21st c. Luthiers from Hawaii 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.
Tom Parse - Hokukano (Ranch) / Far North
He is a member of the Big Island Ukulele Guild who spends his time between Kealakekua on the Big Island, (winter), and Fairbanks, Alaska, (summer; but he may move to Hawaii full time). He was an Aero Mechanic by trade, who learned luthiery with Sam Rosen and now, having retired, works as a full time luthier. He makes Soprano, Concert and Tenor scales, and with his co-location uses koa from Hawaii and spruce from Alaska (as well as a number of other local and exotic woods, including Spanish cedar for all his necks and kerfing, and ebony for the fretboards). He uses carbon both as neck reinforcement and as a bridge plate under the saddle and mastodon ivory for his nuts and saddles; and sometimes some inlay. Another feature of his builds with a 15 foot radius bowl shape on the back and a 25 foot radius arch on the top for extra strength; and he is moving toward the thinner body shapes too. The Ukuleles he makes in Alaska he calls "Far North" and the ones from Hawaii "Hokukano" (but I have sometimes seen them as "Hokukano Ranch" as well)
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