Build Your Own Martin Guitar

Enjoy the sound that will come from this C.F. Martin guitar that was made by YOU!

Date(s):March 7 – 9, 2020 Sat-Mon
Time:8:30am – 6pm (3 Full Days)
CBS030720 – enrollment closed

Click on Course Code (above) to enroll
Registration is now closed (Feb 6)

Course Fee: $750 for facilities, daily lunches, staff, and instruction. An additional $475 is requiredfor the purchase of the C.F Martin & Company materials. The Upper Bout, 723 S. Neil, Champaign, is the C.F. Martin & Company dealer that we are working with to supply the materials

Early Registration Discount: $695 will be the instructional fee for all registrations completed before January 22, 2020. Registrations will close on February 5.

Instructor: Bruce Scism retired from the Presidency of Danville Community College (Danville, VA) at the end of 2018. While at DCC oversaw the development of a luthier program, and other new program to open up employment opportunities for students. Bruce has taught the construction of electric, as well as acoustic guitars. He is a composer and performer, as well as a luthier and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

Class Description: In this class you will build a guitar using only materials from C.F. Martin & Company. This will be all solid wood, not plywood. Martin provides the best materials. As you can see from the photos there are many steps. Some steps will be familiar, some will not. In each step you will be guided by instruction and advice from Bruce Scism, a luthier from Nashville, TN. The small class size ensures you will get necessary attention. No prior instrument building experience, or even woodworking experience is required. At the completion of the class you will have a completely assembled guitar. However, the finish will be incomplete. You will learn and apply a French polish technique to the headstock and the top. Many will be able to complete the finish at home. However, Bruce has agreed to be available for a fourth day to help complete applying the finish.  Bruce suggests using a water based pore filler; it will dry within a couple of hours but it requires two coats.

You Will Complete Your Guitar: This is a three day class, but the Instructor knows that a few people will need more time to complete the build, or may want an extra day to put a finish on the guitar.  He will arrange to be available for an extra day for those few. For anyone needing that extra day, there will be a $25 facilities fee. Bruce wants folks to be awed with their guitar when they leave.

Skill Development:

  • Shaping with planes
  • Precise measuring
  • Use of chisels
  • Clamping
  • French polish finish

Class Size: 3-8

Online Enrollment: This session does not have a Course Code Link at this time.

To indicate that you would like to register please send an email to Indicate in the subject line that you are interested in the Martin Guitar Class. In the text of the email state your full name, street address, town, state, any alternate email, and your phone number. We will contact individuals in the order in which emails are received. When contacted you may register and pay a minimum of 50% of the cost of the class and materials, or decline so that someone else may register, or you may asked to be placed at the bottom of the list. Registration will require purchase of the C.F. Martin materials and a 50% payment of the cost of materials and instruction, $612.50. Any balance will be due February 10, 2020.

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