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.
Kevin Gillies - Oi
From Santa Barbara, California, he started out as a cabinetmaker in 1975 and learned luthiery whilst living on Maui. He started Oi Instruments after moving back to Santa Barbara on the Mainland. He makes Tenor and Baritone scale Ukuleles from Mango or Redwood and Maple plus Terz Guitars, OM size Guitars and Weissenborn Lap Steels.
From Santa Cruz, California, he has been building Instruments since 1969. Though he does still advertise Guitars on the website he says since 1995 he moved almost exclusively onto Ukulele making. His catalogue consists of the main four scales in the standard woods, (plus Bamboo), the standard shapes including Pineapple and Banjo, 4,6 or 8 string and 3 levels of decoration. He also does the odd custom/novelty Ukulele
Thomas Heller - Killer
From Carlsbad California, and I have only seen Killer Tenors though he say he will make other scale lengths as a custom option. I believe he started Ukulele production in 2012 and there is a Killer Ukes Facebook page where he kind of blogs about them. He has been woodworking for more than 30 years and his luthiery to now has been mainly Guitars. He says he has learned a lot from Pepe Romero and the rest of the Romero family which helps him to make better instruments
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