Wood thickness

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 days ago
1,682 posts

Sent you a PM...

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one week ago
1,682 posts

Will  post  addresses  in  a  PM later   (on tablet up a mountain  right  now). Sound difference  muted a tiny  bit  with  thicker wood  on smaller  box.  Can you  tell ? . Only  you  can  know .

YepSureOK
YepSureOK
@yeahsureok
2 weeks ago
4 posts
Thanks, Ken, for the great advice. I plan to build the more common size. I would love that info on sources for 1/8" lumber. I also think I will go with your advice on the autoharp pins. One more question. Is there any kind of noticeable sound difference between 1/8 and 1/4 thickness or is it pretty much the same? Thanks again for the advice.
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 weeks ago
1,682 posts

There really is no "best".  Are you going to build a large-ish Tennessee Music Box type instrument -- say 3-4" deep, 12-14" wide and 26-28" long?  Or  are you thinking of a more common size, say 2" deep, 6-8" wide and 28-30" long?

The TMB type dulcimers were traditionally built with 3/8" thick boards all around, and a solid 2x2 for the fretboard.  More common sized box dulcimers can be built from 1/4", 1/8" or 1/10" thin stock.  You can get nice 1/4" poplar from Home Despot or Lowest in their "craft wood" department.  There are several good sources for 1/8" thin lumber that we can point you to.  I'd say most builders of common size instruments use 1/8" thin lumber.  

I'm currently building a museum replica of a mid-19th century Pennsylvania Zither -- a pre-dulcimer ancestor, as well as a box for one of my student's cardboard starter dulcimer.

Unless you're dead set on having fancy geared tuners, I would recommend autoharp tuning pins -- they're cheap. easy to install, easy to tune, and hold a tuning well.

YepSureOK
YepSureOK
@yeahsureok
2 weeks ago
4 posts

Simple newbie question. I'm planning to try my hand at making my first box dulcimer. What is the best wood thickness to go with?