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EverythingDulcimer

1st post & 1st build in progress


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Hi there, this is my first post here, saying hello! 

I build classical guitars as a hobby, and is intrigued when I discovered the dulcimer on the web. It's a unique instrument, certainty not seen in my part of the world. I told myself to build one, and so am joining this community to learn as I build. The construction is my interpretation of material I got from the web. Hope to get pointers here.

It's 520mm scale length (20.5 in), which is shorter than the norm, so I may encounter some unique challenges. Woods are Sapele top and sides, padauk/Khaya back and beech fingerboard and headstock.

Here are some pictures of the ongoing build.

IMG_20210605_143750.thumb.jpg.909ec483fb8739f0ee95fe0847ba9340.jpg

IMG_20210607_145830.thumb.jpg.7b1421de25a414b85fd2382b82f0244e.jpg

Cheers!

Will update as the build progresses.

LLPP

 

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Where are you from? Nice choice of woods.

Build looks very nice.  Good job for working from on-line stuff without asking questions first.  The build seems over-built by modern techniques -- stub ends of the tuning head inside the box, all those kerf strips, very thick scroll head bits, heavy braces.    These days almost no one uses kerf strips unless they are going to install bindings at the side/top and side/back junctions -- the kerf gives you somethings to glue the binding to.  Modern glues such as TiteBond are so much stronger than hide glues and earlier glues that there is no need today for the extra glue surfaces of kerf strips.  Cross braces only need to be 1/4" x 3.8" maximum.  

How thick are the bottom/top/sides?  Is the fretboard hollowed underneath?

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Nice first dulcimer build. I agree with the comments Noterman made. I look forward to hearing the sound of the instrument when it is completed.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

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@NoterMan

I am from Singapore. 

As I'm learning as I build, plus this is my first steel string instrument, so I'm being conservative. Top & sides are 2.5mm & bottom's 3mm. Fretboard is not hollowed (you mean across, right?) as I've made it quite thin at 10mm. I'll try that in a bigger dulcimer together with a stand alone bridge. I've positioned the integrated bridge higher and closer to the center of the lower bout for this build for increased volume, and placed a couple of top braces from the bridge to the f-holes.

@KWL

Thanks. I have just boxed it up, and next will be installing the frets, linings and polishing.

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When we refer to a hollowed fretboard we mean down the length (except under a strum hollow) turning the fretboard into an inverted U shape.  This reduces the mass of the fretboard and gives a tiny bit more soundboard to vibrate.  The other hollowing -- crosswise -- is called an arched fretboard.  There is no real need for top braces -- the top already has that massive brace (called the fretboard) running down it's length.  Some of us re-inforce the area around delicate sound holes with thin pasteboard or veneer on the underside, but true top braces are not necessary.  

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