Handcrafted Instruments

by Al McWhorter

Member, Guild of American Luthiers


The New Standard Series Concert Ukuleles Are Here!

Click HERE for details these new models



Simplicity is Elegance

When I decided to begin making ukuleles for sale, I promised myself that I would always remember a lesson that I learned from my father: Simplicity is Elegance. The most successful designs are those that make the most of the least. Why increase the weight of an instrument and dampen its ability to resonate naturally in the name of making it...fancier? That's why I make my finishes thin and keep my decoration to a minimum. Like the vintage Martin and Kamaka instruments that I admire so much, SpruceHouse Ukuleles are very light and a little plain. But there is nothing plain about the sound.

Being a one-man operation has its blessings and its curses. I have the freedom to work at my own pace, and to devote my full attention to creating the best instrument possible for each customer - whether it be a stock model or custom. I know that each instrument will be my responsibility alone and that I will be the sole recipient of any praise or blame. There is a certain freedom and satisfaction in that autonomy. There is also the ultimate consumer benefit of my low overhead costs resulting in lower-priced instruments. I make more money per instrument and you pay less. That's a pretty good arrangement. The downside is that I cannot churn out a lot of instruments at a time and that means that I make less money and receive less notoriety. I can't spend much time traveling to trade shows and ukulele festivals, writing books, making videos, or snatching up celebrity endorsments. - all things that would enhance my public presence and increase my business. I must content myself with being a "boutique" builder and leaving The Big Time to others. Frankly, I consider all of my customers as celebrities. Hopefully, there will always be those ukulele enthusiasts who embrace the small builder and see value in an instrument that embodies the philosophy and spirit of the solitary luthier, doing his best.

I believe that my instruments speak for themselves. Perhaps they'll speak to you.

                                         -Al McWhorter





SpruceHouse now accepts PayPal! See "Ordering" page.



Hear my interview on the internet radio program "Uke Chat," Now archived HERE



SpruceHouse T-Shirts are Now Available!

See Ordering page for details




SpruceHouse Ukuleles are Handmade

in Eugene, Oregon


Follow SpruceHouse Ukuleles on Facebook

get the latest news and product info. Click HERE to join.


Get real-time updates on Twitter @sprucehouse


Read an article about SpruceHouse Ukuleles in the

Eugene Register-Guard

Read the article here




I built my first ukulele, a concert-sized instrument, back in 2001-2002. At that time, I documented the experience in words and pictures.

To view this detailed, step-by-step, narrative, click on the picture above.


Have you recently purchased a SpruceHouse instrument?

Click Here for information on its care and feeding.


Watch a short, historic ukulele-making film!


Read my new novel for teens and young adults, The Mariner's Ghost

Now available as an ebook for all platforms, including Kindle, Nook and Apple iPad.

Click HERE to learn more.


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For more Information, email us at:

Please note: Over the last several years, a number of people have asked to come by for a shop tour. SpruceHouse is a small, one-man operation and my shop is in my home. I regret to say that I am not set up for tours. Most of the time, I have few, if any instruments to show because most are sold before they are built. It's a wonderful problem to have, but it is disappointing to have to tell people that the cupboard is bare. That is also why I attend very few festivals and industry shows. I rarely have anything to show! Hopefully. in time, I will be able to expand and have a larger, more customer-friendly shop and showroom. Until then, please accept my apologies.