Learn about Lutherie, helping to make stringed instruments in Ocean View, Hawaii

Favourited 104 times

  • rating

    Host rating

  • feedbacks



  • last activity

    Last Activity


  • Last email replied

    Reply rate


  • Last email replied

    Average reply time:

    within 23 days



  • Description


    Hello, My name is David, I am on the Big Island of Hawaii. I have been a designer Luthier for over 30 years, I've worked as a designer/ Master builder for Yamaha, Fender, Washburn and B.C. Rich. I have also done OEM manufacturing. I live on an acre in the Ohia forests of Kau at the south end of the Big island of Hawaii. I have three children ages 27, 21 and 15 who love making instruments. I am the sole owner of a guitar manufacture business / factory also located on Hawaii island. The Big Island has a tourism / agriculture based economy and our remote location is great for exposure to the rural, agricultural lifestyle and experiencing places no tourists get to see.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help in the house
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Help


    Volunteers will be exposed the art of Luthierie. Volunteers will assist me in the shop making all types of stringed instruments. Volunteers are required to posess the aptitude for basic wood working/building skills. Volunteers will learn safety skills first then woodworking skills and manufacturing skills. A complete explanation of instrument grade wood selection skills. Learn inlay skills and all facets of instrument making depending on the length of stay. If your stay is three months or more, you will get beyond the introduction to Luthierie, this will allow you to make an Ukulele of your own, at no cost to you (with materials limited to under $300.00 value for a complete instrument). A Parlor acoustic guitar is a second option if your stay is 6 months minimum (with materials limited to under $400.00 value for a complete instrument). The time necessary to build and complete your own instrument will be in addition to the 5 hours a day for volunteer help. I will match your additional time with my own at no cost to you, which insures that you will be taught every step of the way and own a completed instrument before you leave. A case is not included with the instrument but will be available for purchase at a discounted price, new or used. If you are musician, this would be a great opportunity to not only play some music, but I have a good DAW recording set-up using Presonus software, a few great mic's and outboard gear, a great drum kit, basses and bass amp as well as guitars and guitar amps. Engineering/Production experience would be a plus too, but not necessary. No situation here is too serious, we do have fun making instruments and enjoy playing them. There is no required time limit on your stay. I believe that a (see how you go) self-assesment is best and allows you the freedom to utilize your time in a manor that is best for you, and most importantly, that you enjoy the experience as much as possible. Aloha

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken


  • Accommodation


    A house, two bedroom, one bathroom home. Volunteer will have their own bedroom, with wifi and cable television.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Time off, you're in Hawaii, there are many beaches and places available to experience. I hike, bike and go to beaches that are not available to tourists. I will provide access to people and places that are not available to the average tourist. Transportation is a 2004 Nissan Xterra and a 2000 Toyota RAV AWD in good running condition. A mountain bike in great condition is also available. Four wheel drive vehicles are necessary here to access many places on the Big Island of Hawaii. There is also the Hele On bus which travels the length of the island. There are also Hostels for anyone interested in extended stay vacation options or just taking a few days off from helping in the factory, which is definitely encouraged! After all you'll be in Hawaii. Aloha

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Travelers will benefit from the exposure to Luthierie in Hawaii and also a variety of alternative lifestyle techniques, as well as learning the art of Lutherie, or a strong introduction to it, depending on the length of stay. I live on an acre so I do growing some of my own food, and have friends that also grow a variety of different crops, this will allow you exposure to Hawaiian culture, lifestyle and the Aloha Spirit from a rural point of view. There is also a wood fire bread/pizza oven on the property which gives us the opportunity to experiment and learn alternative cooking techniques and enjoy some great pizza, bread and many other foods. My personal favorite is a very thin crust vegetarian pizza. Aloha

  • ...

    Volunteering hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week


My Photo Album

This is the office, where I design and draw everything, as well as play and record music.
A Parlor guitar getting painted.
This is Road to the Sea Beach, one of many beaches accessible by four wheel drive only. Most of these beaches are remote, but the fishing is pretty good here.
At the end of the South Kona District is the Kipahoehoe Forest Reserve. The hike down to the coast is magnificent.
This is the Green Sands Beach located at South Point, the southern most beach in Hawaii.
The woodfire oven. This oven took two years to complete. The space inside is a 6 foot diameter hemisphere and it's over 7 feet tall. It's perfect for cooking just about anything, especially Breads and pizzas, We had a party here last year, we cooked 60 pizzas that night in this oven.
My daughter Alyssa with her guitar neck and body completed.
My daughter Alyssa slotting a fingerboard for her new electric guitar.
This is a Hawaiian Koa wood Ukulele made in the Spanish Heel construction method, with Honu and Plumeria inlays getting fretted by me in the shop.
This is a Cuban Tres Hybrid guitar made for Dan Brauer. The body is micro channeled and tuned to A 432. A great sounding instrument.
This Parlor guitar was made for Chloe Kat, a great artist/singer/songwriter. She designed the custom inlay at the 12th fret. https://www.facebook.com/chloe.katerndahl
This is Canaan Ben-Joseph testing an acoustic Ironbird that I made for the B.C. Rich Guitars Custom Shop. This guitar was featured at NAMM 2017 this January.


Host ref number: 353769978697