Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Mountain Dulcimer Project

Brief Introduction:

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: and on Joni Mitchell's album Blue).

First Steps:

I have been following some of the basic steps set out by Stephen Miklos on his webpage.

To date, have:
  1. Built the forms and the jigs
  2. Re-sawn the side pieces, the top and the back. (maple, butternut and curly maple)
  3. Booked matched and joined the top and the back
  4. Built the scroll

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