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Lap Steel Guitar Building

A great introduction into the world of luthiery, this class will provide students with the skills and knowledge to build a fully functional lap steel guitar. Students will have the freedom to design their own body shape and bring it from an idea to reality. Students will walk away with a custom-built lap steel guitar at the end of the course.

Lap Steel 4


This class will teach students basic woodworking skills as well as fundamental guitar making concepts such as scale length and guitar geometry, nut carving, and guitar electronics. Students will be able to customize the design of their lap steel based off a general template. With the guidance and assistance of the instructors, students will take their design from blueprint to reality. Considerations will be made for scale length and geometry during the building process, as well as considerations for hardware and electronics selection. A demonstration of French Polish finishing techniques will also take place so that students can apply a finish to their own instrument.


Course fee: $1,200

Tuition includes materials, lecture, demonstrations, instruction, handouts, use of specialized tools, guitar workbench and shop supplies


The cost of materials is included in the cost of tuition


Saturday & Sunday for two consecutive weekends

11 am – 5pm


Lap Steel 2


Ian Schneller is the founder and chief instructor of the Chicago School of Guitar Making. With over 800 handmade instruments bearing his Specimen name, he brings a wellspring of knowledge to the classroom with the mission of perpetuating the tradition of handcraft and design innovation. He has shown his work in a variety of museums around the country and is a faculty member of the Sculpture Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

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.