Work has been progressing slowly but surely. Dealing with boring back and shoulder issues has slowed me down a bit but dulcimer builders are made of strong stuff.
Having to work more slowly is not all bad. I get to savor each step in making a dulcimer a little more. Last night I was working on the tail-end of a fretboard. I sawed the taper with a dozuki saw and finished shaping and cleaning it up with low-angle block planes.
Though this ramp is a simple part of the dulcimer, making it involved cleanly planing a bubinga fingerboard, a poplar neck, and a zircote end-cap with the grain running crosswise to the fingerboard. Bubinga is very hard and often has grain that is a little resistant to being planed. Poplar is soft and planes effortlessly. The cross-grain piece of zircote at the end would like to stop the plane dead in it’s tracks!
There once was a time when making this little ramp by hand would have made me shiver with fear. Now it is something I look forward too. Maybe I need to get out more?
Layout lines were made and followed by saw cuts. It took about twenty seconds on a fine Japanese waterstone to get the plane blades up to task. Wispy tricolor shavings came off the planes. To get from layout lines to the finished surface took about 15 minutes.
I do have a funky old disc sander in the basement and this entire operation could have taken a loud and dusty minute or so but what would be the fun in that?
In other news, I have 3 dulcimers under way and wood sorted for the next three. I’m also designing a new dulcimer model and will share news of that journey as it develops.
A few days ago I sorted through wood in the attic and found these two boards of curly walnut. They will soon be resawn and eventually become dulcimers.
The mosquitoes in the Greater Lansing, Michigan area are gathering with plans for world domination. Wild turkeys, rabbits, deer, and groundhogs visit our yard. Nights are quiet again now that we are a week or so past the 4th of July and happy Americans have grown bored with setting off fireworks.
I am married to a wonderful woman and grateful to share my life with her. We live indoors. We eat everyday.
Life is good!