John Ellis


Location: Arlington, WA
Country: US

My Latest Followers:

Vicki Moore


images: 36

This is one of my favorite builds. It is elliptical shape with poplar sound board with descending dove soundholes.  Was bought yesterday... kinda sad to see it go.

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Latest Forum Discussions


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John Ellis
08/28/17 09:09:27AM @john-ellis:

A few months ago I saw a video (maybe on You Tube...) of a MD builder making a back for one of his instruments.  Foolishly I didn't save it and now can't find it again.

He started with two (or more) contrasting color boards each maybe 4-6 inches wide.  He stacked them together and using his bandsaw he cut a curvy line the length of the boards. He then re-glued the right side of a light colored board with the left side of a dark one.  Once dry the repeated this a few times and ended up with a most interesting pattern of light and dark geometric shapes.

Does this make sense to anyone or can anyone suggest a website with a better explanation or video of how to do this?  

Thanks, John

John Ellis
12/18/15 03:50:24PM @john-ellis:

What a great welcome!  Thank you all.  Hope to perhaps someday meet many of you face to face.

I am having a ball building my instruments and hope to get some time in on learning to play them this winter also.


I am sure this topic has come up before and to those of you that have heard and commented dozens of times in the past my apologies but I am not very good at navigating computer sites yet. (Learning that also!!!)  What I am looking for is a simple primer of some type on string tension when tuning MDs.     I am using a chromatic tuner and after tuning the bass string to say D, second string to A, I often end up breaking one or both high strings.


Am I trying to go two octaves instead of one?  Do I need thicker strings?   (am using the D'Addario J64 Mountain Dulcimer Set.)

I know I'm missing something but not sure where to look...

Thanks for any help, John 

"Ahn Tagann Ceol Ghrian" - From Music comes Sunshine 


John Keane
05/08/15 07:24:18AM @john-keane:

Howdy and welcome to FOTMD!

Ben Barr Jr
05/08/15 12:12:33AM @benjamin-w-barr-jr:

Hi John, and welcome to the wonderful world of the Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer. It's a good place to come,. spend some time, learn about the dulcimer, and to meet some good people.


Ken Longfield
05/07/15 10:08:08PM @ken-longfield:

Welcome to FOTMD John. It's good to have you aboard. I trust you will enjoy this site.


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Jim Fawcett
05/07/15 09:00:32PM @jim-fawcett:

Hey John, welcome aboard. Glad ya found us.

Rob N Lackey
05/07/15 08:31:00PM @rob-n-lackey:

Welcome, John, to this little corner of dulcimer heaven. Hope you enjoy it here.


Karen Keane
05/07/15 06:57:36PM @karen-keane:
Hello and welcome to the site. This is a great place to share ideas and listen to music. I hope you enjoy!
Cynthia Wigington
05/07/15 04:26:08PM @cynthia-wigington:

Welcome John, so good to have you here.