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Montana Lutherie

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Your mandolin family instrument
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  1. The Special History of a Mandolin Pickguard

    Some of you may remember this story, but it's a good one:

    By Bruce Graybill

    When Bruce Weber built my first custom Weber Mandolin, he had me play for several of his builders using my ‘go to’ Mandolin of that time. He had some special cedar from a tree cut in 1910, that he thought would really work well for voicing the kinds of range and timbre of the classical pieces I was playing. Along with the incredible experience of having woods and building style specifically ...
  2. Join the Club

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    photo by Bruce Graybill

    We say on our website: MANDOLIN AUTHORITY Become a member of a group of people who play, work, and live a mandolin inspired life.

    Now I realize right here, at mandolincafe, is the ultimate for that particular group but ours is for those who are also shopping (more accessories to come), contemplating sending in your instrument for a tune up or repair (10% off the accessory or repair service), or MAC Inspection ...
  3. Music Does Make the World a Better Place

    He plays where my Mom was in assisted living and they LOVE it.
    Thanks Steve, and God Bless.

    I am a hospice chaplain in southwest Montana, and I play a Weber mandolin for patients in several facilities and homes. Music works wonders in the hearts of my hospice patients. I am amazed to see a patient diagnosed with dementia open their eyes wider, brighten their countenance, and smile as I play my music. Many times, dementia patients will recall the words to songs and begin singing ...
  4. Buying and Selling Used Mandos

    I don't usually post this often but we have a lot going on with the new website, or it could be today's eclipse...it got down to 66 degrees!

    You may have noticed that we are introducing a new service called Mandolin Authority Certification, or MAC, for short.

    You can send in your mandolin family instrument to be checked out, tuned up, and evaluated. Bruce has worked on many different brands of instruments and we welcome them all (not just for Webers in other words : ...
  5. New Website

    Montana Lutherie's website went live- take a look when you get a chance:
    www.montanalutherie.com

    Still have a few parts and accessories to add but the platform is there!
  6. I Love My Mandolin But...

    No reason to not to love it completely...
    Many players who have sent their instrument in for tweaking, a refret, (or more) say they are so happy their irritant is taken care of. Contact Bruce and talk it over.

    My 1990 Gibson A5-L has been with me since new, and for those 27 years I liked it (once it opened up, anyway), but never loved it. Until Bruce got ahold of it, that is.

    The problem was the uncomfortably sharp V-profile of the neck. Other luthiers told me
    ...
  7. Is Happiness Enough?

    We usually concentrate on our own business but the following is so outrageous (but indicative of some of the repair stories we get) that we want to warn: Let the Player Beware.

    Bruce’s story:
    I was contacted recently by the repair guy of a not-too-small music store asking me how the truss rod worked in a mandolin. I asked him if it had a nut on the end of the truss rod, or could it be adjusted by with an allen wrench. He said it had a nut and I told him it’s a single action ...
  8. Bridge Flips

    Bruce estimates that 20% of the instruments he receives for repair
    have the bridge base flipped around- treble for bass.


    If you notice a decline in tone/volume after a string change, check the bridge. If the base is flipped the bridge doesn't fit well and sometimes can even cause a hum between the bridge base and the soundboard (top).

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    A simple precaution is to mark the bottom of the bridge base with a T and B when ...
  9. Flaming Patterns and Prototypes

  10. Always Insure

    Re-top on a 2012 Gallatin F that was damaged in shipping. Always a good idea to insure, even though it doesn't happen often.

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