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How we work

A typical mission last 2-3 weeks.
Two luthiers arrive along with all the tools and supplies to establish a basic lutherie workshop.
We striclty limit the number of students to 4-5. If we have too many students, we cant teach them properly.
Students are taught all day for 5-6 days per week. 
There is a lot to get through and it needs 'hands on' practical training as well as theory.
Our luthiers are very dedicated and work very hard to make a success of the mission, BUT we also have a lot of fun as well!

Our overriding aim is to TEACH. If we do our job well, our students will go on to be teachers, themselves.
By the end of the mission we should have people who can:-
*Rehair bows
*Set up and service instruments e.g. fit new soundpost, bridge etc:
*Carry out basic repairs to instruments and bows.
Sometimes we split the students into groups so that e.g. one group learns bow rehairing and the other instrument repairs.
In the process of teaching, we will repair some instruments and bows but the overriding aim is to leave behind skilled people who can work on their own AND pass on their skills to others.
We will also leave enough tools and equipment for a basic lutherie workshop (as long as we have the assurance that they will only be used for the correct purpose and be stored securely).
If the project is successful, we might return after a year or so to develop things further.

*Transfers from the airport and any transport during our stay.
*Safe, secure acommodation and food. (We do not expect anything fancy, just local standard). 
*A place to teach with lighting and tables and chairs.
*A secure place to leave our equipment after the mission. Ideally this will be a permenant location for the lutherie workshop.
*A stock of instruments and bows to work on while teaching.
*Prior selection of students who will be available for all of the teaching sessions. This is high-intensity training and students MUST be willing to apply themselves fully AND be willing to continue the work after the mission.

LSF-UK is a registered charity in the UK. We have no income other than sponsorship or donations. Missions are funded in various ways ranging from complete sponsorship by the host, co-funding with another organisation or complete funding by LSF-UK. It all depends on the local situation. LSF-UK does not give funds to other organisations or individuals.

We select our luthier/trainers very carefully. They must be passionate, adventurous, skilled luthiers, great communicators, and able to work and live in all kinds of tough situations. LSF-UK has a great record of success because of their amazing qualities!
All our luthiers undergo background checks as part of the recruitment process.

Firstly. Read ALL the information on the 'How We Work' page before contacting LSF-UK.

Send an e-mail to to make an initial contact. We will then begin discussions. We do lot of groundwork to ensure a successful mission and so the process from initial contact to a mission starting, can take from a few months to a year or longer.


Our teaching approach

All the LSF-UK luthiers are highly experienced and come from well-equipped worshops; mostly in the UK but sometimes elsewhere. We try hard to adapt our techniques to the local situation. We teach methods that work in places with limited resources using appropriate technology. These will be methods that are, in some cases, easier to learn given the short time we have on missions and the limited prior experience of our students.
You can see some examples in the 'clever stuff' section below.

After the mission

On-line tutorials

Following on from our visits, we keep in touch with our students by e-mail, WhatsApp, Skype etc. We can give on-line tutorials and other information as necessary.

We are currently compiling a range of tutorial videos.


Clever stuff!

Gluing a fingerboard with a rubber inner tube

We try to be as innovative and low-tech as we can using locally available materials where possible.

Candle-powered glue pot
OK, its only a glue pot but it works REALLY WELL and has rescued us on at least eight missions when the power has failed. Its such a simple idea and can be made in 20 minutes from everyday objects - nice!