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Laytonville High School Guitar Building

 Inlaying an Englemann Spruce soundhole rosette with wood strips and abalone

Routing binding channels in an Acacia/Redwood ukelele

Laytonville High School is a public rural high school of approximately 130 students located in northern California approximately three hours north of San Francisco. We have been building acoustic and electric guitars, basses and baritones since 1998.


All of our instruments are one of a kind, designed by students, most of whom have no previous woodworking experience, using no premade parts. We resaw most of the wood in the shop, bend our own sides, slot and radius our own fingerboards and design our own inlays. We build using traditional lutherie techniques with homemade jigs and mostly hand tools.


Each year we have approximately 6-10 guitars being built alongside the other woodworking projects.  Acoustic guitars generally take two years to complete and electic instruments are usually completed in a year.


We are the only public high school in the country  creating unique stringed instruments designed and built entirely from the ground up.




"Building a guitar is an integration of science and art that teaches more than just fine woodworking skills.  Through endless problem solving, discipline, and the patience to redo things,  accepting only work of the highest quality,  it translates to everything we do in life and teaches what we are truly capable of."





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