21st c. luthiers from Mainland USA click for more

Tate Chmielewski stera coffin ukulele
Stera "Coffin" Ukulele
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.

Al McWhorter - SpruceHouse

A former professional musician, now based in Eugene, Oregon he built his first Ukulele in 2001 using a knowledge of woodworking, musical instruments and what he could learn from books. In 2004 he founded SpruceHouse Ukuleles and started serious production of both a standard catalogue and a custom service based around the standard range. He makes Soprano through to Baritone scales with a 14 fret long neck Soprano option and a choice of 12 or 14 fret to the body, Tenors, (he calls the 14 fret option a long neck Concert because he uses the Concert body mould), plus a Pineapple Soprano or long neck Soprano. He often, but not always, puts a pine cone motif on his headstocks as a logo.

Roy Toepper - RT Custom Guitars

Based in Bloomingdale, Michigan he started his Guitar making enterprise in 1990. He specialises mainly in Guitars, hence the name, particularly archtop Guitars but also makes octave Guitars Mandolins and some Ukuleles, (I've not seen an archtop one though). He makes a point of not using any laminates or plastics on his instruments, the edge bindings, and other trim are usually made from figured hardwoods and he puts a stylized RT on the headstock as a logo.

Tate Chmielewski - Stera Instruments

Based in Louisville, Kentucky and building since 2009, he makes electric and acoustic cigar box style instruments. I say cigar box style because although he does use cigar boxes he also uses a number of other box like containers, both manmade and natural for his instruments and a lot of his output is 4 stringed and Ukulele scale, (though he does do 4 strings guitar scale instruments as well)

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