Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Month: November 2015

Music I’d Like To Hear #104

Trio with autoharp, fiddle and 2 row diatonic accordion.

Fashion is my life. Really.

A Moment Spent Stropping And Work Is Fun Again

Fashion is my life. Really.

Those of you who know me are aware that I live for fashion, Sometimes this vain habit gets in the way of working efficiently.

Why, just this evening, this very evening, I took so much time deciding what to wear while joining dulcimer soundboards and backs that I completely forgot to check if my jointer plane was as sharp as possible!

I started shooting joints and things did not go well. The plane was sharp and was making fine shavings but I could not create the tight 32″ center joint usually produced.

Suddenly it dawned on me; is this plane as sharp as it could be? Is the plane making the finest shaving it is capable off? Is it really okay that I am talking to myself?

So I boldly removed the blade, took off the cap iron, and stropped the dickens out of the blade. Stropping the dickens out of the blade took mere moments and now I have a dickens that was once in the blade. What does one do with a dickens once it is out of something? But I digress.

And behold! That little bit of stropping allowed the plane to make finer shavings than before! Straight, perfect joints were now not only possible but easily produced!

The sky seemed brighter, even though it was night. Somewhere birds were singing. People everywhere got along with each other.

And then I woke up.



Music I’d Like To Hear #103

Concertina trio

What’s On The Bench – 11/2/2015

Cherry dulcimer by dulcimer builder Doug Berch

It has been several months since I have had dulcimers for sale. I have been focusing my time on advance and custom orders.

A few days ago I strung up this cherry dulcimer with black binding and position markers. It has beautiful mid-range tone and warmth and a strong bass string.

I have made two other dulcimers from this same billet of cherry; perfectly quartered with lots of flecks and some light curl. More importantly the sound of the dulcimers made from this billet have all sounded great.

I built this dulcimer and another along side work on some custom orders. The other should be strung up in a few days. Once I get some good photographs they will be listed for sale.

I’m about to start work on some more advance orders but will be making a few dulcimers along side them for sale as well. This seems to be a good rhythmic workflow.

Physical therapy and other healing modalities are allowing me to work a little more regularly in the shop but still not as much as I would prefer. Then again, reality is what is going on rather than what I would prefer.

I can’t complain. I love the work I do and if I didn’t have to work for a living I would still do what I do. During the times I can not work in the shop I play music or work on instrument designs or other things I enjoy.

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
– Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers

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