My shop has grown into a 11,000 square foot facility, custom-designed to handle all operations in-house. It is continually changing to adapting and keep up with the team’s push to be the very best. We are not a music store and we don’t buy, trade or broker guitars. Our goal is to match guitars with players or help them by repairing the ones they have. What this shop is dedicated to is preserving fine stringed instruments, training craftsmen for the future of our trade and building fine hand-crafted guitars.”
If you visit my shop, you’ll see that it is (for the most part) an old-school guitar shop with the same feel and vibe I grew up around in my youth. And through my exposure to some of the biggest manufacturing shops in the world, I’ve combined the level of professionalism they demand with this old-school vibe to develop one of the most unique shops in the world.
The layout of my work area has not changed in 30 years. My work bench, tools, jigs and fixtures are fashioned exactly the same now as what I’ve used to build and repair some of the most iconic guitars in the world.
When I lecture, it’s at this very bench so students get a chance to experience a piece of guitar history and see firsthand what a Luthier’s bench looks like and how a Luthier makes it happen.
I keep a large selection of old-school stuff around for general guitar testing and to set the pace for future guitar designs. All of the lessons in the Galloup School are based on the reverse-engineering of classic examples of this “old cool stuff”.
This approach works its way into the School at every level from the Tube Amp Building class right down to the vintage-based pickups of the electric guitars we build.
My shop has many different departments from CNC and CAD to media and photography. All departments are generally in full swing and students are able to watch them in operation. This allows the student an opportunity to experience firsthand how each department contributes to the shop.
When you are in my shop, you are witnessing an actual productive guitar facility. We are making, repairing and designing guitars right next to you as you work. This is the same approach to training that I experienced when I took my apprenticeships, and if it worked for me then it will work for my students.
My shop evolved through decades of application and use to handle the needs of the team at that time. The machinery is well kept and the layout of the facility reflects 40 plus years of working around shops and paying attention to the market. Some of the equipment is professional grade, but I makes sure that students also use everyday equipment that can easily be purchased.
In our shop, my Galloup Guitar restoration and repair service is still in operation. The department is currently managed by Luthier Andy Kirby who oversees the constant flow of instruments shipped in from around the world.
The number of vintage restorations seems to equal the number of “everyday” repairs, so there is always something cool in the Galloup Shop.
Bryan’s policy is that a clean shop makes for a healthy mind and therefore clean, healthy work. As a result, the Galloup shop is equipped with multiple dust collection systems and custom-made cross draft tables for all sanding of wood or finishes. It’s these appointments that separate the Galloup School and sets a standard for the students.
A Luthier can do this work forever if they pay attention to what they are exposing their body to. If you break the rules you are just asking for trouble.
The Galloup spray facility has a professionally installed, climate-controlled DeVilbiss spray booth, complete with air makeup and fire suppressant system. The students use the same facility as used by the Galloup team. Once you’ve been exposed to our system, you will know and see what it takes to spray a professional finish.
As with all other operations, spraying chemicals are approached with caution and respect. The high volume air replacement system makes for quick evacuation of over spray for a responsible spraying lesson.
Many of the lectures have to be presented at a bench in a class setting, but students standing around a bench never works. There will always be students that can’t see the lecture properly. Bryan wanted to make sure every student was able to see and make the most of each lecture.
“I made my media-based lecture room- which is equipped with three monitors- so each student can get the information they payed for. The room is the ideal size for lectures and demonstrations, and even the student who sits in the back corner seat has an appropriate view.”
“The Galloup School’s classrooms are equipped with custom-made benches, modeled after the bench I used for years. It’s the ideal size; just big enough for the students to have an adequate work area. Each bench has the same appointments I made the most that molded my career.
This bench is the ideal size. It makes the student stop and clean in between procedures before they can move onto the next step. This generates healthy working habits that will last a lifetime.”
The classrooms are set up with multiples of these benches, ideally spaced to create a healthy working environment. Each classroom has its own storage, equipped with the prime jigs and fixtures that the students use daily. The fretting supplies and neck jigs are set up ready for use and tool cribs are accessible in each classroom.
“I teach the students that a clean working environment is the only way to work. Once proper working habits are in place, your ability to be successful is less burdened by chaos and disorder. Clean and neat is the only way to work.”
Each classroom only has the necessary items for everyday use. All heavy, noisy, dusty machinery and procedures happen in an isolated machinery room. This keeps the dust down and noise away from the classroom, so you can concentrate on your training.
“Along with a well-kept shop, I have always enjoyed a studio setting for my work area. I learned this from Dan Erlewine. This is a time to settle in and concentrate on your work, enjoy some music and remind yourself why you want to do this for a living… not be blasted with the sounds of sanders, routers and dust collectors.”