21st c. luthiers from Mainland USA click for more
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.
Bruce Herron - Blue Star
From Michigan, the range includes the Konablaster Pineapple Ukulele in Soprano or Baritone sizes and the Mandoblaster 4 or 5 string Mandolin (possibly others but I haven't seen them?) There is no website that I can find but Elderly Instruments seems to be the main reseller so if you wanted one you could try contacting them. The Konablaster is famous for having a carpet like covering on the back and sides, (supposedly to prevent it slipping if you plays standing up?). But even more so for the recall of the Soprano - its bridge consists of a nickel-plated 30.06 shell. The bullet and main charge have been removed but Bruce neglected to detonate or remove the cartridge's primer charge before installing it. The story is, this was discovered when someone tried to solder a whammy bar onto the instrument and it went BANG! They are made safe first now though (I hope)
Jake Maclay - Hive
From Santa Cruz, California, he graduated from the Robert-Venn School of Luthiery in the spring of 2005 and went to work for Rick Turner at Compass Rose. After a couple of years here he left to start up on his own. He makes two models of Tenor, the Hornet and the Honey Bee. They are both spruce tops, with the usual selection of back and sides and a mahogany neck. He says he will make Soprano and Concert models but I've never seen any?
A graduate of the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, he worked for Warmoth Custom Guitars before starting up on his own in Addison, Maine. He makes mainly Guitars but does include custom Ukuleles as part of his output. He also believes in using local and reclaimed wood to make his instruments. he says "The names Gronlund and Newcomb were chosen for my instruments to
honor family heritage" and he puts a GNG on the headstock
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