"...make the next one, and the next one, and the next one... it's out there somewhere."
Or, rather... It's IN there somewhere. Just waiting to get out.
The journey is the adventure; more so than the destination.
Back in the 80's and 90's, in Florida, I built quite a few small boats, dories, skiffs, etc. Or bought interesting hulls and refurbed them into something really cool. Many of the craft that I built were furniture quality millwork and joinery. Lots of teak, tidewater cypress, mahogany, etc. The marinas and yacht owners that I worked with and for, called me "Tony Teak".
I would dream and design, and craft these boats... launch and run each of them... once, twice, maybe three times... and then sell it. It wasn't about having
the coolest boat, it was about building
the coolest boat. They sold very well though, I never advertised, just parked it out front and within a week or so, it was gone. And by then I was already into the next one.
So I get it man. I get that it's more about the creative process and crafting, than it is about keeping something or high production.
"...followed the normal route of giving them to friends and relatives until I ran out of people and they got good enough to sell..."
This is where I am at now. And I am retired/semi-retired. Or rather, we are, my partner and I. And she is very supportive of this dulcimer thing. And patient with my playing ability (or lack thereof). I just turned 54 a few days ago, and I think I have enough time left in life to start one more "thing". I think that "thing" is going to be dulcimers. I don't need to make a million bucks at it, or grow some big business or shop. I just want something creative and fun to do for a while, until I get too old and decrepit to do it anymore. One last project to add to my little legacy.
So that is why I keep asking all of these questions and digging around in the research.
The woodworking and using the tools/equipment... I got. I have a lot of shop tools already and I'm not afraid to spend a few more grand getting whatever I need or want. I already have my wishlist made up. Right now, we're looking at properties... I want a better location for doing this. We'll probably keep the farm, for its resources and standing lumber. But we're looking at homes with a detached shop, or space for a shop, in a more conducive area for a retail location than where we are now. Augusta KY and Morehead KY are prime suspects. I have an appointment on Saturday to look at a place in Augusta.
I hate giving up living out here in the country, as I look out the window to see a hawk flying by and two deer standing in my field about 80 feet away... but we hope to find something just outside of a little town that will be better for business. Maybe semi-rural as opposed to this... very rural.
So anyway... I'm not sure why I shared all of that... but I felt it only fair for some reason.
So now you know why I ask so many dumb questions and try to pick all of your brains for little morsels about building. I truly do want to produce the very best instruments at an accessible price point. I think as a "folk" instrument, these should be available to Folks... even the less fiscally able folks. That's sort of my goal, is to make very playable and good quality instruments at an affordable price for folks. I may do some higher-end models occasionally, but I think the staple stable will be in the $100 to $400 range. This is my concept... we'll see how well it actually flies.
P.S. - To keep this post as an on-topic entry: I just shared with you all, my own, "interesting dulcimer experiment".
Wish me luck