Building classical guitars

  • This topic has 9 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by Ed.
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    Roberto Fischer

    Does anybody here have experience with guitar (not electric) lutherie? This is an area I want to venture in and I have no idea where to start, especially when it comes to doing it with no machines.

    I’m looking for books that document everything, including wood selection, preparation (especially by hand), techniques, etc. It would be awesome if there were some written by the Spanish masters. I can read spanish, english and portuguese.

    Sven-Olof Jansson

    Hej Roberto,

    Have nothing on books, but If memory serves me, there’s a certain Mr. J. Sellers who, apart from running WWMCs, is a builder of musical instruments, including guitars. Perhaps there could be a project.
    Mr. Tom Fidgen has a video series where he builds one. It’s available to subscribers:

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    Barry B

    hi Roberto
    i have repaired a couple of flattop acoustic guitars that got sat on (not perfect, but playable) has lots of guitarmaking supplies and books.

    there is this book on classical guitar building:

    hope this helps


    philip higgins

    Hi Roberto
    I have built a steel string acoustic guitar at a luthier course and it is a long process but not too challenging technically. the biggest issue is it requires a number of jigs and preforms and bending the sides needs heat and steam.
    Feel free to message me directly and i can share more information

    George Scales

    Two older books might help. Ones is by Eric Sloane and the over by Overholtzer. The father of the classical guitar Torres) that the top is the critical part. He demonstrated i by building a guitar box out of paper machete. I have made six classical guitars, each better than the last. It is tedious work but wonderfully satisfying. You might start with a kit just to learn the process.

    Roberto Fischer

    Thank you all for the pointers.

    I’m looking at courses offered by Robert O’Brien at, which have existed for a while. He teaches from a lumber kit from LMI. That sounds like a safe option to skip milling. I do want to digest a book before looking into the courses, though.

    Phil Andrew

    Hi Roberto.
    Where as the kits are good, nothing beats making a Guitar from the ground up.
    It may seem to be a daunting project, but assuming you know how to use the basic woodworking tools I am certain you will succeed.
    There is a very good book by John S Bogdanovich, Classical Guitar Making: A Modern Approach to Traditional Design.
    John has laid it out in a very easy to follow format with high resolution photographs.
    Have fun building! I have spent the last 30 plus years as a Luthier and I always get excited when folk want to have a go at building a Guitar.

    Andy M

    I know I’m late to the conversation. I have never built from raw materials, albeit that is my life goal, I’ve done plenty of repairs on Mandolins. Enough that besides carving out a scroll, I’ve just about built a few from raw materials. Anyways, I have a pretty expansive digital library that covers all things luthrie. I’d be happy to upload it to a trusted hosting site so you guys could have access to it as well. I’ll try and remember to check back in the upcoming days. However, I believe I made this account several months ago and this is my first time actually exploring the site.

    Andy M.

    Glynne Pritchard

    One of my hobbies is building guitars and its not as complex as most will make out. Building acoustic has already been stated requires a number of formwork templates which are not difficult. Selection of wood, your bracing and bridge height will decide your completed tone. Rather than books on luthiery, youtube is your friend. Look up Crimson guitars, Ben has a magnificent collection of videos and will show you how exactly to build a neck, crown and polish frets and although he generally makes electric instruments he also does semi acoustics. Another good guy to watch is TWoodfrd. He mainly repairs but does build, his instructional videos on repairs fill in the gaps that no book can do


    I’ve always been intimidated away from instrument building because I don’t see how one anticipates or builds the tone. I’m sure I can fabricate the instrument, but it seems like too much work to be a roll of the die on what sound you get. The difference in tone and responsiveness between an inexpensive guitar and a fine instrument is huge. How do you know what you will get?

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