Camp Questions

Camp details:
1. Who will be teaching the camp – will Roger Siminoff be involved?

Roger will be leading all the programs, and he will be assisted by his Siminoff Banjo and Mandolin production team.

2. What skills do I need to be successful in this class?

Campers need to have basic woodworking skills.

3. Will I learn to use the bandsaw?

The camp focuses on the art of luthierie and is not a basic woodworking class. While we will demonstrate all of the sawing, cutting, and shaping processes using machine tools, our staff will perform those procedures for safety reasons, to expedite the process, and to prevent possible damage of a part. However, you will be gluing, clamping, hand filing, shaping, sanding, etc.

4. Is there anything I have to study or read before I come?

We will be sending each camper a copy of The Ultimate Bluegrass Mandolin Construction Manual (unless you already own one), which we suggest you read before coming to camp. The book should be brought with you to camp for reference (and Roger will autograph it for you if you ask him).

5. How many hours a day will we be in class?

Campers will be in the shop about 8 hours each day, with meal and rest breaks. In the evenings there will be presentations, discussion and/or some additional shop time.

6. Can I select the type of instrument to build (F4 mandolin or A5 mandolin)?

At this point, we ask that campers make the instruments offered through camp (F5 mandolin and H5 mandola). However, the skills you learn in these classes will easily transfer to building another style of mandolin.

7. Will class participants be able to select their project materials (wood, hardware, etc.)?

Yes, a Kit Options Selection form will be mailed to you prior to camp.

8. Can my own wood be used for the kit construction?

Yes, but we will need to have it at least 6 weeks prior to the start of camp. Please contact Roger at 805.365.7111 to discuss what type of wood you plan to use and to review the necessary preparation of the wood.

9. When will I get my kit?

You will receive your pre-ordered, customized kit on the first day of camp.

10. What if I break a part?

Should you accidentally break a part, we will have replacement parts available for purchase, but we will first make our best effort to help you repair your broken part.

11. Can I buy other parts or books while I am at camp?

Of course, you may purchase decoratives, cases or other items while you are here. We do ask, however, that you keep your pre-chosen kit order as originally selected.

12. What do I need to bring?

All tools and materials will be provided for this program. Be sure to bring closed-toe shoes, clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, a lightweight jacket, sweater, or sweatshirt, and a case for your mandolin. (If you prefer, you may purchase a case from us or we can ship your mandolin back to you.)

13. How may I pay for Camp?

You may pay for Camp by check, credit card or PayPal. If you choose to pay with PayPal, we will send you an email invoice for the deposit and then send you a second email invoice for the final payment. If paying by credit card, please call us at 805.365.7111 with your credit card information.

14. If I have to cancel my reservation, is my deposit refundable?

If you cancel by the deadline listed for your camp session (in registration packet), we will refund your deposit less a $50 registration fee ($450 refunded). After the deadline, no refunds will be issued unless we are able to fill your vacancy. Your kit and any options you have purchased (not including the Camp Special #900 tap tuning service) will be mailed to you if we are unable to fill your vacancy.

15. How many students will there be in the program?

To ensure maximum attention to each Camper’s needs, we are limiting program participation to six Campers for Programs A & B and eight for Programs C & D.


Transportation, lodging, and meals:
16. How do I get to Atascadero?

Atascadero is located midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the area known as the Central Coast of California. Depending upon where you are located, you can drive, fly, take the Amtrak train, or a bus.

17. How long does it take to drive to Atascadero from Los Angeles, San Jose, or San Francisco?

We are located about 3-1/2 hours from Los Angeles, about 3 hours from San Jose, and about 4 hours from San Francisco.

18. What is the nearest airport to Atascadero?

The nearest airport is the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport (SBP) located in San Luis Obispo, which is about 20 minutes from Atascadero. Service is provided by United Express and U.S. Airways. Rental car agencies located at the airport are Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz.

19. Is there a train to Atascadero?

Yes, but the Amtrak location in Atascadero is only a bus stop without any services. If taking Amtrak, we suggest you plan to arrive at the San Luis Obispo station, which is about 15 minutes from Atascadero.

20. Are there hotels and motels nearby?

Yes, there are hotels and motels in Atascadero and San Luis Obispo, the two closest cities. We will provide you with a list of lodging options after your registration is confirmed.

21. Can I share a room with someone?

Yes, with your permission we will be sharing email addresses with the other campers. You are welcome to contact other campers and set up your own rooming arrangements.

22. Is there camping nearby if I bring my trailer?

Yes, nearby campgrounds and RV resorts are included in our list of lodging options, which will be sent to you after your registration is confirmed.

23. How do I get from my hotel to camp?

We suggest you carpool with other campers, if possible, or you may drive a rental car (available at the airport).

24. I’d like to bring my spouse. Are there any activities that my spouse can attend?

To maintain class focus, we ask that your spouse join us only for evening programs. The Central Coast is a beautiful area and a common tourist destination. Visit for information.

25. Will vegetarian meals be available?

Yes, we will provide vegetarian options at each meal, if requested Please be sure to note any special dietary needs on your registration form, and we will make every effort to accommodate your request.


Additional questions?
26. What if I still have questions?

Please call us at 805.365.7111 (M-F 8:30-5:00 PST) or email us at kali [at] siminoff [dot] net.