21st c. luthiers from Mainland USA click for more

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In being on the look out for nice Ukuleles I see the work of a number of full and part time luthiers. The instruments they make look very nice and worthy of note.

Brad Donaldson

From Cannon Beach, Oregon, it started as a hobby/part time thing in the early 1980's, but since retiring in 2005 he has been doing it full time. He makes Mandolins and Guitars but his preference is for Ukuleles and he makes them on spec for sale in shops or custom ones to order.

James DeCava

From Connecticut, he started out in the 1970's working for the Liberty Banjo company but in the mid 80's he left to start his own firm concentrating on Guitars. He currently makes Guitars, (with a reputation for 7 or 8 string Guitars), Banjos and Mandolins but has recently introduced a couple of models of Ukulele into his catalogue, the Maui Creek and the Jazz Archtop. As far as I can see neither DeCava or Liberty before him ever made Banjoleles.

Nathan Sweet - ArCane

ArCane is the brand name used by California USA luthier Nathan Sweet. He specialises in making travel instruments that are also walking sticks, though he can turn his hand to more traditional shapes. His main catalogue consists of the walking stick type instrument with either a round handle or a knob handle, or he takes away the walking stick element and then calls it a Pocket instrument. He creates pretty much any chordophone you want, Guitars, Banjos, Violins, (including a travel bow), Mandolins, Dulcimers and of course all scales of Ukulele, including a Taropatch. One thing to note - all of his travel instruments come with Zither style tuning pegs.

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