Thanks Skip....I will explore your idea with some other very good carpenters in this area. aloha, irene
Removing a fretboard
I wouldn't recommend a heat gun, really high risk of burning the top especially around the sound holes and head/tailstock. Been there, done that. Heat works good when the pieces are pretty much the same thickness, not so much when the are so different
A wide drum sander [panel sander] may work. I've tried leveling wood using a hand held belt sander, doesn't work real well too often.
A 7"-8" long hand plane may give the best results [long up, around 18"/ 20", planes are what the old time cabinet makers used to level or flatten a board].
OH I LOVE THIS SITE....that is what I need to two dulcimers that I got at weird places. Now that I know how to tune dulcmers...and hear and SEE it with my phone tuner....I want them ALL in tune. nope...some were never fretted properly. Great suggestions here and one of them is going to work. THEN I can loan out these dulcimers with happiness that my students will be playing in tune. aloha, irene
IFF you used Titebond (or hide glue) in the glue-up, you may be able to use a heat gun, aimed at the fretboard/top junction along both sides, to soften the glue (even after years) and gently pull the fretboard off.
updated by @ken-hulme: 09/09/19 10:15:12PM
Molly, I can't see what you're dealing with, but in most cases you should be able to surface the topside of the fretboard level, then either refinish it and install frets, or glue a 1/8" thick fingerboard over the fretboard and cut your fret slots in that.
The trick is getting the fretboard flat. You could use a belt sander with a coarse grit belt, or a hand plane, or if you feel really lucky, run it through a power planer, a little cut at a time.
What is the best method of removing a fretboard from a dulcimer? I built a dulcimer years ago that I thought was firewood because the fretboard was warped. A friend suggested I remove the fretboard, make a new one and put another top on the dulcimer if it gets damaged in the process. Any suggestions?