If you work primarily with hand tools the cost of setting up is not too great. There are a few things you will want/need that plug in; a bending iron or heat blanket for forming the sides is one. A router is useful for making jigs and such, even if you don't use it on the guitar. I can't drill a perpendicular hole without a drill press (pillar drill to the Brits). A small bench grinder makes quick work of sharpening, but you'll still need good honing stones. Whatever you get for tools, try to get good ones: they work better and last much longer. Don't forget that the shop space itself is a tool: even if you work out of a disused bedroom you'll need a good solid bench. Nobody ever has enough clamps, but a good bench top can double as a 'go-bar deck' by simply putting a piece of plywood on the ceiling above it. With a drill press you can make a whole box of spool clamps in a day to use gluing tops and backs on. I use a long strip of rubber cut from an inner tube to clamp the bindings: traditionally they used cotton twine.
Apprenticeships along traditional lines are uncommon here in the USA: I don't know what the situation is elsewhere. There are many luthiers around who conduct classes of various sorts. Some of these are ongoing sessions where the students make instruments on their own schedule. Others are more organized and intensive, typically lasting a couple of weeks. The object with these is usually just to make one guitar. There are also schools that have regular programs that are more formal and are directed toward those who want to make lutherie a career.
In the US there are two main organizations directed primarily at guitar makers:
The Guild of American Luthiers, headquartered in Tacoma Washington (www.luth.org
) is primarily an information sharing group. They publish a quarterly magazine, 'American Lutherie', and hold conventions in Tacoma on a regular basis.
A.S.I.A, the Associated String Instrument Artisans, (www.guitarmaker.org
) also publishes a quarterly magazine, 'Guitarmaker', and holds periodic Symposia. It started as an offshoot of the GAL with the objective of becoming a more professional organization. They hold their meetings in Pennsylvania, and have settled into being the east coast alternative to the GAL.
The cost of joining either organization is not great, and I'd suggest at least looking into both. Both will have resources that can help direct you to learning opportunities.