Robert offers guitar and ukulele building, guitar finishing and
masterclasses on topics that range from sharpening chisels and planes to
making double top guitars. One-on-one and small group classes are held
in his shop in Parker, CO.
Click here to check
Robert’s 2018 teaching schedule. Contact Robert
BuildYourGuitar@obrienguitars.com, if these dates don’t work for
you. Other dates may be available to fit your schedule.
Click here to see videos of guitars built by
students with Robert. You can also see pictures of past classes in the
classes gallery page.
To see what others have to say about Robert's classes, scroll to the
videos section on this
Robert is already taking reservations for his 2019 teaching
schedule. Please contact him to reserve dates.
Who is the class for?
First time to advanced builders - Whether you just want to build one
guitar or become a professional luthier Robert’s classes are tailored to
suit your needs.
Where is the class?
In Robert’s shop in beautiful Parker, Colorado, Only 35 minutes from
Denver International Airport.
What can I build?
Robert offers classical, steel string guitar and ukulele building
classes – For steel string most students build an OM model but you can
also build a dreadnought. For classical you will build Robert’s own
classical guitar model.
What materials are used?
All materials come from Luthiers Mercantile International and are high
quality 3A instrument grade materials. You purchase the materials and
have them shipped directly to Robert’s shop a few weeks in advance of
your class dates.
Classical - Indian rosewood back and sides, bridge blank, headstock
veneer and bindings, spruce or cedar soundboard, cedar neck blank,
ebony fretboard, classical rosette, mahogany kerfing, spruce and
mahogany or cedar bracing, bone nut and saddle and Gotoh tuners.
Steel string – Indian rosewood back and sides, sitka spruce soundboard,
ebony bridge blank, fretboard and peghead veneer, MOP fret markers,
flame maple bindings, traditional herringbone rosette with B/W/B inner
and outer rings, Gold Gotoh tuners.
Can I substitute some of the materials?
Robert will allow some substitutions like tuners and rosettes or spruce
for cedar soundboards. Contact Robert for questions about substitutions.
Can I bring my own materials?
This is highly discouraged as Robert likes to know the quality and
condition of the materials that will be used to build the guitar. Robert
has worked with LMI to put together a selection of materials that are
instrument grade. Hundreds of students have been satisfied with these
materials and the resulting guitars built from them.
What finish is applied?
In the class Robert teaches his French polish method. Your guitar will
go home with you completely finished. For an additional fee Robert can
apply a traditional high gloss lacquer finish to your guitar and ship
it to you when complete.
Is this a kit guitar?
No! It is just a box of materials. You will make the neck, carve it,
thickness and bend the sides and bindings, slot and thickness the
fretboard, carve the bridge, thickness, brace and voice the soundboard
etc. The only things pre-done for the sake of time are the rosette,
kerfing and bindings. You must do everything else.
Can I bring a family member or friend?
Of course! This makes a great father son/daughter, husband/wife or even
friends project. You will have bragging rights and lasting memories.
There is even a discount for two person classes.
What about cutaways and soundports?
These are highly discouraged for first time builders. Let’s do basic
math before algebra folks. It also adds an extra day to the course and
What kind of neck joint is used?
A traditional Spanish heel is used on the classical guitars and a bolt
on mortise and tenon for the steel string guitars.
Are cases available?
Yes – Robert has top of the line Access cases available for sale.
Prefer to call Robert on the phone to talk about a course designed to
suit your needs? No problem! Robert welcomes your call and looks forward
to discussing your needs in a personalized building course.