I’m currently working on two dulcimers I began this past Fall before the last back surgery. I am so happy to be working again! It will still be a while before I am back to working full-time in the shop, which for a self-employed person who loves his job usually means most-of-the-time, but I am thankful and grateful for what I am now able to do.
The two current dulcimers I’m building both have walnut backs and sides. One will have a butternut soundboard and the other was to have a cedar soundboard but after planing and cleaning up the top I realized it was not cedar but redwood! I have a few sets of redwood I sawed up a few years ago that were unusually hard and stiff for redwood and one of them sneaked into the pile of cedar soundboards when I wasn’t looking. Soundboards do that. I have to keep them in a corral or they end up all over the house.
Also on the bench is a knife I picked up at an antique mall a few years ago.This knife has a massive brass handle with rosewood scales. The handle has a set screw so the blade can be adjusted for length. The leather strop is a piece of an old guitar strap with some compound on it. Since using a strop I spend more time working and less time sharpening; a moment or two of stropping restores a fine edge and delays the need to hone the tool again.
I have several custom orders I look forward to starting in the near future. In the photograph below my lovely wife Cynthia is helping me sort through my wood stash to find just the right wood for these dulcimers:Life is good!