That's one beautiful instrument. All but one of mine have wooden tuning pegs. I don't find them hard to work at all -- just 'different' from mechanical pegs. I gave you ideas for strings on your FB post.
Posted this on the Everything Dulcimer FB page, and it was suggested I ask here (probably should have asked here first!).
I recently acquired a beautiful mountain dulcimer made in July 1975 by John Kleske of Binghamton NY, and wondered if anyone else has and plays one of his instruments. Mine is #82, and I suspect it has the original strings from 1975. All I know about him is what I found in his 2011 obituary (plus a piece about a ukelin orchestra he and John Thomson of Seneca Moon String Band put together!). Sadly, it appears that the Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering he founded in 1976 ended with the one in 2016. Any information about him or his instruments would be most welcome. I'd also appreciate any tips on what kind of strings to use; these ancient oxidized ones feel like playing a cheese slicer. Do wooden peg dulcimers require anything different than ones with geared tuners?