Though being a dulcimer builder is known to cause one to have a life filled with excitement and adventure there are the occasional lulls one must cope with.
But today was a day of excitement; shaping back braces and gluing said back to a custom sycamore and spruce dulcimer!
Here’s a shot of the back braces in the early stages of shaping:
For those of you who are interested in tools, the chisel is a 1/2 inch Stanley 750 and the plane is the ubiquitous miniature rosewood plane found in many tool catalogs. It is a handy little plane and on this one I beveled the edges of the sole so I can get up close and personal with the edges of braces. In the background is a $10 baby crock-pot that I use as glue pot. This pot has no settings but fortunately was built to keep it’s contents at 140° F throughout the day, This is just the right temperature for hide glue. Hopefully the manufacturer won’t read this post; if this information got into the wrong hands we could end up seeing this crock-pot in catalogs as a specialty tool for 5 times the price!
After finishing up the braces and remembering to put in a label (yes, I have forgotten to put in the label) I glued the back to the dulcimer:
Woodworkers and luthiers have a saying, “You can never have too many clamps.” This is true, but in the case of gluing on this dulcimer back I used more than necessary. The back fit the dulcimer very well but I like to get even pressure all around the instrument and I kept reaching for another clamp and things got a little out of control. Still, if I had more clamps I could have glued something else up at the same time.