Mountain Dulcimer

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Project by amagineer posted 04-17-2011 05:50 AM 1318 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I heard someone playing this instrument and decided to make one and learn how to play. After, I realized I was tone deaf and ended up selling it. I made it from Black walnut. It really came out nice.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

9 comments so far

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2724 posts in 2308 days

#1 posted 04-17-2011 07:54 AM

Sorry about the tone deafness. Its a beautiful piece.
Welcome to LJ

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

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5032 posts in 3160 days

#2 posted 04-17-2011 08:39 AM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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22 posts in 2323 days

#3 posted 04-17-2011 02:53 PM

I’ve been thinking of making one of these. Did you use a plan?

-- John, UP of Michigan

View amagineer's profile


1413 posts in 1864 days

#4 posted 04-17-2011 04:14 PM

I heard someone playing the instrument on a video and then searched for a picture to go by. I did a lot of talking to experienced dulicimer craftsmen to help with mistakes. The only hard part is getting the frets spaced correctly. I also made some edge clamps that helped with gluing the dulcimer (got that tip from Mcspadden dulcimers, helpful people there). I’m sorry I sold it, but a girl from Smith college used to play one when she was younger and was impressed enough to buy it. It went to a good home.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3032 days

#5 posted 04-17-2011 04:33 PM

Very nice looking instrument, Don. What type finish did you use? It almost looks like you used some type of oil or something. Very smooth looking and doesn’t have that plastic look to it like several coats of gloss poly does.

I know exactly what you mean about being tone deaf. I’ve played guitar for many years. Lots of people can listen to a song and then play it. Not me, I have never been able to do it, except on very simple tunes (like Louie – Louie LOL). You should try playing again. You’d be surprised what you can do with a little practice.

- JJ

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1413 posts in 1864 days

#6 posted 04-17-2011 08:48 PM

For the finish I got the scoop from my friends at MCspadden dulcimers. It is a shellac flake finish. It is the prefered finish for instruments, because it does change the acoustic properties of the wood.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3077 posts in 2979 days

#7 posted 04-18-2011 05:46 AM


Your instruments are gorgeous. I don’t know how you could give one up!

And that’s a very nice quilt!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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114789 posts in 2844 days

#8 posted 04-18-2011 06:21 AM

very nice work

-- Custom furniture

View CharlieM1958's profile


16202 posts in 3485 days

#9 posted 06-08-2013 10:49 PM

I’ve seen quite a few dulcimers, and this may be my favorite. Sweeeeet!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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