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GUITAR BUILDING COURSE

Build Your Own Guitar

THE COURSE

You've been dreaming of this, haven't you? Building your very own custom guitar, hand shaping the neck, routing the pickups and neck joint, learning about all the tiny details that come together as an instrument we fall in love with. Well, dream no longer!

We offer a range of courses for those new to guitar making, and seasoned veterans of the industry, but without a doubt, the most exciting offering is this course. Held over six days, you'll build a solid body electric guitar from scratch. You'll draw the plans by hand, do all the cutting, routing, shaping and gluing, wire the electronics, and complete the fretwork and setup.

Sound daunting? Sure, it would be on your own... but you aren't. You'll work directly with Perry Ormsby and his team, in a small group of four to build your new 'number one'. Everything has been laid out in an easy to follow formula, breaking down all the difficult tasks into smaller manageable chunks, to ensure your success. That's not to say you'll have an easy time. You'll be dusty, dirty, and tired at the end of each day, but you'll not want to stop. It's addictive, fun and very productive.

The courses start on Mondays, and go through until Saturday afternoon. Ready?

THE DETAILS

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 six main guitar designs to choose from: Strat, Soloist, Tele, SC (Single Cutaway), DC (Double Cutaway), Hype and the SX style shape. The neck will be a single piece neck, with either a laid back (angled), or recessed (Fender style) headstock.

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 semigloss/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. HOWEVER, if we feel everyone has progressed enough by mid course, we reserve the right to offer a free upgrade to lacquer. In 2019, every single person ended up being upgraded to lacquer finishes.

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. Furthermore, this isn't a "watch a guy cut your stuff on a CNC' style course either, like offered elsewhere. You'll do everything.

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.

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.

What types of wood are being used? 

For the body, you choose: Mahogany, Alder, Swamp Ash, Tasmanian Blackwood.  Neck woods: Rock Maple, Tasmanian Blackwood, Mahogany. Fretboards: Ebony, Macassar Ebony, Maple, Flame Maple.

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 scary, 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 and his team can complete that section for you as you watch. You'll find that with the right guidance, anything is achievable!

Im from the Eastern States (or international), Is accomodation available? 

YES! We are within 5 minutes drive of various hotels, or bed and breakfast style accommodation, in O'Connor, Western Australia.

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 $750 deposit is all it takes to secure your place. Please note: pricing hasn't changed since 2014, and we now include some timbers that were previously optional upgrades.

How long is each day? 

We start around 9:00 each day, and finish between 4:00-4:30pm 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.

SPEC OPTIONS

Body shape: Strat, Soloist (SS), Tele, TX, SX, Hype, Goliath, Double Cut or Single Cut body styles

Body woods: Included: Alder, Fijian Mahogany, Swamp Ash. Optional: White Limba ($90), Tasmanian Blackwood ($190)

Neck styles: Tilt back (Gibson, et al), or Recessed (Fender style, only for Strap or Tele body shapes)

Neck woods: Included: Rock Maple, Fijian Mahogany.
Optional:  Tasmanian Blackwood (+$75).

Fretboards: Included: Maple, Ebony.
Optional:  Macassar Ebony ($50), Flame Maple (+$125).

Scale lengths:Included: 24.75", 25", or 25.5" scale lengths.

The Multiscale option includes either the full, or half fanned  Multiscale fretboard layouts we generally use for our own instruments.

Hardware - Bridges:Hipshot, Multiscale, Multiscale headless (+$200), 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)

Multiscale options include bridge hardware we use for our own instruments.

Hardware – Tuners: Locking tuners

Hardware – Colour: Chrome, Black, Gold (+$80)
(gold hardware not available for Goliath headless)

Neck styles: Tilt back (Gibson, et al), or Recessed (Fender style, only for Strap or Tele body shapes)

Electronic cavities: Rear loaded (no pickguard), or front loaded (pickguard, no pickup surrounds). NOTE: Pickguards are only for strat or tele style instruments.

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
​1 x humbucker
Metal covers (+$40 each) *
 * not available for Multiscale option

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

Multiscale Course: The Multiscale upgrade can be chosen for any course. $500 upgrade includes all hardware, and specialised pickups.

Inlay and Pickup Winding Courses:We have decided to no longer offer these optional course add ons due to time constraints.

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