Archtop Guitar Building

Learn how to make a carved top and back archtop jazz guitar with Brazilian luthier João Cassias. Carve the plates, make the bridge and tailpiece, bind the headstock. It's all there in high definition video with easy to follow instructions.

Buy Now $327.00 91 Lessons 23:14:44

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About This Course

Welcome to the Robert O’Brien Online Archtop Guitar Building Course. In this course Robert invites Brazilian luthier, João Cassias of Cassias Guitars, to show how to design, build, finish and setup an archtop guitar. With just under 24 hours of high definition video and audio instruction divided into 14 easy to follow chapters and individual lessons, you will be on the edge of your seat as João teaches you everything you need to build your own archtop guitar including carving the soundboard and back plate, binding and inlaying the headstock as well as making the bridge, saddle and tailpiece. This course also includes interviews with internationally recognized players, concerts, sightseeing and even João’s favorite pasta sauce recipe!

When purchasing the entire Online Archtopc Guitar Building Course, you will also receive a copy of João’s plans professionally drawn just for this course. You also become eligible to join Robert’s invitation only chat group. Here he offers advice and support as you build. There is a wealth of information available to you for free!

If you have ever wanted to design and build your own archtop guitar from beginning to end then the Robert O’Brien Online Archtop Guitar Building Course with João Cassias is a must!

Please read the FAQ page before beginning. To begin just register/login and purchase the video lessons.

It has never been easier to learn the art of archtop guitar building.

