|Project by Patrick Jaromin||posted 06-24-2016 02:02 AM||1391 views||0 times favorited||15 comments|
This past spring break we packed up our new camper and made the 10 hour drive from Chicago to Cosby, TN. The main reason for the trip was to ride one of the super cool alpine coasters they have in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area. This was great fun; but for me, the highlight of the trip turned out to be an impromptu visit to Wood-n-Strings dulcimer shop in Townsend, TN.
There we discovered the Appalachian mountain dulcimer, a true American stringed instrument. I considered purchasing one but decided it would be much more fun to build one instead. And here is the result.
The back, sides, and fingerboard are cocobolo. The soundboard, head, and neck are birdseye maple. The fretboard features hand-cut mother-of-pearl butterflies and flowers to mark the 3rd and octave of the two keys on the “extended” diatonic fretboard (extra 6-1/2 and 13-1/2 fret added).
This was my first attempt at bending wood, mother-of-pearl inlays, and wood carving. I spent quite a bit of time watching Mary May before starting the scroll and am fairly pleased with the results. It’s finished with rattle-can shellac (to seal the oily cocobolo) and around 6 coats of rattle-can lacquer.
The name comes from what to me looks like the image of a bear’s head in the back in the bookmatched lower bout.
Take a listen:
View on YouTube
If you’d like to see more, I’ve been blogging about the build on my woodworking blog.
-- Patrick, Chicago, IL http://www.TenonAndSpline.com/blog