Joining the Top    

Neck Stock and Lay Up

Class Preparation and Overview

  Preparing to teach a light-weight class in guitar making is both rewarding and challenging. The class begins October 12th.  Scheduled are six weekly meetings of 90 minutes each. An overview of the methods of home-shop guitar making will be presented as well as some in-class demos. The class is for home-shop craftsmen as well as the just plain curious. 

     The first class is, of course, the most difficult to prepare as the age and expectations of the students are unknown at this point. Professor Woody expects a mixture of retired and/or weekend workshop warriors. The class is free to seniors (50+).

    The challenge will be to present luthiery demonstrations in a classroom setting (not a shop). I've built a portable workbench and a cabinet to leave in the classroom for 6 weeks to avoid hauling tools back and forth each week. In-class demos cannot, of course, require machining... only a few hand tools, a work surface and a vise. Learning will come from observation, asking questions, and viewing the weekly slide presentations. In six weeks, a good overview of the numerous different processes is all that one can expect.

        Woody's preparation for the class has required a curious change of pace in the shop. Three guitars are underway now at Woody Strings (wJs), each guitar is at a different stage of construction. The guitar-making course description states that a complete guitar will be constructed in six weeks. This six-week requirement is not the real challenge as much as introducing construction and assembly techniques in the same week. These are two different stages of luthiery, and often the construction process involves glue and drying time before assembly.  To have the entire process make sense to the unfamiliar, the plan is to show the guitar-making woodcraft in three stages each week...

  • This is how the wood comes.

          (The milled wood as it comes from the supplier.)


  • This is what you do with it.

          (wJs-manufactured guitar parts; in-class demos.)

  • This is where it goes.          

          (Completed assembly of parts into a guitar.)

     During the final week the class will meet at Woody Strings. That's the plan anyway.  Check Woody's Luthier's Journal for weekly posting throughout October and November.   

     In the meantime, I will be constructing parts and preparing hand-tool demos... and taking lots of p​hotos. So, what's different? The difference is that I have to think about explaining what I'm doing as I am doing it. So, these days, I have long and spontaneous conversations with Woody. Then I listen to music, glue things together...and rehearse nine hours of stand-on-your-feet-and-talk about guitar building.

 __Can o' corn.

Guitar Building Class 1        October 12, 2017

Class Preparation and Overview


     Joining the Top

     Rosette and Inlay

     Neck Stock and Layup

Making and Installing the Rosette 

​     That ought to be enough to think about for one week. Each week for the next six weeks I will post photos of the demos and discussions to be presented in class the following week.  That way the students can see new information and formulate questions before the next class.

     We will see...  Woody's main objectives are to enjoy the preparations and discussions, and hope to have as many students when the class ends as I started out with in the beginning.

​First Week In-Class Demos