Thanks Robbie. Your course was indispensable. Bob
See what others are saying


I too am SLOWLY starting my first archtop as well and am following Robbie and Joao’s video series (which is awesome!). Thanks again to Robbie and Joao for doing that.
Great, fun, informative, thorough…two thumbs up on the Archtop course produced by Robbie O’Brien and taught by João Cassias. If you are trying to justify the cost take my word it is well worth ten times the price. The time and expense of gathering this info on one’s own pales by comparison. This is a well-produced, step by step guide that will have you building a great archtop guitar. Jay Lichty, Lichty Gutars
I bought the instructional video series for building an archtop guitar. I have a copy of the book by Bob Benedetto as well. I started the project, but got to the point where I just could not bend the sides. Looking for help, I stumbled onto your website. Oh how I wish I had viewed the videos before starting. Although I’m early in the build, I’ve already found two or three things I needed to know before beginning this. I’m just writing to let you know how much I’ve learned, and look forward to learning, from the instructor. Absolutely great product. Scott
I learned a ton from João and Robbie's course. Many thanks lads. Bob
Thanks Robbie. Your course was indispensable. Bob
I purchased your Archtop online course with João and couldn’t be happier. Thank you for putting it together. Isak de Vries
Watching your interviews and pasta sauce event has been a great time, almost as much fun as learning about arch top guitars.. Thank you Dave
I built several arch top guitars following the online course. It was great instruction. Then, I purchased the acoustic guitar course. It, too has been great. I’m in the finishing phase now. Scott
The Archtop is finished! First, I would like to give a hearty shoutout to the world class luthier Joao Cassias who lives in Brazil. Joao shared his experience and great talent through Robbie O’Brien’s online courses that are available on his website, and I could have not completed this build without it. Thank you Joao!! Robbie K.
I purchased and am working my way through the Archtop Guitar building course. It is really excellent; I still have many hours to go but I’ve learned a great deal already. Bob
The instruction is top notch, and it’s great to have this project to work on during he quarantine. Gary
Last year I started my first Archtop build using Robbie's course with Joao Cassias, and am currently on my 2nd, with plans for more.  It's a great course (like all of Robbie's) and highly recommend. Gary
Chapter 1 • The soundboard
5:57:00 $109.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Selecting 10:07
Lesson 2: Joining 12:15
Lesson 3: Cutting to shape 7:14
Lesson 4: Marking the edge 6:07
Lesson 5: Rough carving the outside 53:31
Lesson 6: Templates 11:17
Lesson 7: More carving 9:05
Lesson 8: Shows and interview 25:28
Lesson 9: Marking the inside 13:36
Lesson 10: Rough thicknessing the inside 5:44
Lesson 11: Carving the inside 33:12
Lesson 12: Braces 13:01
Lesson 13: Fitting the braces 26:53
Lesson 14: The lap joint 15:26
Lesson 15: The F holes and gluing braces 15:33
Lesson 16: Shaping the braces 41:28
Chapter 2 • The back
1:39:59 $72.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Selecting and joining 13:27
Lesson 2: Cutting to shape 6:44
Lesson 3: Jig for holding 2:41
Lesson 4: Marking thickness on edge 2:56
Lesson 5: Rough shaping the arch 8:46
Lesson 6: Creating a ledge 6:37
Lesson 7: Final shaping of arch 27:30
Lesson 8: Rough thickness of inside 10:15
Lesson 9: Carving the inside 21:03
Chapter 3 • The sides
2:11:14 $44.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Thicknessing 14:52
Lesson 2: Sharpening a scraper 9:39
Lesson 3: Thicknessing the cutaway area 6:34
Lesson 4: Ways to bend 6:32
Lesson 5: Bending 24:21
Lesson 6: Cutting sides to length 11:47
Lesson 7: The blocks 30:11
Lesson 8: Kerfing and side struts 27:18
Chapter 4 • Closing the box
Lesson 1: Attaching the back 8:22
Lesson 2: Sealing the inside 5:36
Lesson 3: Attaching the top 7:57
Lesson 4: Flush trimming 3:48
Lesson 5: Cutting the mortise 6:08
Chapter 5 • The neck Part I
1:38:26 $22.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Laminating 10:19
Lesson 2: Layout 5:28
Lesson 3: The truss rod 5:29
Lesson 4: The dovetail joint 7:19
Lesson 5: The fretboard extension 9:38
Lesson 6: Headstock width and veneers 16:43
Lesson 7: Headstock thickness and shape 10:13
Lesson 8: Headstock binding 26:10
Lesson 9: Inlaying the logo 7:07
Lesson 10: Installing the truss rod 4:23
Chapter 6 • The Fretboard
35:06 $11.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Slotting 4:54
Lesson 2: Tapering 4:21
Lesson 3: Purflings and bindings 16:19
Lesson 4: Gluing the fretboard 9:32
Chapter 7 • The neck part II
1:00:14 $22.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Shaping 4:57
Lesson 2: Side markers 8:54
Lesson 3: More shaping 6:27
Lesson 4: Headstock and heel transitions 16:41
Lesson 5: Fretboard radius 6:44
Lesson 6: Installing frets 16:31
Chapter 8 • Bonus • Sightseeing, Interviews and Concert
Lesson 1: Rocky Mountain national park 6:19
Lesson 2: Interview with João 24:55
Lesson 3: Concert 1:08:43
Lesson 4: Interview with John Knowles CGP 7:08
Chapter 9 • Binding
1:17:20 $27.50 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Making bindings and purflings 11:59
Lesson 2: Cutting the channels 4:33
Lesson 3: Installing the top purflings 17:20
Lesson 4: Installing the top bindings 13:53
Lesson 5: Installing the back bindings and purflings 19:39
Lesson 6: Scraping flush 9:56
Chapter 10 • Recurve
58:15 $16.50 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Recurve on the back 27:23
Lesson 2: Recurve on the top 23:29
Lesson 3: Tailpiece shim 5:34
Lesson 4: Sanding 1:49
Chapter 11 • The soundport
Lesson 1: Soundport explanation 2:57
Lesson 2: Making the soundport 4:48
Chapter 12 • Fitting the neck to the body
59:33 $16.50 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: Fitting the fretboard extension 30:27
Lesson 2: The heel cap 7:43
Lesson 3: Attaching the neck 11:59
Lesson 4: Final shaping of heel 9:24
Chapter 13 • Finishing
Lesson 1: Finishing discussion 14:39
Lesson 2: Masking 3:18
Lesson 3: Adding color 14:44
Lesson 4: The F holes 2:26
Chapter 14 • Assembly and setup
2:56:28 $55.00 Buy Chapter
Lesson 1: The tailpiece 18:03
Lesson 2: The nut 33:32
Lesson 3: The bridge 20:22
Lesson 4: The saddle 11:42
Lesson 5: The pickguard 12:27
Lesson 6: Fretwork 33:09
Lesson 7: Electronics 28:53
Lesson 8: The tuners and truss rod cover 8:59
Lesson 9: The bridge position, tailpiece and strings 4:36
Lesson 10: Setup 24:45
Chapter 15 • Extras
Lesson 1: Interview with João 18:55
Lesson 2: João’s favorite pasta sauce recipe 28:21
Lesson 3: Bloopers 8:38