Student Guitars

Here you will find great examples of our student’s masterpieces.

You might also want to visit some student blogs where they tell the story of their builds.

Jeff’s Blog

John’s Blog



Student: Jason

Guitars:  OM Acoustic and P-Style Solid-body Electric Bass.

Jason’s Story: Jason is a bass player and wanted to experience making his own guitar.  We didn’t offer Select Solid Body builds at the time so with a limited budget, he chose to make one of our Select Steel String acoustics.  Having achieved that success, he realised that he really did want to make a bass and as we’d just launched the Select Solid Body builds, Jason was the first out of the gates with this build.

Bunya Pine body,  Qld Maple neck, Pacific Rosewood fretboard.  Nice work!

Student:  Lindsay

Guitar: OM Steel String

Lindsay’s Story:  Lindsay has always had an interest in woodworking but had never taken on something like making a guitar.  Fortunately for him, his wife saw the possibilities and bought his first build for his 60th birthday.  He enjoyed the experience so much that he came back to make another and this is Lindsay’s second acoustic guitar.

Apart from the Silver Quandong soundboard, all the wood for this guitar came from the family property in FNQ where it had been stored for some decades.  Black Wattle back and sides and neck, Black Wattle and Silver Quandong veneers, and rosette.  The headstock inlay is Lindsay’s own design.

No sooner than this guitar was finished and Lindsay decided that as a bass player he should make a solid-body bass.  So he did!  Completed in May 2021 this is a “PJ” (Precision/Jazz hybrid) made from wood sourced from the family’s NQ farm.   Nice job!

Student: Henry

Guitars:  OM Acoustic (12 fret with cutaway) and T-Style solid-body Electric.

Henry’s Story: Not one taken to fancy adornments, Henry always let the wood speak for itself.  Henry’s first build was a 12-fret steel-string acoustic with a cutaway.  Having done a fantastic job on that, he decided his second guitar would be a solid-body electric based on the iconic Telecaster shape.  The body blank is Camphor Laurel with a stunning high-figure Hairy Oak cap and a Wenge fretboard on a Tas Oak neck.  Not wanting to hide any of the amazing figure, Henry chose to go without any pickguard or even a pick-up ring for the neck pickup. Pick-ups were hand-wound.  Finished in satin lacquer (like his OM acoustic) this is an heirloom guitar.

Student:  Kahni

Guitar: Contemporary Classical

Kahni’s Story:  Kahni is driven to be creative.  She makes stunning hand-crafted jewelry, plays the Lute, and when she found out about the possibility of making her own high-quality guitar she jumped at the chance.  This beautiful classical guitar features Indian Rosewood back & sides, and Engelman Spruce soundboard and Queensland Cedar neck.  Her hand-made rosette and headstock veneer were her own design using offcuts of Indian Rosewood.  To cap it all off, Kahni has finished it in hand-applied French Polish.  What a stunning instrument.

Not resting on her laurels,  Kahni has embarked on her second build and we’re pretty sure there’s a Lute in the pipeline too.  Stayed tuned!

Student: Chris

Guitars:  Matching Custom Solid Electric and Custom OM Acoustic.

Chris’s Story: Chris defines “attention to detail”.  His first build was a custom solid body electric guitar based on our own in-house design.  It features a Queensland Maple body blank with a hand-carved Tasmanian Blackwood top, a Queensland maple neck and the headstock veneer is Queensland Silky Oak.

The flame Maple bindings were a challenge to bend around the tight curves but Chris’s patience and determination paid off – they’re stunning and give the guitar real eye-appeal.  The headstock inlay is Chris’s own design in White Mother of Pearl. Gotoh 510 tuning machines and high-quality pick-up and electronic components top it off.

Chris decided he needed a matching acoustic guitar so set about building an acoustic sister.   We found some absolutely stunning high figure, Tas Blackwood for the back and sides, a Qld Silver Quandong soundboard, QLD Maple neck, and headstock veneers, MOP inlay, and Gotoh 510 tuning machines to match the electric guitar.

A fantastic acomplishment.

Student:  Gary

Guitar: Grand Symphony 12-String, Double-X-braced with 14 fret neck

Gary’s Story:  This is Gary’s second handmade guitar.  After completing a beautiful OM sized steel string, Gary wanted to make a 12-string.  He chose some lovely Queensland tonewoods including Camphor Laurel for the back and sides, Queensland Red Cedar for the neck with a Cooktown Ironwood fretboard, and a laminated bridge.  These were matched to a Bear Claw Sitka Spruce soundboard.  The rosette, tail wedge, headstock veneer and back of the neck were all decorated in a similar theme with Ironwood strips and abalone dot and strip inlays.

Student: Mari

Guitars:  Little Wing Travel Guitar.

Mari’s Story: Mari came to us new to guitar playing and with no guitar-making or woodwork experience.  She was keen to learn about what makes a guitar tick while keeping the experience within limits.  A Select Series Little Wing was just the answer and she is rightly proud of her achievements.

