Long-Neck Soprano with Cardinal Inlay

Recently completed in early 2017, here’s a Long-Neck Soprano Ukulele (soprano body with a concert neck and scale) made of Claro Walnut (back and sides), Lutz Spruce (top), Mahogany (neck), Koa (binding and sound hole ring), and Indian Rosewood (fingerboard and bridge) with Grover Gold open-back tuners.  The instrument features a special inlay of a male Cardinal perched on a… (more…)

Art Deco Tenor Ukulele

This is a recently completed (early 2014) tenor ukulele where the client wanted special inlays using an Art Deco theme.  The headstock is based on a frieze above the entrance to Rockefeller Center by early 20th-century architectural sculpterLee Lawrie depicting “Knowledge” (or Zeus if you like).  The fingerboard inlay is based on the sculpture of Atlas (also by Lawrie) that… (more…)

Baritone Guitar with Wave Inlay, May 2013

I recently finished a baritone guitar with a new inlay design.  The guitar features  curly Claro Walnut back and sides, Lutz Spruce top, Walnut neck and bindings, and Ebony head plate, finger board, and bridge.  It has a 28.04 inch scale and is tune to “B”, a fourth below normal guitar tuning.  The sustain and richness of the sound is… (more…)

New Concert and Tenor Ukuleles

Here’s a pair of ukuleles (concert and tenor) that I just finished and delivered to a customer who lives in Cleveland.  The bodies, body binding, and head plates are curly koa, with mahogany necks, and ebony fingerboard and bridge.   Both sound as good as they look.

Tiger Ukulele Finished

The tenor ukulele with the inlay of a tiger is finally done.  I began working on this last March with a client in New York City who wanted a special inlay.  We finally settled on this image of a tiger standing on a cliff overlooking a large body of water with hills and mountains in the background above which are… (more…)

Milwaukee Ukulele Festival 2012

Mason Guitars and Ukuleles was at the Milwaukee Ukulele Festival on October 20, 2012.  We had a great time showing and talking ukuleles with the attendees.  Here are some photos:  

Grit Laskin Inlay Design Class

I spent six days this summer (July 2012) at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Greenwood, Indiana with 11 other guitar builders in a class that focused on designing guitar inlays taught by Grit Laskin. His inlays are works of art and tell stories rather than just being decorative. Although we spent some time practicing our inlay and engraving… (more…)

New Build: Baritone Guitar Under Construction

I’m taking a break from ukuleles and building a guitar–a baritone guitar.  It will have a 28″ scale (3″ longer than most normal guitars), and while the body is a standard size Grand Auditorium, the neck is longer and the interior top bracing needs to be shifted and slightly beefed up.  It will be tuned in “b”–a fourth below normal… (more…)

Concert Ukulele Finished December 2011

Concert Ukulele, Detail

Here’s a new ukulele that I finished in December 2011.  It’s a concert size featuring all curly koa body, with koa bindings, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, bridge, and head stock, Grover open-back tuners, and bone nut and saddle.  The inlay is  maile leaves in paua abalone and vine in gold mother of pearl.   It is very easy to play, and… (more…)

Just Finished: Tenor Ukulele

Just finished a new tenor ukulele.  It is a commission and the buyer is picking it up today.  It sounds and plays as great as it looks.  It’s an all koa body (moderately figured) with maple body binding, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard, bridge, and head plate, bone saddle and nut, and Grover, black buttoned tuners.  Not much decoration on this… (more…)