledge to the classroom with the mission of perpetuating the tradition of handcraft and innovation. He is also a faculty member of the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute and founder/owner of Specimen Products.

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 – 1240 N Homan Ave Chicago Il 60651 – during business hours and enroll using cash, credit card or a personal check.

Business Hours:

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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