Sound To Earth Orchard had big, beautiful cherries this year, even though the crop was small due to a cold, wet spring. We mailed out cherries, sold and traded them locally, and many went to Flathead Cherry Association’s Washington Fruit Company. It’s been an adventure and we appreciate you guys joining us. If you like, check out our cherry website, and subscribe to get blog updates with 10% off your next year’s cherry order!
Following is another nice letter we received from a happy player: Hi Bruce, Despite my anxiety attack, the mando got here safe and sound. It was waiting on the doorstep, freshly arrived when I went home for lunch yesterday.I can’t tell you how pleased I am with how it plays and sounds. It has a lightness and sweetness of tone that I can’t get from my other instruments. It’s like it has come to life.I don’t know what magic happens in Montana, but my mandos have all been the better for visiting there and taking the cure!
I know this is REALLY early but some of the engraved items take about 6 weeks to make, plus inlay customization can take awhile, too.
Following are a few ideas for that Mando Player in your life.
Customized Truss Rod Covers and Harmonic Suppressors are popular: engraving on Mother of Pearl or Abalone, inlay of initials to your own logo or design. Check out our Galleries for ideas, and general pricing in the commerce section. The process can seem a bit confusing and it’s most often necessary to talk/email with Bruce to nail down exactly what is wanted- he can help with suggestions, ideas, and give you a cost estimate.
We are keeping a list of people who would like to be contacted when we begin building Ranger Travel Mandolins again. Unfortunately our move set back building quite a bit longer than we expected. Bruce has been working on instrument repairs, customizations and parts but things like the building’s electrical work, the spray booth and, now, getting heat in the shop keep coming up…of course. We’re getting there though!
There is a forest fire, about 6 miles from our place, that is pretty much under control now. However things got exciting for awhile and did burn several houses. Our hearts go out to these people.
Also we had our first Cherry Harvest! Luckily we had a lot of great help. Following are a few pictures.
It’s taken awhile but we are now taking orders on Parts: Traditional Bridges, Armrests, Truss Rod Covers, and Harmonic Suppressors. Thanks to all who have patiently waited!!
Go to the link above to check out the advantages of all Montana Lutherie Parts. In this post I want to highlight our Ebony Traditional Bridges. This innovative bridge design aids the strings in driving the soundboard, enhancing tone and volume with no interference. They are ‘tried and true’ over the past 20 years for all mandolin family instruments with saddles guaranteed to remain unbowed by string pressure over time. For: Mandolins, Mandolas, Octaves, Mandocellos, and Arch Top Guitars.
Improvements Over Classical Bridge Designs:
This bridge may be adjusted under full string tension
Because a brass bar embedded in the bottom of the saddle supports the entire string area of the saddle, the saddle can be made much smaller than the common old, historical-style saddle.
The brass bar also insures that the saddle will not bow, sag or break in the middle over time.
The design also eliminates the screw holes in each end of the saddle that were a part of the old-style.
When adjusting the thumbwheels all pressure is directed down against the bridge base instead of up against the saddle as in the older designs. This increased surface contact from thumbwheel to base gives your instruments a truer tone and more volume.
We believe these features give the bridge a more elegant appearance and better mid-frequency functionality.
To make the bridge easier to use, the top half of each thumbwheel has been machined to accept a slim profile 5/16 wrench included with each bridge.
Image shows Bruce consulting with building helper who wants to know if the treats go in that room. But no, it’s the spray booth area.
Things are moving along now that it’s not winter anymore -for the moment anyway. We should be partially in the new shop in a few weeks, and can begin making parts and Rangers once again- Lord willing and the creek don’t rise (a bluegrass title if there ever was one). We really appreciate the patience of those waiting for pickguards, Rangers, etc. Of course Bruce is still doing repairs, tune ups and all sorts of things in the temporary shop.
These pics are a little old and things are a bit farther along, but this will be Bruce’s bench area:
Here’s the view from his window:
The outside has a ways to go, but can be tackled later. After all it’s a 100 year old barn!