Sinclair offers many wonderful opportunities for students to enhance their learning experience and find their passion. And few objects exude more passion than a guitar, except for maybe a homemade sweater or those awful home movies you made as a child.
And for students who are passionate about guitars, the STEM Guitar Lab at Sinclair is the on-campus destination to explore that passion and find new inspiration.
Since 2009, the Guitar Lab has produced over 10,000 guitars and ship guitar kits to 48 different states across the country. The lab was originally stationed in Building 13, before being relocated in the lower levels of Building 8 in 2015.
Over the years as the demand for electric guitars rose, the Guitar Lab has done their best to improve their manufacturing process to increase productivity, even producing acoustic guitar kits in recent years.
The guitar kits themselves are manufactured both in the lab and on Eacker Street There they cut down and mill boards of lumber into planks. The planks are then hauled back to Building 8 where they are placed in computer numerical control machines where they are shaped and trimmed into body, neck and front boards for guitars.
Students in any field, whether it be engineering, art or culinary, are welcome to participate in all that the lab has to offer. It requires no prerequisites to participate in this class and students can bring their guitars home with them at the end of the course.
Sean Gibson, head of shipping, considers the guitar lab a perfect place to not only learn a number of skills and work with numerous tools but also work together and help other students once they’ve finished the piece they’re working on.
“It’s ultimately not a race,” Gibson stated. “Its a group effort to get all these guitars finished.”
Production team member Ethan Kern encourages students to get involved at the lab. “There’s nothing more rewarding than spending a whole semester putting the time into building this instrument,” Kern said. For more information on STEM and the Guitar Lab, visit guitarbuilding.org