A Labor of Love

The Nature Coast Dulcimer Works is not only the portal for fine, handcrafted Appalachian dulcimers — it is also a celebration of the art of creation. I have never taken for granted the absolute beauty of hardwood as it is shaped and sanded into a lovely and functional work of art. Consequently, this site will not be the typical “Buy my Dulcimers” website.  After all, there are many dulcimer factories and individuals who build some excellent instruments. What I prefer is sharing the joys (and sometimes frustrations) of woodworking and dulcimer building, allowing visitors to “look over my shoulder” as the process unfolds. This desire to share is perhaps a reflection of my career as a teacher and perpetual student. Therefore, this website will be unusual by nature.

I prefer to build my dulcimers one at a time, with design input from the customer. Consequently, no two  instruments I have created thus far are exactly alike. They do, however, reflect the traditional style and construction techniques of the mountainous region from whence I came.

Let’s custom-design your dulcimer today!

Tim Stuart



Peg Head and Fretwork

Squeezing in time to build the pieces in between teaching responsibilities and holiday activities. My new Ryobi multi-tool helped speed up the process with the peg head. The fretboard is the most important component. I use a fret position calculator from Stewart-MacDonald’s website to determine each fret’s location within 1/100th of an inch. I test-fit …

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A Celebration of Maryville College

45 years of Construction Dulcimer #51 was inspired by a contact from my college days. Bill Doyle, who lived down the hall from me in Dorm 1 (now Gamble Hall) sent me a message out of the blue saying he wanted a custom-made dulcimer. I had to warn him that this may take awhile — …

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I am very pleased to present my 50th dulcimer, constructed 45 years since I built my first one — to Ms. Becky. Thank you for the opportunity to build this for you. Enjoy!

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Tuning Stuff

It was time to install the friction pegs which was quick and painless because I had prepped for them when I put together the peghead. The fine tuners were next. The only other time I added fine tuners at the other end was for the Dog Head dulcimer I made for myself. For that one, …

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