Mandolins, Mandolas, Octaves, Mandocellos, Resos, Carve Top Guitars
There is sometimes a definite feeling of ‘possibilities’ when buying a new set of strings. Perhaps for some it is new inspiration in playing or song writing, however for Bruce buying mandolin strings was a crossroads in his life…
Along with Bruce, Mary began working with mandolins in 1987 with Flatiron Mandolins, then Gibson Guitar, Weber Mandolins, and now Montana Lutherie.
The senior Webers have been blessed to live at their shop loving the integration of work and home. Mandolins are just part of their lives. Calling herself ‘The Generalist’, she generally helps out and fills in for the real experts where and when needed such as customer service, website work, admin, cleaning, detailing parts, and shipping.
Mary thinks it is a most happy and fulfilling life striving to create dream instruments for players and their music.
While growing up in Michigan left-handed instruments were always hard to find, so Ryan made the decision to try and make his own- discovering lutherie. He attended Minnesota State Southeast Tech to participate in their two year Lutherie Program. After graduation Ryan was accepted into the National Institute of Wood Finishing where he graduated with honors and, during this period, was lucky enough to apprentice under the great Mitch Kohanek.
Once finished with college, Ryan tried his hand at antique restoration down south. Eventually, longing to work with instruments again, he got a job at Santa Cruz Guitar Company where he was taught production finishing. Wanting the challenge of running his own finish shop, his next position was Lead Finisher for Weber Mandolins in Oregon. Ryan says, “Working with Bruce Jr. and Senior really taught me the art of making fine instruments. An opportunity arose in Montana and I made the decision to pursue it, leaving Two Old Hippies/Weber. I still get a rush walking into the booth and there no better place to do it than Montana Lutherie.”
Vern is known for his patented “Brekke Bridge” but is credited for many innovations over the years working with Flatiron, Gibson, Weber, and now Montana Lutherie. His most comprehensive instrument design was the Weber “Maverick” electric mandolin which received a very positive review by Martin Stallion at Emando.com. Vern is a pro at thinking outside of the box when it comes to acoustic instruments and their hardware, as proven in the Brekke Bridge designs that can give players the ability to have an adjustable bridge on any instrument, Flat or Carved. His influence can be seen on all Weber instrument models that have been copied by many builder worldwide. His contributions to making instruments play better and easier has sparked the imaginations of many luthiers and has changed forever the historical box the mandolin industry was stuck in.
Not limited to the mandolin family only, Vern has reached into the the resonator world as well with improvements to the soundwell, spider and biscuit cone assemblies.
In addition, he has written several articles and responses to online posts about mandolin bridges and Weber products on Mandolin Café. “The Weber Mortise and Tenon Neck Joint” article explained the differences between the Weber neck joint and a Gibson dovetail joint. “The Loar-Style Bridge vs. the Brekke Bridge” article described the advantages of the new “Brekke Bridge”. His designs and products have been featured in articles by Mandolin Magazine and Vintage Guitar Magazine.