Luthiery School


What is a luthiery school ? It is a school where string instrument building and / or string instrument repair is taught. Our school is unque for several reasons:

1) We teach both guitar repair/maintenance and guitar building. Our program starts from the very basics of guitar repair and maintenance which then culminates in the building of a guitar ( or other related string instrument ).

2) Classes are taught within a private student / teacher format - this ensures greater learning than found in a group class format.

3) Topics outside of the curriculum may also be scheduled to suit the needs of students.

4) Intern / apprenticeship programs are also available. Contact for more information.

5) Arrengements can be made for students to use our shop space for additional luthiery related projects.

Our program is a two - year program. It can be completed within a 6 to 9 month period if a student schedules at least one class per week and is able to perform some of the building tasks outside of our shop.

A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION is issued after completion of each class.


Below is the address where our classes are currently offered :


8125 Old Concord Road, suite B, Charlotte NC 28213



How to enroll: Call ( 704) 599-4410 or email on contact page to discuss a possible schedule that fits both your and the teacher's schedule. Once the start date is established the student can secure that schedule by sending a $ 50 deposit in form a check made out LEHTELA GUITAR CRAFTand mailing it to : 

Lehtela Guitar Craft, PO BOX 692 Newell NC 28126

And don't forget  - Class 1 is FREE if you enroll before March 31st if enrolling in our 2 year program.



The KIT BUILDING CLASS is the most recent addition to classes offered at LAGF. There is no prerequisite for this class. The only requirement is a purchase of a guitar or bass kit by the student that will be assembled under supervison by our teaching staff. Student has an option to personally acquire such kit or they can consult with us to choose from various kits available through LAGF.                                                                                                                

Duration of class: 3 to 6 sessions, 3 hours each. Please note that ACOUSTIC GUITAR KIT building is also available but the class duration will be considerably longer and at a higher cost. Acoustic guitar kits also cost more than electric guitar kits.

 Tuition: $ 110 per session. Materials cost: Kits start at $ 175 for a basic tele if purchased through LAGF. Higher grades are available. Also note that the hardware and pickups may also be upgraded for a higher quality of sound and performance. Enrollment: available throughout the year. Simply contact by email or call (704)599-4410 to schedule. 




Luthiery School special tuition pricing for classes 3, 4 and 5

Duration :
Cost :

Class 1 - Intro to Guitar Maintenance

Duration : 2 Hours
Cost : $ 75
The purpose of this class is to introduce the student to the art of guitar repair and maintenance. The basic mechanics of the guitar is covered in this 2 hour class with a hands-on and observation format.

Class 2a - Basic Guitar Setups

Duration : 2 sessions , 5 to 6 hours total
Cost : $225
This class introduces the student to the art of setting up a guitar to play at its highest potential. Topics will include: • truss rod adjustment • action adjustment • nut adjustment • minor fret levelling • cleaning and polishing • intonation

Class 2b - Advanced Guitar Setups

Duration : 2 sessions , 5 to 6 hours total
Cost : $225
Class 2b is a follow up class to Class 2a. This class will put to practice the information covered in Class 2a. In addition, more insight will be given into basic fret leveling, nut work and intonation/ action adjustments. NOTE: THIS IS AN OPTIONAL CLASS for the student wanting to get more experience doing set-ups under guided supervision.

Class 3 - Fret Level, Crown, and Polishing

Duration : 6 hours total
Cost : $337.50
The Fret Level, Crown, and Polishing class takes the student through the three parts of fret levelling. First, frets will be worked level and confirmed as such by both teacher and student. This is followed with meticulous filing of the top of each fret to establish the ' crown 'or center of the fret which is very important for intonation and general playability. Finally, the frets will go through a polishing process to ensure a playing surface free of any machining abrasions. Also, a set of fret leveling tools will be made for the student to keep.

Class 4 - Guitar Nut and Saddle Making

Duration : 4 hours per class
Cost : $225 per class
The Guitar Nut Making class will take the student through the process of crafting a new nut from raw material. The nut will be made to fit the student's instrument which will have been evaluated to be in need of such work. The second part of the class will take the student through the entire process of making a saddle for an acoustic guitar.

Class 5 - Guitar Refretting

Duration : 8 hours
Cost : $450
This two day class will take the student through all aspects of fretwork and neck adjustment. The student will gain hands on experience in a topic often shrouded with mystery. Upon completion the participant will have a much more thorough understanding of the relationship that exists between the neck and the body of the guitar.

Class 6 - Guitar Wiring/ Electronics

Duration : Format A - 3 hours , Format B - 4 ~ 6 hours
Cost : Format A - $ 175 Format B - $ 225 plus components
This class takes the student through the basics of guitar electronics. Although not a class in electronics it will nevertheless familiarize the student in reading basic guitar wiring diagrams and good solderwork. The student can choose whether to sign up for either format. Format A is a 3 hour class that will introduce the student to basics of wiring and is recommended especially for those that have never done any soldering. The student will get hands on experience with soldering , reading schematics and will learn how to diagnose components with a multimeter. A very simple circuit layout can also be completed within this class such as I pickup/1 volume and tone control plus input jack. An input jack will be provided within the cost of tuition, additional components as students cost. Format B is recommended for an beginner/intermediate level student, one that has some wiring experience. In this class which can last up to 6 hours and may require 2 meetings, the student will be taken through a complete circuit wiring. This can include mounting of new pickups and new wiring of replacement components such as 3 to 4 potentiometers, one or several switches, all necessary wire, capacitors and jack. An input jack will be provided at no extra cost. Student may purchase pickups and components through the school or bring in their own materials. NOTE: class will cover PASSIVE CIRCUIT wiring only.

Class 7 - Acoustic Guitar Repair

Duration : 2 Hours + 6 hours
Cost : $337.50
This is a two part class. The first class serves as an introduction to repairs specific to the acoustic guitar, steel-string or nylon. The second part of the class will address the correction of the problem found in the particular instrument and may include one or several issues such soundboard cracks, loose bracing or removal and reinstallation of a loose or damaged bridge.

Class 8 - Guitar Building Intro

Duration : 2 1/2 to 3 Hours/session ( 3 to 6 sessions total )
Cost : $125/session
This is a class that begins the Guitar Building part of the program. It will be taught by Ari Lehtela.

Master Class

Duration : 3 Hours per session ( total number of sessions varies )
Cost : $125 per session
This is the continuation of class 8. The master class is the actual building of the previously approved student design.