Slight bow in back of dulcimer.

Joolsy
Joolsy
@joolsy
6 months ago
7 posts
Thanks John. Baritone, 4 string equidistant, chromatic etc etc, the dulcimer bug has definitely got me.
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
6 months ago
186 posts

So, full steam ahead!  Congratulations on building your first dulcimer.  You'll get lots of ideas for future ones now.

Joolsy
Joolsy
@joolsy
6 months ago
7 posts
Thank you guys, I was hoping for this response!.
I added kerfing to make the joints stronger & as I said earlier, I love the vibrato achieved by gently rocking the dulcimer from side to side when playing.
I play slow fingerpicking ballads mostly.
I'd thought about forming a bowed back by making it from 2 pieces & shaping the braces, but in the end decided not to change too much from the original design as it's my first build - I expected some kind of learning curve!
I just need to sand, finish & put the tuners etc on, and decide whether to fit the LR Baggs pick up.
Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
6 months ago
597 posts

Since the fretboard is level I do not see a problem with playing it on your lap. As long as the glue joints are solid I do not see a problem with it coming apart. Some dulcimer builders put a curve on the bottom intentionally.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
6 months ago
1,591 posts

Some builders actually build-in a bowed back -- the idea that the curve acts as a kind of projector for the sound.

Joolsy
Joolsy
@joolsy
6 months ago
7 posts
Thanks John.
I don't mind it having a slightly bowed back as I play with it on my lap and use a gentle rocking motion for slow vibrato.
It was more a structural concern really.
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
6 months ago
186 posts

Joolsy,

You could try sanding the back flat if the bow is minor, or you could glue 3 feet on the back like they did in the old days.

Joolsy
Joolsy
@joolsy
6 months ago
7 posts

Hi all.

I recently finished my walnut fokcraft teardrop dulcimer kit & have noticed a slight side to side rocking motion when placed on a flat surface. I think this may have happened because when I glued the sides to the back, they may not have been perfectly at 90 degrees, so when the fretboard/top was clamped on, it caused a slight width ways bow in the back. I'm wondering if it may eventually cause any problems later on, i.e. delaminnation or cause the neck to bow.

Other than the slight side to side rocking, I've checked the fretboard & with straight edge & winding sticks & it's all good.

Thanks for reading, any thoughts?