Last night and this afternoon I found myself bracing the back of a custom walnut dulcimer. I turned around and there I was. It was kind of strange and startling but at least I was getting some work done.
But seriously folks, here are some photographs of a cute little plane I use to rough shape braces.
I love those little spruce curls!
I don’t have a set bracing pattern for dulcimer soundboards and backs. I also don’t have a standard thickness for tops and backs.
Thicknesses of tops and backs and the number and sizes of braces depends on the particular pieces of wood I am working with. As a dulcimer comes together I make decisions and adjustments to achieve the resonance I desire.
I enjoy this process immensely.
After shaping the back braces I glued in the center reinforcement; a brace that strengthens the center joint of the book-matched back and adds stiffness to the back lengthwise.
A few hours later the back is ready to be fitted to the dulcimer.
Note to self: Don’t forget to put a label on the back before gluing it to the dulcimer! (Yes, it has happened!)