The Irvin Guitars School of Lutherie

Build your own custom guitar and take it home with you!!

It is my joy and passion to be able to build, wonderful, high-end, acoustic guitars. I love every aspect of it and the reward is amazing.

Here at the Irvin Guitars School of Lutherie, I intend to offer a space where anyone who holds a deep love for the guitar and has a dream of being able to build one of their own, can do so. Little to no woodworking experience is required. Here are the details:

Course duration is 4 weeks, roughly 160 hours. You will come to my shop, 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday for an agreed upon, 4-week period.

After you have chosen your desired woods, and all other necessary components to complete your guitar, you will choose one of my three body shapes, and proceed to build your own guitar, all by hand, under my step-by-step guidance. You will have the opportunity to design your own headstock, bridge and rosette.

What you will learn:

  • some basic woodworking skills

  • some basic understanding of hand and power tools

  • solid principles of acoustic guitar building

  • how to bend sides

  • install a rosette

  • hand carve a neck

  • shape bracing

  • voice a top

  • install frets and perform a full setup

  • much more

Course offerings and fees:

Basic guitar building course (4-weeks)- $4,000.00 + materials (roughly $500.00) fee includes step-by-step guidance, use of shop and all tools and supplies (no personal tools needed). You will take your guitar home with you. Your guitar will not have a finish applied to it. You have a couple of options regarding finishes. They are as follows:

French Polish guitar finishing course (1-week) - $1,000.00. Course includes a step-by-step guidance to applying a french polish finish to your guitar.

Deluxe guitar building course (5-weeks) - $4,750.00 + materials (roughly $500.00) Course combines the basic course with the french polishing course.

Other finishing options available such as UV poly or nitrocellulose which requires you to send your guitar to a professional guitar finisher. This usually takes about 5-6 weeks and costs around $500.00. With this option, you will come back for 1 week to complete the guitar.

Contact me for scheduling and availability.

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Student review

I first came across Irvin Guitars through an AirBnb tour in the spring of 2019, and was instantly captivated by Wayne’s knowledge as a luthier. I’d been interested in woodworking for some time, but had very little experience in a shop or building anything by hand. Wayne immediately struck me as both a gifted craftsman and approachable teacher. I knew he’d be the perfect mentor.

My training with Wayne consisted of over 150 hours in his shop, in which I designed and built my own acoustic guitar from start to finish. Throughout the process, I learned both the fundamentals of woodworking, as well as the fine intricacies of guitar craftsmanship. The end result is a beautiful, one of kind instrument that I’ll proudly play for the rest of my life.

Whether you’re an aspiring luthier, or simply want to explore a new hobby, Wayne Johnson is the person to work with. He is generous with his time and knowledge, and has the trademarks of a gifted teacher: patience, knowledge, and humility. - A.C. August, 2019 graduate

Explore the inside of Irvin Guitars.  Here you'll find photos of the shop and the process that goes into the making of every hand crafted, custom built Irvin. I have a deep love and passion for music, especially the amazing, inspiring sound of wonderful tone woods,  on a steel-string guitar. Hope you enjoy the tour.