Student:  Kahni

Guitar: Art Series Little Wing Travel Guitar

Kahni’s Story:  Having completed a beautiful classical guitar (see elsewhere in this gallery), Kahni decided to take a more fun-filled journey with her second build and created this colourful and unique Little Wing travel guitar.  The hand-painted Bunya Pine soundboard has been clear-coated with gloss lacquer and the Camphor Laurel back and sides and Qld Maple neck are finished in clear satin lacquer.  And in true rockstar fashion she installed an active pick-up system so she can jam with the best of them.

For her next adventure in lutherie, Kahni has embarked on her third build – a falcate-braced, steel-string parlor guitar and there is definitely a Lute in the pipeline.  Stayed tuned!

Student: Rod

Guitar:  OM sized resonator, round 12 fret neck.

Rod’s Story: Rod came the the Brisbane Guitar Making School as an accomplished woodworker keen to develop his skills further.  Like many of our students, Rod wouldn’t call himslef a guitar player – he is simply enthusiastic about the instrument and enjoys the experience of transforming beautiful wood into an even more beautiful musical instrument.  This is Rod’s second guitar, a spider-bridge single cone resonator model featuring Tasmanian Tiger Myrtle back and sides, a Queensland Bunya Pine soundboard and a Queensland Maple neck.  Headstock veneer is quilted Qld Maple and the bindings are Qld Silver Ash.

Student:  Fred

Guitar: OM sized steel-string, falcate-braced with 12 fret neck

Fred’s Story:  Fred came to the Brisbane Guitrar Making School with a clear idea of what he wanted – a medium-sized steel string acoustic with Zirocote back and sides.  He had also seen a headstock design that he particularly liked and asked if we could replicate it.  The result is a stunningly beautiful OM model featuring Zirocote back and sides and headstock veneer, Engleman Spruce soundboard,  Queensland Maple neck and that beautiful asymentric slotted headstock.

Student: Imogen

Guitar:  OM sized steel-string, falcate-braced with 12 fret neck

Imogen’s Story:  Imogen was encouraged by her mother to come and make a guitar at the Brisbane Guitar Making School.  With no prior woodworking experience and a non-player, she took up the challenge with enthusiasm.  Imogen’s guitar is a 12-fret OM model featuring falcate bracing, Queensland Camphor Laurel back and sides, Engelman spruce soundboard, Qld Maple neck.

Student:  Gary

Guitar:  Steel-string parlor guitar

Gary’s Story:  Gary doesn’t play guitar, but his wife does and he came to the Brisbane Guitar Making School to make her a small body steel string guitar.  He chose to make our parlor model featuring an Engleman Spruce soundboard, West Australian Curly Jarah back and sides and headstock veneer, with a slotted headstock.  When he took it home, his two sons immediately requested that he make each of them similar guitars but with nylon strings.  So he did!

Student:  Tyran

Guitar:  Martin-style dreadnaught with cut-away

Tryan’s Story:  Tyran was just 16 when he started his guitar during his final year at high school.  The school had some very sophisticated equipment for precisly cutting out components to shape but they got stopped when it came time to bend sides, carve a neck and put things together.  With our guidance at the Brisbane Guitar Making School, Tyran was able to get his Tasmanian Blackheart Sasafrass sides bent (with a cut away), make and carve a neck from a flat blank of curly Tasmanian Oak (have we seen that cool slotted headstock design somewhere else?), make a bridge and matching fretboard from Qld Burdekin Plum, make and fit his own custom rosette into the Sitka Spruce soundboard and assemble  the whole thing.  He is now the proud owner of a stunning dreadnaught.

Student:  John

Guitar:  Classical

John’s Story:  John is an enthusiastic classical guitarist who also likes to make things.  He claims however, that before starting his first classical guitar at the Brisbane Guitar Making School, the most complex bit of woodwork he had done was to use treated pine logs to build a cubby house for the kids!   There is no doubt however that he enjoys attention to detail as he made his traditional rosette by hand from scratch and is proud to tell you that there are over 7,000 individual pieces of wood in it!  He made a matching tie-block for the bridge as well.  Featuring Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides, an Englemann spruce soundboard, figured Gidgee fretboard and bridge and Indian Mahogany neck, John’s guitar is a testament to his desire to make a fine classical guitar.  He is in the process of putting the finishing touches to his second.  And yes, it features another hand-made rosette.

Student:  Trent

Guitar:  Contemporary Classical

Trent’s Story:  Trent, like all our students, had limited wood working experience and had never made a guitar before. But he was keen to make a classical guitar for himself.  With a leaning towards Art Deco design, he took on some major build challenges for someone making his first guitar.  The rosette and headstock took many hours of careful handwork and a few bumps along the way but they are a testament to his committment.  The design theme was brought to the bridge and the heel cap as well.  Made from Queensland Camphor Laurel back and sides, Englemann Sprouce soundboard, Queensland Maple Silkwood neck and Cooktown Ironwood fretboard and bridge Trent’s first guitar is finished in hand applied French Polish – just another challenge for a first-time guitar maker.