Lehtela Guitar Craft Expanded Luthiery Program
First Year: a comprehensive Guitar Repair Program consisting of 8 classes plus an introduction to Guitar building (class 8).
Our luthiery school, is pleased to introduce a program with a mission of providing comprehensive education to individuals interested in the study of luthiery. The program is comprised of eight progressive classes covering the basics of guitar repair and maintenace as well as familiarity with woodworking relating to the craft of guitar building.
Class 1 - Intro to Guitar Maintenance
The purpose of this class is to introduce the student to the art of guitar repair and maintenance.
The basic mechanics of the guitar is covered in this 2 hour class with a hands-on and observation format.
As a class requirement the student should bring one or several of their personal instruments to the class.
Each instrument will be evaluated by the teacher and student for basic playing condition. This observation exercise will also show what each instrument is in need of, an example being one that shows severe fret wear. Such an instrument should be saved for the one of the two fret related classes in the program.
Finally, each student will be taken through the process of how to properly restring their instrument and tune to pitch.
This class introduces the student to the art of setting up a guitar to play at its highest potential. Topics will include:
• truss rod adjustment
• action adjustment
• nut adjustment
• minor fret levelling
• cleaning and polishing
Requirement: Student will need to bring an instrument evaluated for set-up work in class 1.
If no such instrument was evaluated at the time, contact your teacher.
A set of strings of student's choice will be included in the class fee.
Class 2b - Advanced Guitar Setups
Class 2b is a follow up class to Class 2a. This class will put to practice the information covered in Class 2a. In addition, more insight will be given into basic fret leveling, nut work and intonation/ action adjustments.
Class 3 - Fret Level, Crown, and Polishing
The Fret Level, Crown, and Polishing class takes the student through the three parts of fret levelling. First, frets will be worked level and confirmed as such by both teacher and student.
This is followed with meticulous filing of the top of each fret to establish the ' crown 'or center of the fret which is very important for intonation and general playability.
Finally, the frets will go through a polishing process to ensure a playing surface free of any machining abrasions.
The Guitar Nut Making class will take the student through the process of crafting a new nut from raw material.
The nut will be made to fit the student's instrument which will have been evaluated to be in need of such work.
Information regarding removal, shimming and temporary repair of the existing nut will also be covered in the class plus a discussion of raw material selection.
The second part of the class will take the student through the entire process of making a saddle for an acoustic guitar.
Information will be given on possible materials to choose from and the pros and cons of each material.
After removal of existing saddle the student will go through the shaping processes to completion of the saddle plus installation.
This class will take the student through all aspects of fretwork and neck adjustment. The student will gain hands on experience in a topic often shrouded with mystery. Upon completion the participant will have a much more thorough understanding of the relationship that exists between the neck and the body of the guitar. Topics covered will include:
• fret leveling, crowning and polishing
Requirements: Completion of Class 1-4.
Also, the student should bring an instrument in their possession in need of the above mentioned work. If no such instrument is available that student will be provided with one.
Class 6 - Guitar Wiring/ Electronics
This class takes the student through the basics of guitar electronics. Although not a class in electronics it will nevertheless familiarize the student in reading basic guitar wiring diagrams and good solderwork
Material covered will include topics such as reading an/or writing a wiring schematic, basic wiring and soldering etiquette and wiring solutions specific to the student's needs.
As with all classes, the student will be supplied with asuggested tools and materials list.
This is a two part class. The first class serves as an introduction to repairs specific to the acoustic guitar, steel-string or nylon.
Such instrument of the student in addition to one provided by the school will be used to show the student how to inspect an acoustic guitar for potential problems specific to its delicate construction.
The second part of the class will address the correction of the problem found in the particular instrument and may include one or several issues such soundboard cracks, loose bracing or removal and reinstallation of a loose or damaged bridge.
Class 8 - Guitar Building Intro
This is a class that begins the Guitar Building part of the program. It will be taught by Ari Lehtela.
Requirements: Student will consult with Ari Lehtela in the months preceeding the class to discuss the proposed instrument to be built. The design will be approved or modified by the teacher to meet basic principles of acoustics and sound guitar design. Also taken into consideration will be the student's skill level, access to personal woodworking shop and tools, and budget.