Day 27: Buffalo Fun-a-day

Day 27: initial carving of the fingerboard, trimming the back to the sides, installing bracing for the back; listening to “Civil Wars“…

Initially carved finger board set sort-of in place on top of the dulcimer body, with bracing installed, and back trimmed to the sides:

The (current) winner for sound hole design:

Day 26: Buffalo Fun-a-day

Today I cut to length, then glued the sides of the dulcimer, along with the linings, which strengthen the connection between the sides, the top, and the back.

Getting ready, I needed to check that everything fits where it is supposed to go, how the clamps fit and inter-operate …

Next up, glue the sides to the peg block, tailpiece, and back. Glue the peg block and tailpiece to the back, too. What could possibly go wrong?

I made due with what heavy objects I could find on hand to provide downward pressure.

Then the bottom lining, held in place by a dull band-saw blade and a number of flexible strips of 1/8″ scrap, thusly:

Lastly for today, the top linings, which I will plane/scrape/sand flush to the sides tomorrow. So many clothes-pins!

Day 24 & 25: Buffalo Fun-a-day

Day 24: attended “the myth of perfection“, then doodled some soundhole ideas, only to find out from a friend the some of them resemble a traditional type of fish hook!

Day 25: Spent a solid 6h in the shop, working on the other faces of the scroll.

First rank:

Second rank:

Freehand and refining the high points:

Next, freehand and refining the texture of the scroll top and back:

Last, I started fitting the ribs and linings to the pegbox on the bending jig and seeing what sort of clamping might make sense.

Day 23: Buffalo Fun-a-day

Tonight, worked with dremel, gouges, knife, and sandpaper to further refine the scroll.  Tomorrow, I will begin carving the opposite side and/or the top/bottom face.

Day 21 & 22: Buffalo Fun-a-day

I am trying to carve the scroll. I’ve not done this before, though I’ve got a good reference. I’m using a combination of dremel, chisels, gouges, and knives.

First rank:

Second rank:

Roughing it in:

Gouging out relief areas; following with dremel to smooth/buff:

…and then the dremel died. Guess that’s it for tonight 🙂

I’ll still need to repeat all these cuts, cut-aways, and gouges on the other side, too.

Day 16: Buffalo Fun-a-day

Last night, I learned a new song, “Train on the Island”, to perform at the open mic night in Puerto Ayora 🙂

While the open mic didn’t happen due to a manager’s dispute with the D.J. (!), I did meet two musicians from Germany. They were with “Musicians Without Borders”, and had never heard of or seen a mountain dulcimer.

Audio of my first attempt playing and singing, unedited, unomptimized:


Day 14 & 15: Buffalo Fun-a-day

Well, there’s “fun”, and then there’s “attacked-by-feral-dogs-fun”. Quito is full of surprises.

Only the dulcimer case was damaged.

A bit nervy after that encounter, we tried for some creative time, and wound up enjoying an evening of contemporary dance entitled “Mnmosine” instead.

Today, I tried my hand at sketching a building near “El Belen” – I’m happy with it.  My first sketch in a long time!


I also got to spend a little time playing a locally made Requinto Guitar 🙂