21st c. luthiers from Mainland USA click for more

In being on the lookout 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.

Bill Bussmann Old Wave Mandolins

Based in Caballo, New Mexico and founded in 1990 however he officially learned luthiery by apprenticing with luthier R.L. Crawford during 1992 and 93. He primarily makes all types of Mandolin but he has made a lot of other chordophones over the years including archtop and flattop acoustic and electric Guitars, stick and electric Basses, novelty and cigar box instruments, but not officially Ukuleles. In his wide catalogue of Mandolin models though there is a 4 string wide necked Mandolinetto model he calls "the Jazz" however that does look very like an archtop Ukulele and could certainly be used as one if it hasn't already been and as he makes Mandolins, Mandolas and Octave Mandolins it could come as Concert, Tenor or Baritone.

Gordon Bischoff

Based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin he studied luthiery in 1974 at Redwing Technical College in Minnesota having also studied music at the University of Wisconsin. for some time after studying Luthiers he was also working as a professional musician but in the 1990's he settled down to making chordophones and working as a repair technician for the local music shop. In 2010 he "discovered" the Ukulele and since then has included them as a major part of his catalogue. I have only seen Concert and Tenor scale Ukuleles from him using a number of woods including some reclaimed stuff. He puts a B on the headstock of his Ukuleles though he does the whole Biscoff on his Guitars and he uses mainly friction pegs for tuners.

Jeffrey Weitzel

Based in Eugene, Oregon he is a sculptor by training having got a degree in 1995 from the University of Oregon. In 2008 he started working at the University of Oregon’s Craft Center, helping run a facility that includes a large wood shop, and from this started making chordophones finding that he lied to make them more than just static sculptures. He has since 2015 gone full time making instruments, specialising in Banjos but making a number of other things as well including Banjoleles and all wood Banjo type Ukuleles in Baritone and Concert scales. Due to his background his work does include a sculptural element to it and a number of non-traditional innovations.

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