Posted on January 14, 2010April 13, 2023 by Dale Phillips Review: Build a Steel String Guitar with Robert O’Brien by Robert O’Brien Review: Build a Steel String Guitar with Robert O’Brien by Robert O’Brien Reviewed by John Calkin Originally published in American Lutherie #84, 2005 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Seven, 2015 Build a Steel String Guitar with Robert O’Brien Robert O’Brien Apprentice Publishing, DVD, 2005 www.obrienguitars.com or LMI This DVD will henceforth be included with LMI steel string guitar kits. Because I have some criticisms of it, I’d like to make a couple things clear at the start. I’ve built and reviewed kits from several companies, and I believe that for the first-time builder they are the way to go. I’m especially fond of kits that include joined plates, installed rosettes, bent sides, and a slotted fretboard. A shaped neck is also OK, but an adventurous first-timer can deal with shaping a neck. My point is that no matter how accomplished an individual is as a woodworker, it can’t be accepted that lutherie is a natural next step. It’s just too different. A good kit can smooth the stormy seas that arise when one faces the creation of their first guitar. I’m a believer. I’m also a believer in video instruction. It pains me to say so, but I believe that books have had their day. Live interactive instruction is best. Video/film is next. Books are a distant third. If you suspect that a terminal failure of the power grid will resurrect the importance of books, I surrender to your paranoia (you are obviously a fan of Lucifer’s Hammer by Niven and Pournelle). Barring a natural catastrophe of global scale, electronic instruction is here to stay and I salute it. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.