Well, the dulcimer project is coming along nicely (I think)!
Bridge, nut, endplates, spacer, end pin and clip have all been fashioned and installed.
Am still playing around with fretted v. fretless.
An overall view of the front end:
Closeup of the front end, showing a slight bowing up of the nose when strung up. Right now it's tuned CGc. The extra hitch pins and the fiddle end pin are intended to secure a wire clip that will clamp the floating bridge down when not in use, thus (hopefully) relieving tension stress on the sound board:
A view down into the body from the scheitholt arcade. As you can see, the fingerboard is hollow (hence the "scheitholt on a soundbox" description); and the sound board itself is wide open the whole length of the sound box, under the arcade:
I know John C. Knopf noted that Howie Mitchell's design has been discredited, but I'd beg to differ. While I don't know what the original concept for the design was supposed to be, I do know, with the nose pointing up that way you do get a nice bebung by pressing on the bridge! That's a pretty cool feature.
Personally, I think this instrument sounds lovely, nice and resonant. Though I'm still considering fretted v. fretless, I fear I made the bridge and nut too low --- anything but an open string sounds muddled. :/ I'm going to try raising up those two bits to see if I can get a clearer tone on the fingerboard.