Would love a picture or three for my files, Wally. Thanx in advance.
Jaromin dulcimer kit from Annalisa's Crafts
Good point Wally. I really was not criticizing the design, just wondering about how that was chosen. You explained that. I know nothing about laser cutters. Like I said, it is a great alternative to a cardboard dulcimer.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
P.S. - Did your wife get her dulcimer kit constructed?
Wally's probably right about the body length being determined by the plywood sheet size. The same issue crops up when building Tennessee music boxes-- the wood pieces from the lumberyard are 48" long, yet the body length is something like 27" long. So either you "waste" half your wood or downsize your design to accommodate the size of the lumber.
Ken said "It looks like he/she choose to copy the fret board of cardboard dulcimer manufacturers rather than go the extra step of having the fretboard end at the body of the dulcimer which would require extending the body of the dulcimer and repositioning the string anchors."
Having made a couple of "copies of cardboard dulcimers" using craft plywood, I'd say the body length was determined by wanting to cut one-piece sides from a 12 by 24 inch sheet.
You are then faced with a choice between a shorter VSL or overhang. For a shorter VSL you need to establish a new fret spacing which can be done easily with calculations, but requires more than woodworking expertise. The neck vs. fretboard issue is indicative that the kit maker is more woodworker than dulcimerian.
Looks like a good design to me, even if non-traditional.
You always want to have the strings pulling the shaft in to the gears.
I checked again and all of the strings are pulling the shaft into the gears.
The dulcimer has a fretboard not a neck.
I was using the terminology used by the seller, but thank you for the correction.
Jim, it looks very good. It certainly looks easy to assemble and looks great once assembled. You did a beautiful job with it.
I do wonder about some of the design components of the manufacturer. It looks like he/she choose to copy the fret board of cardboard dulcimer manufacturers rather than go the extra step of having the fretboard end at the body of the dulcimer which would require extending the body of the dulcimer and repositioning the string anchors. I would like to see the nut/zero fret over the body of the instrument.
I agree with Ken regarding the tuners. You always want to have the strings pulling the shaft in to the gears.
Thanks for sharing this. It is a wonderful alternative to a cardboard dulcimer.
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
updated by @ken-longfield: 10/22/21 01:42:51PM
Nice. A laser-cut Baltic Birch version of a cardboard dulcimer. It's about time! I think your stained body and blond top look nice together, and I applaud your substitution of string pins for screws. Screws have been known to cut/break strings. Since the tuners are on "backward" you may experience some "not staying in tune" as the tuners loosen up from use. The gear side of tuners should face the body, so string tension pulls the worm into the gear, not the way you have them...
My minor objection is calling the fretboard a "neck". Necks extend significantly beyond the body, fretboards do not. The dulcimer has a fretboard not a neck.
I recently bought a wonderful Jaromin mountaind dulcimer kit from Annalisa's Crafts on Etsy. Just wanted to tell you all about it and my initial thoughts. Spoiler - This is an awesome dulcimer kit!
From their description on Etsy:
This kit includes everything you need to build your own 24.75" VSL 4-string lap dulcimer.
Assembles in about an hour with no more than a screwdriver and some glue.
● Choice of neck wood - Oak, Cherry, Ambrosia Maple, or Walnut
- ALL kits include wooden body laser cut from 1/8" baltic birch plywood
● No cutting or drilling required - only a screwdriver and glue!
● Your Dulcimer Kit Includes ●
- Fretted 24.75" VSL hardwood neck with 16 frets, including the 6-1/2 and 13-1/2 frets
- laser-cut plywood box-jointed press-fit body
- 4 tuners & 4 strings for a fuller sound
- zero-fret for low action and greater playability.
- Corian bridge and nut pieces
- All required assembly hardware, printed instructions and a pick
The kit went together super easy to put together (and very tight). You could play this without even gluing it, the joints are that snug. I'm only a beginner so I would hurt your ears with a demo but it sounds wonderful.
They were super quick to answer any questions I had both before and after I purchased it. For example, the neck is 1.5" which was good to know when buying a capo.
I decided to stain the sides and bottom ebony (not sure I like it but it's okay) and then gave the body several coats of lacquer. And I used linseed oil on the fretboard. The only things I added were a pair of strap bottons and I replaced the string screws with pins. I did mount the tuners downward so it would be easier to put into a travel bag (which I'll be post later about).
I know there are other 'easy' kits out there like the one made with a cardboard box body but this dulcimer kit by Jaromin is superior in every way, made with top quality materials and at about the same price.
PS. I paid $69 for the oak fretboard dulcimer kit
I'm really, really happy with it.
updated by @jim-bagsh: 10/22/21 08:53:17PM