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 19 &20: Buffalo Fun-a-day

Day 19 was a bit of a bust, as far as tangible creative output.  There was just too much time spent in transit and transition.

However, today is Day 20! I’m back in the shop today, and beginning work on the scroll for the peg head.

First, I transferred the pattern from the scale design with a knife.

Next, I set a “depth stop” using blue tape on a small saw, and began roughing in the first level of the scroll.

I used the Dremel with a cutting wheel, along with a few chisels to rough out the rest of this part.

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: