I have enjoyed woodworking for many years and have managed to make every mistake possible. And slowly, but surely my skills and patience have improved. In my time I have built furniture, kitchen cabinets, a couple of wood/fibreglass canoes and outdoor garden things. So now I figure that I am ready to do some more intricate work and build a musical instrument. Risky, I know - but I'm just a kid with a crazy dream!
The mountain dulcimer is an American instrument that was not brought to the new world when the settlers arrived from Ireland and Scotland. It appears to be a recent (relatively) invention from the Appalachian mountain area of the United States (for a thorough history see Chet Hines' book How to Make and Play the Dulcimore). The sound of the instrument is sweet, plaintive and hauntingly beautiful (you can hear it played at: http://www.gilamountaindulcimers.com/pete.htm and on Joni Mitchell's album Blue).
I have been following some of the basic steps set out by Stephen Miklos on his webpage.
To date, have:
- Built the forms and the jigs
- Re-sawn the side pieces, the top and the back. (maple, butternut and curly maple)
- Booked matched and joined the top and the back
- Built the scroll