That is beautiful. Bocote always seems to have an eerie look to it.
Bocote Wood - the 'eyes' have it.
That's a beautiful looking dulcimer. I can see why you guys chose bocote wood. How special is that!
By the way, I do the same thing with my pinky. I tend to anchor it when I'm doing really tough flatpicking stuff, but I let it move around on the soundboard when I strum. On one dulcimer with a red cedar top I put on a clear pickguard so you can still see the wood grain underneath. I also try to keep the nail on that one finger super short. That pinky scratching seems to show up more on cedar than on spruce.
Dusty T., Northern California
As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
I have an acquaintance who wanted a special and unique dulcimer. He also indicated that cost was not to be a factor, but I didn't really push this too hard.
After some discussion and looking, I found a bocote board on Ebay that we both agreed on. Never having worked with bocote, and not actually having a close inspection of the board, I had picked a board of a size that, if everything went perfectly, I could get 2 instruments out of it.
I was really concerned about working the wood because of all the 'eyes' that make the wood so distinctive (see pic 43 b2). Fortunately, there was only one problem when a planer tore out a chunk of one piece. As a result, the 2nd dulcimer (pictured) is 1" shorter than intended. I can live with that. Other than that, the wood was quite easy to work.
Attached pics are my dulcimer #43 - the 2nd and shorter one. It has a yellow cedar top and ebony binding. The fingerboard is maple and wenge and I added a wenge pick guard because I may keep this one and I tend to either post, or drag my little finger and wear hard on the finish in this area. The pick guard is only about 1/16" thick.
For what it's worth, except for length and top wood I made two identical instruments. The one for my acquaintance had a redwood top, the 2nd yellow cedar. As expected, the sound of redwood is mellower with slightly more emphasis on the base. I can't tell if the 1" makes any difference but I think they both sound really nice.
The bocote wood is spectacular and both instruments have a clarity that I think only comes from super dense tropical hardwoods.