Gum/Walnut Dulcimer and Cherry Dulcimer

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Project by MattMize posted 511 days ago 947 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My grand-dad, Robert Mize, made dulcimers until the day he died nearly a decade ago. I decided I wanted to try a few last year so I went to his old shop with my dad and made a few of them. This is the first two we did. The top is made of Gum, and the back, sides, tail, and head are all walnut on the first one. The head has a hound carved into it by a man in TN, close to where my grand-dad’s shop was. The second is made of Cherry with a sassafras stripe on the head/tail. The tops and backs are all bookmatched.

13 comments so far

View ghost5's profile


281 posts in 530 days

#1 posted 511 days ago

Absolutely beautiful you did Grampa proud. I would be happy to play one of these anywhere anytime.

-- Tommy,

View helluvawreck's profile


15404 posts in 1464 days

#2 posted 511 days ago

Beautiful work and I love the wood.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- 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 blackcherry's profile


3146 posts in 2421 days

#3 posted 511 days ago

Jaw dropping beautiful, thanks for showing…BC

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2175 days

#4 posted 511 days ago

This is fantastic ,beautiful pieces.

-- Custom furniture

View solardave's profile


66 posts in 642 days

#5 posted 511 days ago

Awesome, I love the beagle headstock.

View MattMize's profile


29 posts in 670 days

#6 posted 511 days ago

Thank you for the positive feedback, gentlemen! I plan on building several more of them!

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13250 posts in 936 days

#7 posted 511 days ago

Beautiful work. Also awesome that you would carry on a tradition. I would believe your grandfather looks down with even more pride now.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 774 days

#8 posted 510 days ago

Fantastic pieces! With such great quality, I’m sure they will be treasures and heirlooms worth having.

View Smertie's profile


7 posts in 511 days

#9 posted 510 days ago

Very nice! Where did you get the tuners? I never saw anything like them. Are they special for dulcimers? And I couldn’t tell if the frets are metal (nickel usually, I think) or something else. Does it even matter on a dulcimer? Keep up the beautiful work and play that thing!

-- Michael, Erie PA

View MattMize's profile


29 posts in 670 days

#10 posted 510 days ago

Hey Smertie, I’ll check the size when I get off work tomorrow night and get home. I’ll let you know. I got the tuners out of a coffee can my grand-dad had that was full of them. I’ll figure it out, though!

View MattMize's profile


29 posts in 670 days

#11 posted 510 days ago

Smertie, the tuners are Grover tuners, but they’re not listed on the Grover website. The closest thing to them I can find are Grover Geared Banjo Pegs, but they have a metal button. I did find the tuners that I put on my burled walnut dulcimer on Grover’s website. They are called “Sta-Tite Dulcimer Pegs” and come in sets of four. They require a 5/16” hole, and the headstock must be 7/16”-5/8” thick where you’re going to drill the holes. The ones on the Cherry dulcimer are just Grover locking guitar tuners, out of another coffee can I found in his old shop. As far as the fret wire, I’m not sure what material it is, there was a ton left in my grand-dad’s shop. I do know that the narrow wire frets seem to work and play the best, though.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 1521 days

#12 posted 510 days ago

Great work.
Facinating instrument when played correctly.
Any plans for building a hammer dulcimer? If you do please send pics.

-- Life is good.

View MattMize's profile


29 posts in 670 days

#13 posted 509 days ago

I’ll probably build a hammer dulcimer eventually. My wife wants me to make one, so you know how that one goes!

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