Make your own electric guitar in our Regular and Advanced guitar courses - Ormsby Guitars!
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Objectives: To build a quality bolt-on neck electric guitar, from scratch

What do I need to supply?
Nothing! Bring yourself, and a desire to build!!

What do I get?
All timbers for the body and neck, hardware, pickups, plastics, electronics. Access to machinery, jigs, templates and tools. There are no pre-made bodies or necks... you will build, machine, carve, sand, and shape your own body and neck from scratch under guidance and tuition.

Which type of guitars are being built?
Basically, a “bolt on neck” style instrument. There are five main guitar designs to choose from: Strat, Soloist, Tele, SC (Single Cutaway) and DC (Double Cutaway). The neck will be a single piece neck, with either a laid back (angled), or recessed (Fender style) headstock.
The Advanced Course allows for almost unlimited designs and layouts, including your own designs, and all three main neck joints (through, set, and bolt on).


Are the materials all quality parts?
Yes. All hardware supplied is the same high quality we use on our own custom made instruments. The pickups supplied are our own handwound pickups. Gotoh, Grover, Floyd Rose, etc etc. For a small additional fee we are also holding a pickup winding course to allow you to wind your own pickups and learn the secrets to this mystical artform.

What types of wood are being used?
For the body, you choose: African Mahogany, Alder, Swamp Ash, Tasmanian Blackwood.  Neck woods: Rock Maple
, Tasmanian Blackwood. Fretboards: Ebony, Maple, Rosewood.


What are some finer details about the course?
We start on a Monday morning, and wont stop until you can play your new guitar Saturday night. Book a gig!! :)
Rough time schedule:
Monday: plans and fretboard layout. Machine neck and glue body Truss rod installation, and glue down fretboard.
Tuesday: Inlay and fretboard radius, then install frets.
Wednesday: Machine and cut bodies, belly and forearm carves.
Thursday: Carve neck shape, rout neck joint in body, start on body routs.
Friday: Complete body routs, mock assembly, and finish fretwork. Lots of sanding and oiling.
Saturday: Completion of oiling, and assembly. Wiring and setup.

What if I don’t feel confident in doing certain parts, for example, the neck shape?
No problem. Whilst the aim of this course is to get you started in guitar making, some aspects can be a little daunting for a first timer. If we see you getting into trouble, or not confident about one aspect, we can assist you. We understand some parts of guitar making are scarey, eg: using a bandsaw, or shaping the neck. You'll be encouraged to do it yourself, whilst luthier Perry Ormsby looks over your shoulder and guides you in the right direction. If you still don't feel confident, Perry can complete that section for you as you watch. You'll find that with the right guidance, anything is achievable!


I don’t have any experience in woodworking, is that ok?
YES! We have designed the course so you do not need to know anything about woodworking. Your safety equipment is provided, as are all machines, power tools, and hand tools.
Which type of finish are we using?
Because lacquering can very easily consume a lot of time, the finish supplied will be a curable oil based finish. This provides a very protective semi gloss/satin finish. You may choose to do some work at home to lacquer your guitar. We can direct you to suppliers that sell fantastic, inexpensive, DIY lacquer kits.
The Advanced Course includes lacquering (see below)

Is this a once off course, or are you planning on doing more?
We have re-introduced the courses after a three year break. The courses are limited to three students at a time. If you missed out previously, do not miss out now. We will only run a handful of courses per year.
Im from the Eastern States (or international), Is accomodation available?
YES! We are within 15 minutes drive of various hotels, bed and breakfasts, or backpacker style accomodation.

Ok, what’s the bottom line… HOW MUCH?
$2750. That includes all the timbers and hardware, pickups, introduction to wood machining, access to jigs, knowledge and experience, tools and machinery. Arrive with nothing, walk away with your own handmade guitar. You'll take home your hand drawn plans too!

A $500 deposit is all it takes to secure your place.
How does that price, compare to the quality of the finished instrument?
If you are patient, and have an eye for detail, there is no reason why your first guitar can’t be equivalent to a $2000+ name brand guitar.

Do you have references, or testimonials?
Sure, check out this thread on the Australian Guitar Gear Heads Forum: "Guitar Building School"
Is this just a case of assembling pre-made bodies and necks?
Absolutely not. You will start with a block of wood for the body, and a block of wood for the neck. You'll shape everything from there.

