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.

Guy Wright - Heart Strings

He also likes to use the pseudonym GrandpaGuy and I believe has retired from full time work. I don't have very much information on this luthier, (there is not much on the website), but he promotes world peace through the Silk Road Project. The early Ukulele he made were all heart shaped but it 2013 he expanded the catalogue with teardrop shaped Ukuleles, and seems to have become more professional in his marketing. It looks from the older photos like he has made Tenor scale instruments in the past but its all Sopranos and Concerts now. One thing to note about his building is the very squared off neck profile another is even with the teardrops he uses a heart shaped bridge.

Hank Johnson - Kimo

Based in San Marcos, California, he started making Ukuleles in the early 2000's having learned the art for a luthier called John Greven. He specialises in Ukuleles as he has a love of all things Hawaiian. He makes a range of classic and contemporary Ukulele designs in his catalogue in Soprano, Concert and Tenor scales which he will then customise as required with extra strings, sound hole configurations, electrification, carbon fibre strengthening or even making a Baritone. One other form of customisation he offerers is to have artwork from a number ocean artists added to the instrument and from his back catalogue it appears he makes mainly Tenors. He has a Kimo headstock logo but he doesn't use it on all of his instruments and he also likes to experiment with the design of his neck heals
One of his standard models is called "Nalu" this has nothing to do the the Chinese/California brand called Nalu

Jay Lichty Guitars

From Tryon, North Carolina, he has been a carpenter for over 20 years, in 2009 due to a downturn in his normal work he made a Ukulele to see how that would go? It went so well he gave up other work to become a full time luthier. Ukuleles still make up a large part of his output, however he makes some Guitars too now. He mainly makes Concert, Tenor and Baritone Ukuleles and only does the smaller sizes as a special order. One other feature of some of his Ukuleles have highly decorated Soundboards, work done by Clark Hipiloto

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