Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

Random Photos Of Tools On The Dulcimer Making Bench

Here are some photographs of things going on in the shop that have been cluttering up my hard drive.

As a dulcimer maker I do a lot of fine, detailed work requiring extreme precision and accuracy.

Perhaps this is why I love using a mallet! Here is my often used mallet resting on top of the form I use for bending dulcimer sides.

Dulcimer Side Bending Jig And A Gentle, Persuasive Mallet

The dampened sides and a flexible heating strip are sandwiched between two long pieces of sheet metal. As heat and moisture soften the sides I gradually apply hand-pressure to the long caul and press the sides to the form. I finalize the pressure and hold everything in place with cam clamps and use the mallet to persuade everything into proper alignment.

I also use the mallet to clamp work to my bench with a holdfast. Here is a picture I took of a holdfast on my bench before photography was invented:

Figure V - a holdfast

 

Planes have a very high opinion of themselves and like to strut their stuff and show off whenever they can. After they worked up a sweat squaring up a big chunk of curly cherry I let them have their moment.

Planes on parade

In our next photo, from left to right, are Romulus the high angle smoothing plane and Remus the toothing plane. Though they come from the same mother they have vastly different approaches to smoothing and flattening wood. Romulus requires a lot of pushing and force but once in motion will smooth almost any wood to a glass-like finish, Remus prefers to score ruts in the wood and show it who is boss. Together they can handle the wildest grain I have yet to  come across.

Two planes that together can handle just about anything - a high angle smoother and a toothing plane

Last but not least I include a photograph of Ms. Agatha Tsatskeh. Ms. Tsatskeh, through the art of interpretive dance, has taught me many things about accuracy, proportion and grace.

Ms. Agatha Tsatskeh demonstrates the ancient principle of the right angle through interpretive dance

 

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2 Comments

  1. Doug Berch

    :0)

  2. Gary Roberts

    I see Agatha has the one leg up pose. Perhaps she was just kissing some handsome Pharoah?

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers