Posts Tagged ‘dulcimer’

Mountain Dulcimer

October 27, 2011

[Nun legebla en Esperanto]

Today I finished the dulcimer I made for my wife’s Christmas present. I finally bought the strings, put them on, tuned them up.  The dang thing works and sounds good! Not bad for stone knives and bear skins. The sound box is fashioned from nonconformist pine.  The fingerboard from a stick of oak which I took from an old pallet. The bridge and nut are from the spine of a hard rubber comb. The tuning head is that of a guitar and the frets are banjo frets, both of which I bought. The case in the background was also fashioned by me and sports brass corner and clasp hardware. I’m sure this will give my wife pleasure to play at home and at school for the kids.  I wonder if I could convince her to play it in church…

Mountain Dulcimer

My home made mountain dulcimer which is to be a Christmas gift to my wife.

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Testing my Skill as a Novice Luthier

September 21, 2011

I’ve decided to see how clever I am. I’m going to build a mountain dulcimer for my wife for Christmas. The basic design and instruction are in a book my mom gave me many years ago called ‘Back to Basics’. The book has much advice on how things were done in an early industrial age. One of the projects is to build a mountain dulcimer. the design is rather strait forward and differs from the ‘traditional’ hourglass or teardrop shaped instrument.  If not, I doubt I’d make this attempt.

So this morning I ordered a classical guitar tuning head (3 machines) and some banjo fret wire. The strings, I’ll buy from a music store. About the only tool I don’t have which would make the project easier is a planet to dimension the wood to the proper thickness. I’ve already figured a way around that.

High end dulcimers seem to only be made from wood I cannot get easily, but the ones normal people make seem to be made out of whatever is on hand.  I’ll buy a stick of Walnut for the finger board, but I’ll likely use pine for the sound box.  I can’t see how this would be utter sacrilege as you can buy a dulcimer kit for kids which has a sound box made of cardboard!