Category: Construction

Installing Frets

After cutting the walnut fingerboard and sanding it carefully to fit the existing fretboard, I used my 1/100 ruler to mark the fret pattern for a 28″ scale pattern. It’s a very delicate operation so I can’t rush it. I then use my Japanese fret saw to cut the frets. Once the frets are pressed …

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Preliminary Work

After receiving permission to continue, I removed the frets and sanded down the fretboard, removing the previous slots and preparing it for the new fingerboard. Meanwhile, I trimmed and sanded the new fingerboard to prepare for fret installation.  

Complete!

Dulcimer #45 is complete, as of this morning. The tuning pegs are Grover Sta-tite friction pegs and the strings are Vega banjo strings. Here I am with the new baby: And here is Lynn, the proud owner and co-designer:

Home Stretch

Now the major pieces are attached: The head and tail stock are secured to the soundboard.           The back is added.             Trimming up.             Adding the sides.        

Moving Along

Once again, playing catch-up with this posting–working on the dulcimer around other projects and diversions–these are snapshots from the past week. I’m excited to get to the point where I don’t stop until I┬áhave to let glue dry. This is the top (soundboard) re-sawn and bookmatched.               The peg …

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Fretting, Gluing and Shaping

This entry is actually several day’s work put together. Wednesday afternoon was my last day of school, so my calendar just cleared up a bit. The fretboard requires the most precise work. The board is complete, and the rough shapes of the peg head and tailstock are cut and clamped.           …

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Finishing Touches

At last–we have reached the final stage of construction. At the suggestion of the client, I rounded the peg head and attached it. I always do the final sanding of the instrument by hand, because when the finish is applied, there’s no going back. The bottom photo is the first coat of the hand-rubbed polyurethane. …

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Sides and Detail Sanding

I had intended to be further along than this. Unfortunately, this time of the year brings band and choral concerts as well as my own performance in a faculty show. So I pick at the dulcimer as I can. These shots represent the weekend work and tonight’s work on the peg head.  

Heads and Tails

Shaped the head and tail blocks and glued them into position. Then attached the back, insuring that the flanges line up perfectly so that the sides will be nice and square.                                  

Finishing the Top

Used razor files to finish the sound holes and attached the fretboard.