Guitar Building


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Get more time in the workshop, save money with a 5 Sessions or 10 Sessions Workshop Pass*


During the course of these workshops, students will build their own electric guitar completely from scratch using raw materials and the time tested building methods of luthier Ian Schneller.

Students may also use this time to continue work on their acoustic kit builds.

Students will learn how to shape their guitar’s neck and body, install the truss rod, install all hardware and much more.

At the end of this multi-step process students will have a wonderful creation that fulfills their own unique vision.

  • Fee

    $239, Weeknights: Three Evenings/1 Session
    6 hours

    $239, One Day/1 Session
    6 hours

    $450, Two Days/2 Sessions*
    12 hours

    Tuition includes instruction, a reference handbook, the use of a dedicated luthiery workbench and all tooling needed to complete this project.

  • Materials

    Many of the materials for this instrument building project are available through the school. Much of the hardware such as bridge, tuners, and pickups should be selected in the design class and ordered in advance either through the school or on the students own.

  • 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.

The main objective of the Guitar Building Workshop is to provide a set of sequential tutorials that will guide the student through the guitar building process.

Whether the student chooses to build a reproduction of a traditional/classic design or chart new territory into an unknown realm, the emphasis will be on making a supremely-functional and long-lasting instrument of beauty. This workshop welcomes both the traditionalist and the experimentalist.

While prior knowledge of woodworking and shop tools is helpful, the instructor will be on-hand at all times for assistance or to carry-out machining procedures for those students with less experience.

During the workshops students will observe numerous demonstrations on various aspects of the building process. The timing of these demonstrations will be dependent upon the needs of the students so that workshops can be personalized to match where each student is within the building process.

In these workshops students will either continue working on their acoustic guitar or build an electric guitar based on the blueprint they created in the Design + Blueprint Workshop. Electric building students must complete the blueprint before starting a build.


Following is a list of some of the procedures that will be demonstrated:

  • Transferring patterns
  • Making templates
  • Preparing body blanks
  • Preparing neck blanks
  • Carving
  • Sculpting wood using rasps and hand planes
  • Neck shaping
  • Binding
  • Truss rod installation
  • Fretboard preparation
  • Routing for neck and hardware
  • Pickguard making
  • Proper gluing techniques
  • Correctly locating bridge and other hardware
  • Finishing