Do we learn how to create plans, etc?
Yes. You will learn how to draw up plans from scratch, and you will use these plans to build your guitar. We'll start from a blank piece of paper, and work from there.
How long is each day?
We start at 9:00am each day, and finish between 4:30-5:00pm depending on how everyone progresses. Lunch is around midday, and we usually head out to a local cafe, and talk about all sorts of guitar related subjects.

How do I book?
Simply click 'buy now' (below) to place a deposit and reserve your place. Spaces are strictly limited.

Note, for courses with unscheduled dates, we will arrange dates eight weeks in advance.

By clicking "add to cart" you are paying a NON REFUNDABLE $500 deposit.

(Warning! These dates ALWAYS sell out extremely fast. Please ensure you pick the correct month as you WILL not be able to change to another course at a later date)

If the date you chose is sold out, please click back and try alternative dates.

Choose your course date... $500 secures your spot


Full time - Feb 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
February 16th - 21st


Full time - Feb 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
February 23rd - 28th


Full time - March 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
March  23rd - 28th


Full time - April 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
Dates will be confirmed with participants


Full time - May 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
Dates will be confirmed with participants


Full time - June 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
Dates will be confirmed with participants


Full time - July 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
Dates will be confirmed with participants


Full time - August 2015 - Multiscale Course $3250 + add ons
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
Dates will be confirmed with participants


Full time - September 2015 - Regular Course
6 days (Monday through to Saturday)
Dates will be confirmed with participants


Full time - October 2015 - ADVANCED Course!! $4990 + add ons
(see below for details)
13 days (Saturday through to Saturday)
Dates will be confirmed with participants



NEW!! We have also scheduled ONE new course: Advanced Guitar Making Course ($4990)
Advanced guitar making course includes all the options available within the regular course, plus (no additional cost):
Inlay course (shells, timber, stones and/or metals)
Handwind your own pickups + pickup theory

More electronics options
Set neck, through, or bolt on options
Carved tops and more body shapes (design your own!)
Laminated, scarf joint or single piece necks
Exotic/Figured/Rare timbers (additional costs)
Lacquering supplied.
The Advanced Course includes 13 days of tuition and factory/tool hire. We ask that you allow an extra two days, just in case. Strictly limited to THREE (3) participants per course.
This course is ideally suited to someone who has some woodworking/tool experience, has built a guitar or two previously, or has already completed our regular guitar making course.

Subscribe to be notified when courses become available

Additional add-on courses:
Pickup winding: $300 – Learn the basics of pickup winding, then wind your own pickups for your guitar. Allow one full day.
Inlay Workshop: $300 – 1-2 full days, including all materials. Tools supplied.

Body shape:
Strat, Soloist, Tele, DC or SC body styles

Body woods:
Alder, Tasmanian Blackwood, Fijian Mahogany (+$90), Swamp Ash (+$90). 

Neck styles:
Tilt back (Gibson, et al), or Recessed (Fender style)

Neck woods:
Rock Maple, Tasmanian Blackwood, Fijian Mahogany (+$50).

Maple, Rosewood, Ebony (+$50), Flame Maple (+$125).
24.75", 25", or 25.5" scale lengths

Hardware - Bridges:
Telecaster style (modern or vintage), Vintage trem (+$200), or hardtail (Fender Strat style), Tunomatic (with stop tail, or string through), Wilkinson trem (+$200), Floyd Rose Original (+$280), Tunomatic and Bigsby (+$200)

Hardware – tuners:
Gotoh, Grover locking (+$40)

Hardware – Colour:
Chrome, Black, Gold (+$80)

Electronic cavities:
Rear loaded (pickup surrounds, no pickguard), or front loaded (pickguard, no pickup surrounds).

Pickup configurations:
2 x humbucker
2 x humbucker, 1 x single coil ($80)
1 x humbucker, 2 x single coil ($40)
3 x single coil
2 x single coil (Tele style)
1 x humbucker, 1 x single coil
Metal covers (+$40 each)

Veneer Top:
Flame, or Quilted Maple (+$150)
Walnut, Bubinga, Myrtle, Flame Euculypt, Indian Rosewood (+$150)
Ziricote, Burl Walnut (+$190)

Hardcase $100

Contact us now to reserve your spot!


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