21st c. luthiers from Mainland USA click for more

Charles Willer Custom Instruments soprano Ukulele
Chuck Willer Soprano
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.

Chris Ellingsen

Based in Grayslake, Illinois where his full time profession is an "Applied Technology Instructor" (or woodwork teacher; and part time coach of the high school's Lacrosse team) he has made a number of Concert, Superconcert and Tenor Ukuleles often featuring a lot of decoration and some interesting sound holes.

Chuck Willer (Custom Instruments)

Based in Malabar, Florida he is a third generation wood worker who has a degree in mechanical engineering and worked at this for twenty years before becoming a luthier some time before 2007. He makes mainly acoustic Guitars and Mandolins but does include Ukuleles as an option on his website and from what I have seen all of his Ukuleles are Sopranos.

Joe Mendel (Fretted Instruments)

Based in Chesterfield, Missouri he Mendel Fretted Instruments in 1994 having previously studied luthiery at South Plains College, Levelland, Texas. He was only part time to start with and only went full time in 2006. He makes all manner of acoustic fretted chordophones including Guitars and Banjos but is probably most well known for his Octave Mandolins. His standard catalogue does include 16 fret Concert and Tenor Ukuleles, (with the option on either to have 12 or 14 frets to the body), and I have seen Concert Banjoleles from him too. Though I have seen him experiment with alternative designs for some instruments I have only ever seen standard 4 string figure 8 Ukuleles from him.

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