Bocote Dulcimer

Ed Gaunt
05/02/13 11:41:12PM

Finished my latest "baby" It's a shorty: 20.25 VSL. Bocote sides and bottom, curly maple top, cherry fingerboard, ebony nut and bridge. 24/18/14 ga strings (only 3). Tuned it up (ddGD)and played some scales, but have not actually played a song on it yet. I'm taking it out to my wife's kindergarten class tomorrow and will let them decide what the first song played on it will be (hopefully something I can play!)

Here is the link to my album:

I give a little more discussion on the construction there. Note that I had overly-springy sides that did not want to stay glued, so I had to nail the suckers in place!

Although I like the looks of the bocote, I'm not sure that I'll use it again (well...actually I will, because I have some wood left over, but I probably won't buy more). Aside from the "springy-ness" it is somewhat oily and sweats oil into the grain, especially when I steamed it. The oil makes for a nice patina when I was sanding it, but it sure clogs up the sand paper and files. Also it has a unique (but not unpleasant) smell, which is very apparent whenever I turn on the vacuum as the oil isvolatilized.

I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has used bocote.