Lap Steel - Roberto-Venn

    roberto venn specialty lap steel 1920x700 Lap Steel

Lap Steel Construction Course

This workshop includes: lecture, demonstration and hands on experience in the construction of a lap steel guitar with Mark Allred and Joe Vallee. Students will have the option of two models and will end up with a fully functioning lap steel in the raw (no finish). Students will start with an alder body blank and have the option of designing their own body shape or working from several pre-existing templates. All lap steel projects will be a 23 inch scale length. Prices include all of the wood, hardware and electronics required to complete your lap steel.


Standard: Standard lap steel made from alder with a P90 pickup and wraparound style bridge.

Deluxe: Upgraded model includes Lollar Chicago Steel pickup and custom made BR9 style bridge.

Both models include a bar slide.


For those coming from out of state:  You can drive in or fly in and stay at hotels within walking distance to the school.  Fly in on a Friday night and stay at a hotel, then fly out Sunday night after the class finishes at 5:00 pm.  I suggest Ubering to and from the airport and Staying at one of these hotels:

The Egyptian Motor Hotel (this hotel is a 2 min walk to the school)
765 Grand Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 807 5225

This hotel offers a discounted rates to Roberto-Venn students and visitors.
Egyptian Motor Hotel, BW Signature Collection | Hotel Rooms (

Holiday Inn Express (this hotel is a 2-3 min walk to the school)
950 W Van Buren St. Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 675-2894

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phoenix Dwtn – State Capitol – Phoenix, United States (

Hotel San Carlos (this hotel is a 10 min walk to the school)
202 N. Central Ave. Phoenix AZ 85004
(602) 253 4121
Home | HotelSanCarlos (

Spring 2024 – March 30- April 7, 2024

Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday 9am – 4pm

This is an avocational class and is not within the scope of the school’s accreditation.

2 Weekends/4 days

Open to the public


(including materials)

Standard – $575
Deluxe – $750

John Roberts

1921 – 1999

John Roberts began his guitar making adventure in the jungles of Nicaragua, as an executive pilot for Robinson Lumber Company in the 1960’s. With the dream of building a yacht he enlisted the help of the native Mikito people to gather a large supply of rosewood and mahogany. When his wife Dottie developed eye problems they decided to return to the states, and John shipped the wood to Phoenix, Arizona, to start an import hardwood business. Local guitar makers Carl Samuels and Ron Carriveau discovered John and convinced him that he should be making guitars with this beautiful and rare wood. His new friends taught him the acoustic guitar making art, which he soon began passing along to others through his new business venture, Juan Roberto Guitar Works. The idea for a guitar making school evolved out of this apprenticeship cooperative.