An average Joe builds a guitar from scratch.

Day one at The American School of Lutherie was filled with the normal rigamarole of “first day of class.”  Introductions of the students (all four of us), a tour of the workshop, some general housekeeping, all led by our instructor, Charles Fox.

Charles founded the American School of Lutherie, which has the distinction of being the oldest guitar making school in the country.  He’s been doing this 45 years (45!), and has invented or evolved many of the essential tools of the trade.  He’s kind of a big deal.

But, perhaps most importantly, he sometimes waxes poetic ala Garrison Keilor about, well, just about anything.  My favorite nugget of the day: “Having correct moisture in the air is important in lutherie, so we normalize the humidity to 45% to 55%.  So guitar-making is dehydrating, so we have this refrigerator stocked with coke, water, and other drinks.  Cool, refreshing beverages.  Nonstop.”

Cool, refreshing beverages, indeed!

Here are some pictures.  And I’m not cutting my finger off in any of them!

Yep, that’s an entire guitar.

Fingers still attached… for now.

It sorta looks like a guitar.  That’s actually the inside of the back of the guitar.  And that light piece of wood makes sure the thing doesn’t fall apart.  Strong, like bull.

7 months ago