Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Month: December 2016

Music I’d Like To Hear #121

Young lady with ukulele and banjo

What’s On The Bench 12/18/2016

Sanding dulcimers. The fun never ends.Two dulcimers have been gone over with scrapers and files and now comes sanding. And sanding. And then some more sanding.

I enjoy working with scrapers and files. Sanding is messy and time consuming.

There was a time when most luthiers did not do much sanding. The finished instrument did not have a perfect, homogeneous surface. It looked like wood that was worked by hand with edge tools.

The tool marks and slight unevenness in finish and texture of a scraped and filed instrument is beautiful in my eyes. In our current industrial society many people think wood should look like a photograph of wood more than wood itself.

So I sand my dulcimers.

Still, there will be the occasional tool mark that I don’t sand out. I made this dulcimer. I made that tool mark.  And to me it is beautiful.

By “tool mark” I am referring to a subtle witness that a plane, chisel, scraper or file had been used to work the surface. By “tool mark” I don’t refer to marks left by the sawmill, the bandsaw, a dulcimer-making machine, etc.

For years I have thought of making a sandpaper-free model. I’m sure some people would like it. Or not. Maybe someday.

That’s dulcimer #157 on the bench. The old shaving brush is great for sweeping away dust from all the nooks and crannies.

Not in the photograph is the dust mask I wear while sanding and and air cleaner that sucks the dust out of the air.

You can see photographs of work in progress regularly by following me on Instagram.

 

Music I’d Like To Hear #120

Mandolin Orchestra. One young lady is playing a Pollman guitar.

Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers

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