Acoustic Guitar Building Summer Camp 2019


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This immersion course offers the student an extended opportunity to build their own Martin-style 000 guitar in the Specimen workshop under the guidance of luthier and CSGM founder Ian Schneller.

  • Fee

    $2,080 plus kit cost
    5 Day Session: Mon-Fri, 35 hours

    Tuition includes lectures, demonstrations and personal guidance, the use of an individual guitar workbench with specialized tools and all of the shop supplies and tooling necessary to complete the project.

  • Materials

    - Rosewood, back and sides, Sitka spruce top, dovetail neck joint

    - Mahogany, back and sides, Sitka spruce top, dovetail neck joint

  • Instructors

    Ian Schneller read bio

  • Refund Policy

    Registrations are non refundable. A tuition fee may only be applied to other CSGM classes with written notice of cancellation prior to class.

  • Location

    All workshops are held at Specimen located at 1240 N. Homan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. view map

  • Registration

    Register online or call 773.489.4830 to enroll with a credit card.  You are also welcome to come by the shop and enroll using cash, credit card or a personal check.  Please note that all registrations are final and non-refundable. 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.

Students will be introduced to the unique process of luthiery while effectively establishing a skillful approach to woodworking.

Lectures, demonstrations and guided instruction in this hands on workshop will offer the student an understanding of fundamental and specialized woodworking techniques, while building a high quality musical instrument that will likely become a cherished heirloom.

No drawing skills or shop experience required.

This workshop is structured to inform the student about every essential phase of their acoustic guitar build. However, students will work at their own pace and will likely require additional time outside of this workshop to complete the project.

Students will build a Rosewood or Mahogany Martin-style 000 from an excellent kit.

Working with a group of partially serviced components, this course is designed both for students with little to no experience and also those with intermediate experience. This class is formatted with lectures and hands on work. In depth demonstrations of each step will precede students working on their instruments.

The building procedure starts with a sequence of specific steps, alternating between the guitar neck and body work. Once these take shape, the workshop structure accommodates students work at different paces.

This offers 35 hours, within 5 consecutive days of luthiery immersion in the workshop. This workshop is structured to guide the  student through every essential phase of their guitar build. This is a special opportunity to work consistently for an extended period with the guidance of an experienced luthier. This class will get most students off to a very good start on their build by the end of the the week.

Workshop Materials and Supplies
Everything needed for building the guitars will be included in the kit and the necessary supplies and tooling is provided by the school. 

All kits contain AAA-grade tone-woods. Roughly carved mahogany neck. Pre-bent bent sides. Book matched and joined back. Book matched and joined spruce top with pre cut sound hole and rosette channel pre cut. Kits include a full-size blueprint modeled after a vintage Martin.

Each student will be given occupancy of one luthiers guitar workbench, as well as storage for materials for the duration of the course. 

We will go over the tools necessary to create a home shop throughout the course for those interested in taking the art form to a private space. 

Applying the finish and instrument finishing techniques will be discussed but not covered in this course.

Students will have the option to have their guitar finished for them by a Specimen/CSGM professional, apply a finish on their own outside the school, or receive instruction in guitar finishing from CSGM faculty in  Open Workshops or Guitar Building Sessions at the school.

Please note: While it is possible for a student to complete a first guitar build within 40 hours, it is highly unlikely. Each student will work at their own pace.  Students will require additional time outside of this workshop to complete this project.

Open Workshop access and other guitar building sessions are available to continue work at CSGM.

Taking advantage of the the specially designed workbenches, tools, fixtures, and the expertise of Specimen/CSGM luthiers is a special opportunity. Many students establish a routine that works with their schedule and attend follow up sessions until the project is complete.

Additional Instruction
While not mandatory, we recommend that students take our Fretting workshop and our Bone Nut and Saddle Workshop to obtain complete precision in these steps of the building process.