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!
We are finally settled at our new place and Bruce is happily working away in his (temporary) shop and accepting tune ups, repairs and customizations. If you have something going just email or give him a call.
A few things are backlogged until the old barn we’re renovating gets a little more finished- winter caught up with us. You can see the tracks of one of our ‘neighbors’ …black bear prints passing right in front of the shop door!
We love it here and hope to see some of our mando friends passing through this summer!
Just a note to let you know the shop is now shutdown until September 2020, when we’ll be set up at our new place. (We do have the two MAC instruments left: the Gibson F5L and Weber Bitterroot F. So keep in mind for September!) We’ll miss the old school, but it’s a bit big for us now, and we retain all of the memories of luthiers, players, vendors, dealers, and mandolins.
So schedule your Mando’s trip to ‘The Mando Spa’, as several of our players have taken to calling it, in the fall. Don’t hesitate to contact Bruce to talk about repairs or ordering a new mando, if you like. I’m sure he’d like to take a break from packing.
If you’re interested in ordering a Ranger, parts or accessories, please watch the website and our FaceBook page for reopening/ordering information, or don’t hesitate to Contact Us directly (we’ll still be online}.
Just to let you know, we are not shut down for repairs or new instruments.
Sporting a smaller profile than a standard mandolin, but having a standard scale/neck size, it plays like a full size mando. It’s also a great Beginner Mandolin as you can be assured of quality construction and setup at a reasonable price, with great Player Support, and made in the USA. It comes with a handy small Mandolin Chord Book.
This tough little mandolin will go anywhere with you weighing less than two pounds in the case.
Also, Consider Personalization! This one sports a Walnut Body, Ebony Radius Fingerboard, Ebony Peghead, Rosette Soundhole, and Custom Peghead Inlay
AND- He Liked It!!
Hi Mary and Bruce, I am so sorry for the late response. I was out of town when the Ranger arrived (a neighbor held it). What a pleasant surprise when I got it in my hands! I can only write good things. Great fit and finish, excellent setup, and gorgeous inlay! Out of the box and tuned, the Ranger was incredible to play – as smooth as butter. I decided to take it to a couple of jams to see how it “fit in”. Wow! Even with its diminutive size, this mandolin has a strong voice. Although I expected to use the Ranger as a easily accessible practice and travel instrument, I think it will spend some time in public. Thank you, Mary and Bruce for returning to Montana, opening Montana Lutherie, and building my Ranger. Without a doubt, it is the best travel mandolin. (And, again, the wheat shock inlay is stunning – I love it!) My Best, R. D.