Although John Ressler does most of his guitar building instruction at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, he also offers individual guitar building instructions and occasional group classes at his workshop in Sandwich, Illinois. Please contact us if you are interested any of the guitar building instructions or classes offered.

The following guitar building classes are offered at Marc Adams School of woodworking. Please visit for class dates and availability.

Guitar building class students with thier custom made guitarsMAKING AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR WITH JOHN RESSLER

Building your own guitar can be one of the most rewarding crafts. It consists of precise joinery, creativity and music all in one package!  In this 6 day class, you will be guided through all the critical elements of making an acoustic steel string guitar.  You will learn the start-to-finish process of the craft and art of musical instrument construction If you ever wanted to make a guitar, this class will be the chance of a lifetime. The hours are long, the challenge is great, but the satisfaction will be tremendous and will create “sound” memories that will last a lifetime.

Guitar making class students with thier custom made acoustic guitar from John Ressler's guitar building classI made my first guitar in 2005, with John being one of the assistant instructors in a class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. Since that time I have taken classes from him as the instructor, as well as assisted him several times. Whether taking a class or assisting, each time I learn more, and become more comfortable in the process. I am really looking forward to a new class in guitar building methods, which should further improve my luthier techniques. He is a gifted teacher, a fine luthier, and a friend.

Andre - Missouri

"Is it possible to take 18 people with all levels of woodworking, a room full of tools and lots of pieces of wood and come up with 18 fantastic sounding guitars in one week? Only if you have a great instructor! John Ressler is one of those rare individuals that can guide almost anyone through a complicated process and make it seem simple. His calm demeanor and absolute skill in the art of guitar building make his classes enjoyable for everyone. "

David - Student, Marc Adams School of Woodworking



Whether you are new to instrument building, an experienced builder or just want to understand how and why an acoustic guitar works, this class is a rare opportunity to learn guitar methods that are typically only learned through a hard-to-come-by luthier apprenticeship.  John will break down his methods of making guitar parts and jigs / fixtures from lay out to making them from raw lumber.  You will come away with most of the wood parts to build your own guitar or to use in the Acoustical Guitar Building class, as well as a variety of jigs/fixtures to jump start you in future instrument building.


A Pickin’ Stick is one of the simplest stringed instruments to build and play.  It is an ideal project for someone who wants to learn to build or play stringed instruments, even if you think you can’t.  There are no wrong notes or complex finger arrangements.  Any string you play will sound good!  This project is a great introduction to stringed instrument building. Each student will go away with a completed fully playable instrument.

Handmade Pickin' Sticks



Electric guitar built by a student in John Ressler's guitar building classMAKING AN ELECTRIC GUITAR WITH JOHN RESSLER

John will guide you through the steps of building your own solid body electric guitar.  The instrument for this class will be a Stratocastor ® inspired model with humbucking pickups, and non tremolo bridge.  You will learn the process of electric guitar building from design to finish. You will design and cut out your own guitar body, hand carve your guitar neck, and learn to fret a guitar.  The guitar set up procedures learned in this class will provide you the ability to set up any guitar for the best playability and sound.  By the end of the week, you will have completed your own handcrafted electric guitar that is strung and fully playable.
John Ressler Custom Guitars
Sandwich, Illinois  60548

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