Introduction: Strumstick Dulcimer
A fun build to use up some off-cuts
This will be a 3-string Strum Stick (AKA Stick Dulcimer)
Scale length will be 650mm (25.59")
Glue used is TiteBond Original
Wood (from left to right)
Mahogany (back off-cuts)
Red Cedar (from Ukulele build)
Mahogany (side off-cuts)
Angled beading unknown hardwood
Reclaimed quartered Spruce or pine from furniture
I have drawn out the plan onto 3 sheets of A4
I made a mold out of MDF off-cuts.
The side was bent using a pipe and blow lamp.
The tail block was shaped and glued on.
I made the kerfed lining from the beading.
The arrow points to a small piece of veneer which will end up
giving me a slight neck angle.
I made the neck then cut and glued the scarf joint.
The neck heel will also be the neck block.
The ribs will be glued to the sides of the block/heel.
I forgot to take a pic.
I joined the soundboard.
The top is 2mm +/- 0.1mm.
Soundhole is cut out and the patch glued on.
Braces are glued on and rough shaped.
The back is joined and the brace is glued on.
I made the fretboard.
2 strips of Mahogany, from the side off-cut, with the grain running lengthways.
2 strips of thin veneer with the grain running widthways.
1 length of 1.2mm ebony veneer.
The fretboard thickness is about 6mm
The box is now closed.
I thought it was looking a bit plain
so I added a some Holly binding to the top.
The fretboard has two locating pins holding it on.
I will look through my odds and ends box to find something
to use as a tail piece.
The tailpiece was cut out of a small brass angle.
I bought a couple of them.
Here is a before and after shot.
The fretboard is glued on and most of
the neck shaping is done.
Reflection on some of the frets makes them
look a bit skew-whiff but they are parallel
with each other.
I had to wait a while for the machine heads to arrive in the post so
I made a case for the strumstick.
I made an oblong frame out of 4" x 1/2" planking then used thin ply
for the top and back. I sawed through the box to create the lid and
base. I stuck on some faux canvas material. I bought the 8 corners
but the rest was salvaged from an old cordless drill case. The inside has
a foam base wrapped in a dark cloth. The sides of the inside are covered
with some strips of vinyl sticky tape.
My tail piece did not work out as planned, so, I drilled new holes and hid the old holes under the small piece of decorative binding.
I cut a nut and saddle from some bone off-cuts. The bridge is mahogany.
The strumstick weighs 1lb 2 oz or about 500g (weighed on kitchen scales).
It has cheapo, lightweight, electric guitar strings on. I used the E,B and D
strings. It is tuned DAd.
I think that the sound is unique in the fact that it sounds simular to a number of different instruments. I know that it would sound different with alternative strings and playing style but as it is I can hear a touch of banjo, sitar, mando and various others. Playing with a drone evokes a celtic
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