Nov 03 2016
Oct 31 2016
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 into position, I must file down the edges flush with the fingerboard.
At this point, I glue the fingerboard to the fretboard using clamps and my homemade jig and let it dry.
Oct 29 2016
Oct 28 2016
This one may prove to be a bit of a challenge. Elsie had asked if I could lower the action on a dulcimer she had been given. On closer inspection, this instrument really needed some TLC to be fully playable.
It has a really beautiful shape and a nice sound, but the fretboard was a bit of a head-scratcher.
It appears that this dulcimer was designed to be played only on the melody string with a wooden noter–the traditional style (and the way I normally played for about 20 years). The seventh fret was a half fret, making it unusable for chording.
The scroll head is interesting, but the current nut is covering an old zero fret slot and the strings are cutting into the end of the fretboard–the same thing is happening at the tailstock as well.
Several of the frets themselves are not square; this is not so much of a problem if you only play on the melody string, but becomes problematic while chording.
Finally, the scale is strange and the frets are somewhat misaligned. It’s technically 26.375″, but the bridge is set closer to a 28″ scale. The 2nd fret (above) is close to correct, but the third fret is set for a 28″ scale.
The good thing is, the fretboard is nicely flat, so my suggestion is to create a new walnut fingerboard (above, right) with a new bridge and nut.
Jun 13 2016
Jun 10 2016
Jun 09 2016
Jun 08 2016
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 have to let glue dry.
This is the top (soundboard) re-sawn and bookmatched.
The peg head in it’s raw form on the band saw is ready to be cut to shape.
The peg head is shaped and partially sanded.
Jumping way ahead, the back and top are cut and shaped; the peg head and tail stock are mostly finished.
Here are the pieces stacked loosely into place.
Strips are added to the back to support the sides.
Jun 03 2016
May 29 2016