Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Month: April 2011 Page 1 of 2

Steel Wool, A Magnet, A Rubber Glove And A Dulcimer

A quick tip I thought I’d share. I prefer a finish leaning towards the matte side of semi-gloss.  I use nylon abrasive pads for cutting between coats of varnish but I prefer the look I achieve by using 0000 steel wool when rubbing out the final coat.

Steel wool leaves fine steel dust on the dulcimer that needs to be cleaned up.

Where has that rubber glove been?

First I vacuum the dulcimer and bench. I follow this by placing a strong magnet inside a rubber glove, a plastic bag, a paper towel or whatever ever I have at hand. I gently move this assemblage over the surface of the dulcimer and pick up the dust left by the steel wool. Then I switch to a tack cloth to grab any steel particles that may still remain.

The rubber glove , plastic bag, paper towel or poodle I used to wrap the magnet gets thrown away and I am left with a clean magnet that is ready for its next adventure.

Magnets having fun.



Hand Tools And Chocolate

Is that a glue pot or a pot of chocolate fondue on the floor?




Rodney warns me about having muriatic acid in the shop

Rusty Tool Mystery Solved!

You folks are good! I got the answer from you before anyone even posted a comment!

Minutes after writing the previous post I remembered that I had a plastic jar of muriatic acid I kept in the shop. I used it for sharpening files.

I remembered that I kept it stored on a shelf along the wall by my bench.

To my surprise there was a crack in the lid of the jar! I am surprised I did not notice any fumes because muriatic acid is extremely noxious and obnoxious. I only use it out side the house.

Rodney warns me about having muriatic acid in the shop!

I am pretty sure that enough fumes must have been escaping to cause corrosion on the tools stored over the bench. This must be why tools on the other side of the shop were not getting rusty.

I’m sure the muriatic acid fumes leaking into the shop were not doing me any good either!

Time to take the rust off my chisels and saws now….


Rusty Tool Mystery

Okay, I’m perplexed.

I control the humidity in my shop and it does not change very much  and not much has changed in the layout of my small workshop.  The only new addition to the shop has been a new small electric crock-pot I use as a glue-pot and it seems to give off less steam and humidity than my previous one.

For reasons unknown to me all the tools stored over my bench have become covered with a solid patina of fine brown rust. This includes most of the tools I use every day.


I know how to remove the rust and I know I can give them a light coating of cammelia oil or wax to prevent rust from forming again.

What perplexes me is that after working in the same space for several years under more or less the same conditions this is the first time I have had a rust problem in the shop.

Luthiers, Woodworkers, Mystics, lend me your ears!

Tools in other areas of the shop are not getting rusty; it only happens to the tools over the bench that I constantly use!

Anyone have an idea of what may be going on? Am I missing something that may be causing this?




Beautiful Pegheads

I can’t remember where I found this old advertisement.

Beautiful Pegheads


Page 1 of 2

Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!