New! Effects Pedal Building Workshop Open Now

 Register here.


Learn to execute a professional quality re-fret on a guitar, bass or other fretted instrument in this hands-on workshop. Students are encouraged to bring their own instruments to re-fret.

This is skill is a must for the guitar builder and guitar technician and is ideal for a roadie, touring musician, or anyone interested in working on stringed instruments.

Registration is limited.  Questions? Please call us 773-489-4830


This hands-on training workshop presents comprehensive lecture/demonstrations of the techniques required to execute a professional quality re-fret on a guitar, bass or other fretted instrument.

This course will address all types of fret jobs, including bound and unbound boards, finished vs unfinished, different wood types, fret sizes, playing styles and the pros and cons of various tools.

Students will be guided through each step of a re-fret and will execute the process themselves on their own instrument with guidance from an experienced luthier.

Students are encouraged to bring their own instruments to fret or to re-fret.

*If the student is unable to bring their own instrument to re-fret please contact us in advance to arrange for the school to provide one for use during this course. *

Topics include:

  • Instrument assessment
  • Nut and fret removal
  • Fretboard and slot preparation
  • Binding considerations
  • Fret selection
  • Fret cleaning
  • Fret rolling
  • Fret measuring and cutting
  • Fret installing and gluing
  • Fretboard clean-up
  • Fret leveling
  • Fret beveling
  • Fret crowning and polishing
  • Nut re-installation (or making a new nut)


Weeknights: 7.5  hour workshop. 7 pm – 9:30 pm, Tue, Wed, Thurs.

Weekends: 12 hour workshop.  11 am – 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday.


Tuition includes lecture/demonstrations, personal instruction, handout materials and use of specialized tools, guitar workbench and shop supplies. Weekend workshop includes a catered lunch and refreshments each day.

A discount may apply.

Specimen Jacobite Custom Guitar


Ian Schneller is the founder and chief instructor of the Chicago School of Guitar Making. With over 800 handmade instruments bearing his Specimen name, Ian brings a wellspring of knowledge to the classroom with the mission of perpetuating the tradition of handcraft and design innovation. His work has been shown in a variety of museums around the country and his clientele include noted local and international musicians.


Register for any of our classes online, by phone or in person. Please note: Registrations are final and nonrefundable. In the event that a student cannot attend a class, written notice must be given in advance to receive a credit to be used on another tuition. Valid credit may be transferred to another course date, or to another student, if so desired.



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.


Select the class dates you wish to attend in Available Dates column. (See the upper right of the this page.)

Click ENROLL NOW. Enter the required information. Pay by clicking the Paypal button. (NOTE: It is NOT necessary to have a Paypal account to use their service.)

Choose your payment method. Complete the payment transaction. Your receipt and a confirmation will be emailed to you.


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


The Chicago School of Guitar Making

ADDRESS   1240 N. Homan Ave. Chicago IL 60651

HOURS   Monday – Friday: 12 – 7 pm, and Saturday: 12 – 5


PHONE  773-489-4830

Choose Date
Expired September 12, 13, 14
Tue, Wed, Thurs 7pm - 9:30 pm
$485.00 (USD)
Expired Nov 28, 29, 30
Tue, Wed, Thurs 7pm - 9:30 pm
$485.00 (USD)
Expired April 14, 15
Weekend: Saturday & Sunday 11am - 5 pm
$585.00 (USD)
June 26, 27, 28
Weeknights: Tues, Weds, Thursday 7 pm - 9:30 pm
$485.00 (USD)
-$50.00 (USD) Early Registration Discount
Aug 22 + 23 Camp*
Two Weekdays: Wed & Thurs 11am - 5pm
$585.00 (USD)
-$50.00 (USD) Early Registration Discount 


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