The Ranger Project involved designing the body, fretboard peghead shape and a tri-level fixture to cut the body, neck and peghead with one fixturing setup. The fixture raised to three separate levels to cut the body, neck and peghead angles.
We also designed a new inexpensive tailpiece for the Ranger .
This tough little mandolin will go anywhere with you weighing less than two pounds in the case. Sporting a smaller profile than a standard mandolin, but having a standard scale/neck size, it plays like a full size mando. The Ranger has a two-point flare giving it a larger sound chamber than its popular predecessor, ‘The Sweet Pea’, increasing the volume.
Vern Brekke, Engineer
Vern is known for his patented “Brekke Bridge” but is credited for many innovations over the years working with Flatiron, Gibson, Weber, and now Montana Lutherie. His most comprehensive instrument design was the Weber “Maverick” electric mandolin which received a very positive review by Martin Stallion at Emando.com.
Vern is a pro at thinking outside of the box when it comes to acoustic instruments and their hardware, as proven in the Brekke Bridge designs that can give players the ability to have an adjustable bridge on any instrument, Flat or Carved. His influence can be seen on all Weber instrument models that have been copied by many builder worldwide. His contributions to making instruments play better and easier has sparked the imaginations of many luthiers and has changed forever the historical box the mandolin industry was stuck in.
Not limited to the mandolin family only, Vern has reached into the the resonator world as well with improvements to the soundwell, spider and biscuit cone assemblies.
In addition, he has written several articles and responses to online posts about mandolin bridges and Weber products on Mandolin Café. “The Weber Mortise and Tenon Neck Joint” article explained the differences between the Weber neck joint and a Gibson dovetail joint. “The Loar-Style Bridge vs. the Brekke Bridge” article described the advantages of the new “Brekke Bridge”. His designs and products have been featured in articles by Mandolin Magazine and Vintage Guitar Magazine.
Wrote the proposal to define the department and the job description for the engineering manager.
My first commercial design was a massage table, sold by Serendipity Designs, that featured a Swing-lock leg support system. Most massage tables during that time period had folding braces to support the legs and center of the table. Occasionally the braces would loosen or break. This table design had solid one-piece braces.
The tables were sold in California during the 1980's. I still have the first prototype and it works great.
This was well before my time as a design engineer for Weber or the development of the Brekke Bridge. I had not used a CAD program or a CAM program to do designs or programming to cut designs with a CNC. It was all hand-work with simple tools, in my carport..