Thank you for your response. I will search online for the product you recommended. The wood does not feel particularly dry to me. Depending on the light, the cracks are not as visible. That is why I did not see them at first. Maybe treating it will help. Would you try to go ahead and tune it as is? Also, what do you think of these pegs? Do you suppose they're original? The reason I ask is I read he mainly used wood pegs. Or maybe that was earlier than this 1984 instrument.
I have a Bob Mize dulcimer that was made in 1990 and it has the same style of planetary tuners so I'd guess that yours are original to the instrument.
updated by @davery: 03/17/21 08:02:38PM