Nashua River Instruments

Trout Uke Closeup

I build guitars, ukuleles, and other instruments from a variety of woods and materials that I select for visual appeal, tonal qualities, and workability. Materials range from Rosewoods and Mahoganies to Hawaiian Koa, Bloodwood, African Bubinga, Oregon Myrtle, Redwood, Maple and others.

Each wood has its own unique characteristics both in terms of musical brightness, darkness, and sustain. Woods also vary greatly in workability. The amount of heat and moisture needed for bending varies with wood type. Some of the oilier woods need extra care in gluing.

My goal is to imagine and build instruments that have distinctive personalities that evolve from combinations of distinctive colors, textures, grains, and contrasting or complementary materials -- and to offer these instruments at prices at or below the cost of quality name-brand instruments.

Please click the links above for pictures and descriptions of instruments I’ve built. And please send me an email or give me a call if you’d like to talk about an instrument shown here; an instrument you’d like built; or life, art, and the universe in general.

My site includes some pages that may be of special interest to other builders or players. I suggest that any builder look at the Mandolinetto pages in this site’s instrument section. I built the instrument shown there from drawings I made from a 100 year old instrument that a player kindly sent to me on loan. I will send copies of my 1:1 scale drawings on request to any interested builder. Over the past several years I have sent copies to experienced and first-time builders in the U.S. and also in England, Scotland, and Ireland.


For those who think they are not musicians but would like to be, I point you to the Ukulele 101 section where you will find a downloadable pdf “Ukulele 101” instructional handbook I put together for an annual workshop I present as a fundraiser for a local arts organization. The workshop and the booklet are based on my belief that anyone can learn to play the ukulele (albeit badly at first) in the key of C in two hours.

Jim Webster
Nashua River Instruments