Doug Berch

Dulcimer Maker And Musician

cropped Dulcimer Builders and Makers 1 23

What’s On The Bench – June 14th, 2019

This chromatic dulcimer in walnut will have a zircote fingerboard and spruce soundboard.

On the bench is a chromatic dulcimer having reinforcements glued in to lock the ends of the braces into the sides. The reinforcements add strength to the joinery and makes the inside of the dulcimer look neat. The reinforcements are shy and happy to be hiding under the clamps where they can’t be seen.

While the glue was drying I carved the ramp that goes from behind the bridge (shown by a pencil line) to the end of the dulcimer. I start the ramp by sawing off the waste and continue shaping it with rasps, files, and scrapers. When I placed the fingerboard on the body to double check the length it asked me to take the above photo. Unlike the reinforcements mentioned earlier, the fingerboard is not shy.

I’m currently working on two bespoke chromatic dulcimers. The one above will be in walnut, spruce, and zircote, the other is in oak, spruce, Spanish cedar, and zircote.

I am regularly receiving requests to make fully chromatic dulcimers and they seem to be becoming popular.

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5 Comments

  1. Bill Allman

    Doug, I noticed that you glue on your kerfing with the cut side to the dulcimer sides. Will you share your reasoning for this?
    Regards, Bill

    • Doug

      It makes the sides stiffer and more rigid without adding extra weight

      • Bill Ala

        Thanks. Next instrument I I’ll give it a try. It does make sense though it’s like a sandwich panel.

  2. Tom Devers

    Beautiful looking dulcimer. I am sorry the reinforcements were so shy it would have been a treat for them to shine!

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Doug Berch & Dulcimer Makers