About

The Seattle Luthiers Group began with a meeting of local luthiers after a national meeting of the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL) in Tacoma in 1998. The group who attended that first meeting planned some bi-monthly meetings in their shops to share their techniques and invited other local GAL members. They later merged with a small group, headed by nationally known guitar builder Michael Gurian, holding dinner meetings for socializing, and there are now meetings the second Tuesday of every month, alternating the technical/shop and the social/restaurant meetings. Over the past four years, some of the most popular technical meetings had speakers who addressed difficult topics such as finishes, guitar pick-ups, pre-amps and amplification, building techniques, Kasha/Schneider design, and building and repair of violin family instruments.
Early in its history the group sponsored the Annual Puget Sound Stringed Instrument Exhibit October 19 and 20, 2002 at the Renton Technical College. Twenty builders from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia displayed hand-made instruments, including harps, mandolins, fiddles, and more exotic works, plus many guitars – electric, acoustic, flat-top, arch-top, with or without pickups. Instruments were available for purchase, or served as examples for custom instruments. The public could play various instruments, as well as listen to a variety of music in short performances showcasing different builders.
Currently the Seattle Luthiers Group is an informal association of instrument builders and people interested in instrument building. Our members are from the greater Seattle area and western Washington. The group gets together the second Tuesday of every month for presentations on topics related to instrument building, demonstrations of methods, social interaction, showing off recently built instruments, an annual potluck, an annual swap meet, and occasional jamming. Membership is free.
Some past meeting topics have included:

  • Joining of top and back plates
  • Determining top thickness using tap tones or deflection testing
  • Alternative tonewoods
  • Neck carving
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced falcate bracing
  • Construction of custom guitar cases
  • Alternative inlay methods
  • Lute building