About the Courses
In basic tutorials students build instruments from dimensioned sets of woods and rough-shaped parts. All tools are furnished by the school. The entire process of assembly, fretting, binding, final shaping, stringing and setup are covered in these tutorials. Due to time constraints, instruments are completed in the white (unfinished). Instruction in finishing which will equip the student to lacquer or French polish his or her instrument at home can be added to the tutorial. Professional finishing services are also available.
Current course offerings
A basic hands-on course for beginning instrument makers where students build a steel-string acoustic guitar. Included in the price of the course is a set of high-quality materials, including a joined Sitka spruce top, bent mahogany sides, un-joined mahogany back, rough-shaped neck blank, a pre-cut neck block, ebony fingerboard and bridge, and tuners. The course includes discussions of bracing patterns, acoustical and design theory; and demonstrations of side bending.
A basic hands-on course for beginning classical guitarmakers where the students build a classical guitar. Included in the price of the course is a set of high-quality materials, including a joined spruce top, bent Indian rosewood sides, an unjoined Indian ebony back, rough shaped neck blank, ebony fingerboard, rosewood bridge, bone nut and saddle, and tuners.
The workshop consists of a lecture on the nature of French polish shellac finishes, material preparation, surface preparation and application. There will be some hands-on work on sample pieces.
Ivon Schmukler has been resetting necks on steel string guitars since
1968. He has done hundreds of neck resets and will share his secrets with
you. This class is not a demonstration but a hands-on class designed to
complement the Refretting class. Most guitars should be refretted when their
necks are reset. These are the two repair jobs most in demand from repair
Students must bring an electric and an acoustic guitar in need of refretting. The class is a complete overview of action geometry, intonation, nut and saddle string heights, the mechanics of the neck, truss rod, fingerboard, fretting. The course runs one week , 9am to 5pm
For those interested in a comprehensive apprenticeship-like course of study, the following series of tutorials is available. One can elect to build up to three guitars which can be either steel string or nylon string instruments, both standard and cut-away models.
The curriculum is as follows:
Basic Flat Top Guitar Construction:
Finishing / Repair:
Click here to send an inquiry or comments to Leeds Guitarbuilders' School
12 North Main Street - PO Box 434 - Williamsburg, MA 01096