Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Making Dulcimers In A Small Shop

My shop used to be a bedroom, a small bedroom. It is what a realtor would describe as being “cozy and intimate.”

I work primarily with hand tools so most of my time is spent standing or sitting by the bench.

The bench - the place where all the magic happens

I tend to multitask so there are several things in the works in this picture; I am prepping a cherry dulcimer for the final coat of finish and sharpening a few tools.

Planes and planes and planes and bending forms and wood and stuff

Here you can see a bunch of planes, tonewood waiting to become dulcimers, some bent sides, bending forms and some other stuff. That $5 halogen light has made working at night much easier.

There is a wall I haven’t shown that is also covered with tools and a closet filled with supplies; glues, finishes, sandpaper, more wood, a small drill press, etc.

I am very comfortable working in my shop. In the future I may move it to a larger room so that I can work on a few more instruments at a time but for now this setup works well.

I have a bandsaw in the garage and a small tablesaw in the basement that are used primarily for resawing and preparing a few parts of a dulcimer. I don’t use them much in my day-to-day work so it is not much of an inconvenience to go to the machines as needed.

On the other hand, I think I might try the following method of making my machines portable someday.

I might try making my machinery portable someday



The Natural History Of The Musical Bow (1899)


Field Book Of American Trees And Shrubs (1915)


  1. Doug Berch

    Thanks Larry! It is one of my favorite places to be. I imagine we all feel that way about our shops!

  2. Larry Marshall

    Thanks for sharing the photos of your shop, Doug. It does look like a happy place.

    Cheers — Larry

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers