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4-String Dulcimer, my second one!

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 11-22-2016 09:46 PM 587 views 2 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[Legebla en Esperanto]

See the case I made for this instrument here: [link]

After being told that we were having a small Christmas, I decided to build my wife the long promised 4-string dulcimer. I made her a 3-string instrument a few years ago [link], but I wanted this one to be even nicer. I made it by basically following the instructions in a book titled: Making Folk Instruments in Wood by Dennis Miles Waring.

The woods I chose were recycled pew wood mahogany for the bottom, sides, and fret board, and white mystery wood, possibly white oak, poplar, or ?? from a recycled dresser drawer which I had set aside for this very purpose. I finished this fine musical instrument with spray lacquer.

The only parts I had to buy for this were the strings because I had enough fret wire left over from the first dulcimer build. The tuning pegs were made from a piece of natural maple that I harvested recently as were the nut and the bridge.

The sound holes are the silhouette of a bird in flight because my wife is an aviphile.

If you’d like to follow the build process, I posted a series on my blog here at LJ. [link]

[Above and below] Two photos showing the instrument just before finishing.

[Below] Mandatory glue up photo.

Now I’m off to build the case to carry this around.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





18 comments so far

View  woodshaver (Tony)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

4000 posts in 2814 days


#1 posted 11-22-2016 10:03 PM

Wow! It takes someone with extraordinary talent to make a musical instrument. Really nice!

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#2 posted 11-22-2016 10:11 PM



Wow! It take someone with some extraordinary talent to make a musical instrument. Really nice!

- woodshaver (Tony)

Thanks! It took this mediocre woodworker some time to gain the skills to be able to do it too. Not ready to build a proper guitar, but I may try a cookie tin banjo soon.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

922 posts in 1773 days


#3 posted 11-22-2016 10:40 PM

Very impressive. Does it sound as good as it looks?
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#4 posted 11-22-2016 11:04 PM



Very impressive. Does it sound as good as it looks?
Jim

- Jim Rowe

To my untrained ear it sounds pretty darn good. True judgment will arrive at Christmas. I’ll try to arrange a video showing it being played over the holidays.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View woodify's profile

woodify

136 posts in 1533 days


#5 posted 11-23-2016 12:55 AM

I’ve never seen one of these before. I’d like to hear how it sounds too.

-- Woodify ~~ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFYy8inYdkXvRtYMvpbJztQ/feed

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#6 posted 11-23-2016 01:27 AM



I ve never seen one of these before. I d like to hear how it sounds too.

- woodify

Well, here’s generally how A mountain dulcimer sounds. The person in this video is very good, but it shows what’s possible. [YouTube link]

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View ralbuck's profile

ralbuck

1968 posts in 1727 days


#7 posted 11-23-2016 02:34 AM

Nice—I do like the gluing clamps too! get mine at $ tree!

-- just rjR

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#8 posted 11-23-2016 02:50 AM



Nice—I do like the gluing clamps too! get mine at $ tree!

- ralbuck

I’m unsure if I got mine at $ tree or from the last place I worked when it went under.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8738 posts in 1300 days


#9 posted 11-23-2016 05:29 AM

Beautiful, Dave! The bird shaped sound holes are a lovely personal touch for your wife. Looking forward to hearing her play.

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#10 posted 11-23-2016 12:28 PM



Beautiful, Dave! The bird shaped sound holes are a lovely personal touch for your wife. Looking forward to hearing her play.

- CFrye

Thanks, Candy. Custom holes definitely make the personal touch.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#11 posted 11-23-2016 12:41 PM

Thanks to you all for putting this project over the top and into the Daily Top Three! Feels good!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1633 days


#12 posted 11-23-2016 01:12 PM

That came out great. Can’t wait to hear it.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23127 posts in 2327 days


#13 posted 11-23-2016 03:29 PM

This is an outstanding instrument and beautifully done.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

826 posts in 683 days


#14 posted 11-23-2016 04:18 PM

I’m always impressed with someone who can transform wood into something that make music. Dealing with nary a single straight edge makes my table saw pucker.
Nice work!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#15 posted 11-23-2016 04:56 PM



I m always impressed with someone who can transform wood into something that make music. Dealing with nary a single straight edge makes my table saw pucker.
Nice work!

- splintergroup

Thank you!

It’s not as bad as it looks though. I used the table saw for cutting out all the pieces. The only thing I used a band saw for was the basic shape of the top and bottom. A flush trim router took care of the curves once the box was glued together. There’s also nothing that says the sound box can’t be rectangular.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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