Leeds Guitarmakers School

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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.

Basic Steel String Guitar Construction
Basic Classical Guitar Construction
1-day Spray Finish Workshop
1-day French Polish Workshop
Dovetail Neck Resetting
Refretting Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Comprehensive Course

Current course offerings


Day 6aA 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.




Leeds Guitarmakers SchoolIvon 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 people.

Students must bring a guitar to work on. Check with us to make sure it has a dovetail neck joint.



Refretting with Ed DiehlStudents 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.

There will be breaks between the individual classes to provide a breather for the students and

Matt NeilThe curriculum is as follows:

Tool Craft: 
Basic hand- and power-tool setup and fabrication of basic edge tools (the students will make a skew chisel).

Parts Fabrication:
Fabrication of the parts for flat top, arched top and electric guitars. Students will be instructed in the proper use of the machinery used in parts fabrication; these include table saw, band saw, floor standing belt and disc sander, thickness sander, drill press, joiner, bending irons and a panoply of hand tools. During this nine-day session, students will make the parts for the instruments they will build in the construction classes.

Basic Flat Top Guitar Construction:
Construction of steel string guitars. This 96-hour course had been our most popular and successful course. Students, regardless of skill level, have all completed high quality instruments in these courses over the past fifteen years. The course is the prerequisite for all other acoustic instrument courses.

Brad NickersonClassical Guitar Construction:
A basic hands-on course for beginning classical guitarmakers where the students build a classical guitar. Students will build a classical guitar with the parts made in the Parts Fabrication section of the Comprehensive Tutorial.

Finishing / Repair:
This course will entail finishing the students' instruments over a three-week period. As time allows we will give instruction on basic repair methods including; cracks, regluing loose braces, neck resetting, refretting, setup for various instruments and adjustments.



Leeds Guitarmakers
Click here to send an inquiry or comments to Leeds Guitarbuilders' School
12 North Main Street - PO Box 434 - Williamsburg, MA 01096
(413) 548-0034

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