Lutherie Instruction

Binding channel cutting jig

Over the last few years as my skills and knowledge have increased and my shop has expanded, as my specialized tooling has developed, and as this website has become more popular, I have found myself more and more involved with helping beginning luthiers get started.  This has taken the form of answered emails, luthier forum participation, and visits to my workshop by students of lutherie.  Rather than deciding to teach, I have found myself teaching.  And I enjoy it, so it makes sense to add lutherie instruction to my repertoire.

I'm offering small (one or two students), short (one or two day), comparatively inexpensive (see below), lecture and demonstration classes in my backyard workshop.  These are ukulele specific (though guitar applicable), informal classes.  There are plenty of much longer (and more expensive) hands-on lutherie classes available, and I can recommend from personal experience, the American School of Lutherie, and O'Brien Guitars for such classes.  In my classes, I will tell you how I build ukuleles, show you the tools and jigs I use, and answer your questions about my processes.  I will encourage you to take notes and take photos of my workspace and jigs.  By limiting attendance to two students at a time, I can custom tailor my presentations to the interests of the individual students.  By avoiding hands-on work, I can dramatically increase the territory covered, and send you home to do your practicing.  The charge for my instruction is $30 per hour or $160 per seven hour day.  For two students, I will reduce the daily rate per student to $110.

My instruments are "hand- made," but I use power tools where they will do the job better.  And that is reflected in what I teach.  I use plenty of hand tools, and with dexterity.  But my inclination is more to control operations with power tools, jigs and fixtures than to coerce wood with hand-tools and dexterity alone.  I say this because you might want to consider your own preferences and style of woodworking when choosing a teacher.

Although I'm offering one-day classes, a single day is not enough time to cover much territory.  In fact, even two days should only be considered supplementary to other forms of self-guided learning; books, online videos, and especially practice in your own shop.  So if you can, I encourage you to come for two days.  The lutherie student who has already gotten his feet wet in the craft by building an instrument or two, either alone, with a kit, or in a hands-on class, will probably reap the most benefit from visiting my workshop.  A rank beginner might feel a little overwhelmed, but might also find the experience interesting and useful and at the very least obtain a good feel for what he or she is getting into.  I state an hourly rate to accommodate those with highly specific or limited interests, and for consulting.

My instruction should be of particular interest to students in the Pacific Northwest, especially those proximal to the I-5 Corridor in Southern Washington and Northern Oregon.  My home and workshop is in farm country, just south of Chehalis, Washington, two miles west of I-5.

Proximity to services near my workshop are as follows: 

  • Portland International Airport - 85 miles
  • Accommodations - 5 miles
  • Restaurants - 2 miles

At this time, rather than propose a schedule, I ask that you use my contact page to express your interest and request a date.  Tell me a little about yourself,  what you want to learn, and when you'd like to come.  And let me know if you'd prefer one-on-one instruction, or if you'd like to share your time with another student.  As specific dates are set which have space available, I will post them here to help you find other students who might also want to double up.

Here's a testimonial.

- Howard Replogle

 

Side Bending

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note - Please don't take this announcement of my teaching endeavor to mean that I no longer welcome casual visitors in my workshop!  Far from it.  I still welcome artists, musicians, other luthiers, and the simply curious to visit as my time allows, and at no charge.  As always, use my Contact Page to set up an appointment.  I'll be glad to have you!