Guitar Making

San Dieguito Academy also offers guitar making as a career path for incoming students. There is no prerequisite for this course and all students are invited to sign up for this interesting and challenging class. Participants will not only learn how to build their own guitar, the will leave the class knowing how to use woodworking machinery to make other types of wood products.


Students signed up for guitar making will begin by building a stratocaster inspired solid body electric guitar. The first semester is spent building the body of the guitar. After building your first guitar you will have enough experience to build a more complex instrument.

Guitar Body

The lessons will focus on using the Jointer, Planer, Band saw, and Routers to fashion the body blank into a fully functioning body with electronics installed. The second semester is spent on building the neck of the guitar. Students will experience specialty tools not used in common woodworking processes. Our shop is equipped with a cnc router to mill body blanks, a metal working mill to accurately mill truss rod cavities, a gang fret saw to mill slots in one pass, and a moulder for milling the 12" radius required for standard stratocaster guitars.

Guitar Neck

The fret press is used to seat medium sized frets into the freshly milled guitar neck. Super glue is used to create a strong bond and improve sustain. This creates a neck that becomes one solid piece.

Snake InlayStudents will also explore inlaying techniques used for neck dots and other design work using shell or synthetics. Resources for sourcing precut shell are provided so a student may create unique works of art if they choose to go the extra mile. Inlay work should be done on dark color wood as it is easier to hide mistakes.

Guitar Body

Finishing using oil and water based lacquer will be discussed for putting the final touches on a fully functional electric guitar. By the end of the course, the goal is to leave with a finished product ready to string up and play.

Further Education

After finishing this course many students move on to work in the guitar building industry or further their skill set by taking the guitar building career path at Palomar College. For information please contact Jack Stone at Jack has been a high school teacher in the past and is now focussing his efforts at the college level. He was instrumental in creating the guitar building curriculum at Palomar.


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Instructor: Jeff Germano

Phone: 760.753.1121_Ext.5112


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Stewart Mcdonald