Building Guitars for Vets

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Blog entry by CharlieK posted 10-06-2015 02:51 AM 1571 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to participate in a 3 day Guitars 4 Vets event.

Guitars for Vets is a non profit organization that offers a guitar instruction program for Veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress. G4V provides free guitar instruction, a new acoustic guitar and a guitar accessory kit. You can learn more about them at their website

This particular event was organized by George Vondriska of the Woodworker’s Guild of America. George has a whole page on his website about this event: Build a Vet a Guitar 2015

It was obvious by how well organized things were that George spent a tremendous amount of time preparing for this event. All together 40-50 people of all ages volunteered to help. This photo doesn’t show everyone because not everyone could be there for the entire weekend.

We started out with 12 guitar kits. It’s easy to think that building a guitar from a “kit” is a no brainer. I learned very quickly that building a guitar, even from a “kit”, requires a bit of know-how. Fortunately, George and a few of the other participants knew what they were doing!

A smaller group of us spent the day on Friday gluing the binding and purfling in place.

It might not look like it in this picture, but this is my idea of fun!

Most of the assembly took place on Saturday and we had to get at least one coat of finish on them by the end of the day.

Here they are on Saturday with the first coat of finish

George’s custom lasered medallions were a very nice touch!

The final assembly (and tuning!) took place on Sunday.

These guys are using their cell phone to check the tuning of the guitar. I never would have guessed that there is an app for tuning guitars, but there really is. No kidding!

There was lots of guitar playing and singing at the end of each day. My fingers don’t work too well on guitar strings, but I sure enjoyed relaxing while those more talented played the guitars.

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

10 comments so far

View CL810's profile


3984 posts in 3595 days

#1 posted 10-06-2015 03:52 AM

Powerful stuff.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2093 days

#2 posted 10-06-2015 04:26 AM

Awesome stuff man

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View DocSavage45's profile


8882 posts in 3450 days

#3 posted 10-06-2015 05:01 AM


Wondered what you have been up to. This looks like a great place to be, with some pretty fantastic folks. Including CharlieK.

Just thinking about you and upcoming MN woodworkers guild events.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View kiefer's profile


5713 posts in 3274 days

#4 posted 10-06-2015 03:17 PM

Now that is a great way of paying forward Charlie.
Great write up and I am impressed with the participation of all these folks ,what an effort that will help the vets and will be greatly appreciated .

Thanks for this !!!!! Klaus

-- Kiefer

View Northwest29's profile


1688 posts in 3098 days

#5 posted 10-06-2015 11:24 PM

A very worthwhile and great project for vets. Looks like everyone had a good time and went home with a fully functional guitar. Thanks for sharing and the good write up.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Mean_Dean's profile


7017 posts in 3755 days

#6 posted 10-06-2015 11:49 PM

A very worthy undertaking—thanks for sharing!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 2444 days

#7 posted 10-07-2015 06:17 AM

Way cool!

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View kipibenkipod's profile


71 posts in 1931 days

#8 posted 10-10-2015 09:01 AM

Amazing. Thanks for sharing.

View BuzzCut's profile


20 posts in 1551 days

#9 posted 10-30-2015 06:23 PM

Awesome stuff! So great to see others doing this kind of thing.

I have a little project of my own in the works and have nearly completed the acoustic guitar prototype.


View CharlieK's profile


595 posts in 4400 days

#10 posted 10-30-2015 08:17 PM

Congratulations, Bob. That is a great design! The video wouldn’t play on my computer, but I did go to the website. Some things seems so obvious AFTER someone figures it out! I am glad to see that people are paying more attention to ergonomics.

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

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