Look what I've been up to! BEWARE - dulciporn
Wow, that's great, Mandy. The dulcimer looks great, and I really like seeing all the pictures of the process. Good job! I look forward to hearing it, too!
I did blush a little, seeing a naked dulcimer.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Hey Everyone, been awhile. I just finished a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School and made this beauty.
Here are the woods I got to choose from. - I chose sassafras for the top, butternut for the sides and back, and walnut for the headstock backstrip and fretboard and tailpiece. Here they are with a few cuts - and you can also see the sassafras piece i used under the headstock here also
Here's the front closeup of head and fretboard, I cut the little curve at the top of the head to just give it a little uniqueness also. The fretboard and head are from the same piece of wood. I loved all the color in the fretboard.
Closeup of body - dogwood flower cutout with wood-burning. I would not recommend trying to wood-burn on a wood as soft and grainy as sassafras (lesson learned, but I think it still looks good) more of the fretboard color - there is sawdust everywhere still (LOL).
Overall it turned out beautifully I think. The fretboard is nice and flat and I love it. The instructor for the class was Mark Edelman. He has a shop in Gatlinburg, TN. and is a fine player also. Great instructor and fun week. Hard work too.
Got it home and yanked out my Folkcraft hourglass dulcimer. Side by side I like mine much better (no favoritism or anything, LOL). Seriously though my fretboard is a touch wider and that allowed me to still have plenty of room for the string spacing without ever worrying about pulling a string off the side of the fretboard while playing (which does happen on my Folkcraft). A big surprise to me was that this one is louder than my Folkcraft also. Quite a bit louder. Not sure if shape has anything to do with that. Mine is also a much warmer (less tin-ny) sound.
I'm going to be playing this forever and I'm so thankful that I was able to build it. Thanks to a mentor of mine whom I must give a huge thank you to here - Aubrey Atwater - without your kindness I never would have been able to take this class. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I would recommend Mark's class to anyone and everyone who has the desire to build their own dulcimer (there are a LOT of tools involved). Mark has been building dulcimers and playing for 40 years. He's not much of an internet guy, but if you are ever in Gatlinburg, TN be sure to visit Smoky Mountain Dulcimers and tell him I sent ya.
I'll get a video of me playing this beauty up soon.
updated by @mandy: 03/02/19 06:21:38AM