Fretboard is pre-slotted but frets are not installed. Nut slot is not cut on the fretboard; instead the nut slot is carved into the headstock end. Groove underneath the fretboard extends from head to strum hollow.

Fretboard is There is a string slot cut into the fretboard for anchoring the strings. The sides, back and headstock is cherry, the top is thin-grained mahogany, all solid-wood. The teardrop shape has a flat peghead and the hourglass shape has a scroll. The top comes in two pieces of wood. It is attached to the bottom of the fretboard, which has a groove cut down the entire length. The fretboard has the frets installed. All solid wood. Bud and Donna Ford will work with you to order the woods you specify, as well as soundholes precut you can pick from several available designs.

They will install the frets for you if you ask. There are various levels of kits available based on your needs. Everything is precut, tops and backs, sides are prebent, fretboard is slotted but not fretted. The material is walnut veneer. They have a variety of kits for each of the instruments they offer.

The kits have prebent sides, but the tops and back need to be cut. The fretboard is preslotted but not fretted. Material varies with class of kit.

For a small extra fee they will cut soundholes for you. The tops and backs are precut and sides are prebent. Frets are installed. Kits are solid wood, no veneer. The entire body of the dulcimer has already been constructed. There are two large round soundholes precut, which you can improve on if you choose. After that, you put in the strings, nails, and tuners bushings already preinstalledset the nut and bridge and string it up.

This kit is the unfinished version of the Almost Complete Kit. All the wood is in the raw uncut parts, and the fretboard is slotted but not fretted.Create a Folkcraft account for free rewards!

free dulcimer plans

Click HERE. This banjo plan is easy to read and understanding. On top of that, it's printed with high quality ink on solid paper.

free dulcimer plans

Definitely will purchase another plan in the future! If you have ever wondered how to build your own mountain dulcimer, then you need our building plans for a traditional hourglass-shaped mountain dulcimer.

Our full scale pattern shows you the exact dimensions and shapes for the fingerboard, soundboard topbraces, back, tail block, fingerboard, fret spacing this plan shows a 27" VSLbridges, string spacing and so much more. Suggested wood types are also provided. This hourglass dulcimer plan will get you past the hard part of building an instrument, and right into the fun part - cutting, gluing, and finishing!

Please note: The various wood parts that we offer are appropriate for use with this dulcimer plan, but you may find that some dimensions don't match exactly. If you use the wood parts that we sell the same parts we use in our own shop for building Folkcraft and FolkRoots dulcimers!

Homemade Appalachian/Mountain Dulcimer

These mountain dulcimer plans is intended to offer you a starting point and a set of guidelines for the instruments you will build.

Customer Reviews. Fast delivery item described perfectly. Completeplans, easy to read and interpret.The following plans were developed through my own work and 20 years of teaching musical instrument making at: Bristol Adult Education - evening classes Swindon Adult Education - evening classes Bath Spa University College - teaching music students. The photo is from a class in Filton, Bristol, taken about I am on the right and we are discussing a mold for an Appalachian dulcimer. Many instruments have been made from each plan.

The plans are full size, all dimensions are in millimetres and suggestions for materials and construction are given. I welcome feedback about the plans and pictures of your completed project. On this website you will find information about conservation and lute making, as well as information for novice luthiers. Prices for the plans are shown below the plan descriptions. Portions of some plans are shown - click on them for a larger version.

Based on the work of north Italian makers from aboutthe late Renaissance, the string length is mm and any odd number of ribs from 11 to 33 is appropriate. As well as being a sensible woodworking project, the lute made from this plan will satisfy the criteria of historical accuracy demanded by today's lute players and will tune to concert pitch.

The plan consists of two sheets; the first has full drawings for a seven course lute and the second has full size drawings for the mould and plan drawings for the eight course, including neck, bridge and pegbox.

How to Make and Play a Hammered Dulcimer

This unique small steel string guitar with a bright sound is one of the most popular of the plans It is my own design, the first guitar being made in In designing, I had three ideas in mind; 1. The string length is mm, width mm.

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Being smaller, the wood work project is easier and good quality materials are easier to find. I have made this guitar with and without a truss rod and options are explained on the plan. InI was commissioned to build an octave mandola.

There were no plans and I did not much like any of the instruments I saw. I designed this instrument and the plan has become very popular, with many beautiful instruments being built from it. The octave mandola is a 20th century invention; original concept was probably a bass mandolin. It is tuned an octave lower than the mandolin and has become an instrument in it's own right, especially popular with folk instrumentalists. Again, it is a small instrument and this makes the project easier, string length mm, width mm.

This plan makes an excellent first project for the woodworker who would like to learn the techniques of lutherie, steam bending and fretting being the most important. The Appalachian dulcimer is one of two folk instruments of the settlers of North America.

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This version is hourglassed shaped, lightly constructed and has a strong bright tone. The other is, of course, the banjo.The mountain dulcimer is a beautiful, sweet-sounding stringed instrument that developed in the Appalachian mountains in the 18th and 19th centuries. The mountain dulcimer remains a popular instrument in folk and dance music of the mountains.

Kits for building mountain dulcimers are widely available, but many people prefer to build their own instruments. Learn how to make a mountain dulcimer. Select what shape you would like your dulcimer to be: hourglass, elliptical and teardrop are all traditional shapes.

Once you have selected a shape, you will need to purchase a set of plans with schematics for the measurements of your chosen shape. Using plans will ensure that your mountain dulcimer has correct proportions, and sounds the way it should. Construct the parts of the dulcimer according to your plans. The shapes and measurements will differ from design to design, so be careful not to mix designs or measurements.

Mixed designs can result in improper string tension and damage to the strings or even the neck. Cut, shape, and sand the sides, back, top, scroll, neck, fingerboard and tailpiece. Cut any decorative sound holes you like into the top, or soundboard, and make holes for the tuning pegs in the scroll with the tuning peg reamer.

Glue the sides to the scroll and clamp them in place. When the glue has dried, glue the sides to the tailpiece and clamp until dry. Cut the dowel to fit between the sides at the top and insert it while the tailpiece dries to keep the shape of the instrument open.

Draw a center line down the back panel and carefully position the framed sides of the mountain dulcimer over it. Trace around the sides of the instrument onto the back.

Apply glue to the back just inside this guiding line, and place the framed sides onto the back. Clamp the sides and back to another piece of straight, flat wood or other surface, put in dowels cut to fit the sides, and allow to dry fully. Sand the fretboard and very lightly cut grooves into it for the placement of the strings, as according to your plans.

Lay the frets across the fretboard where indicated by your plans, and tap the frets gently into the grooves. Clip any frets hanging over the fretboard with the wire cutters. Use the rasp to sand the edges of the frets down so that they are level with the fretboard. Draw a center line down the middle of the soundboard or top of the mountain dulcimer and place the fretboard on it.

Trace the outline of the fretboard, remove it, and apply glue just inside the marks. Clamp the fretboard to the soundboard and allow the glue to dry. Glue the top or soundboard to the rest of the instrument and clamp until dry. When the glue is dry, cut away any bit of the fretboard hanging over the bottom end of the mountain dulcimer and round the bottom of the fretboard using the rasp and sandpaper.

Glue on the nut. Sand the instrument all over to make sure it is smooth. Make a note of where the strings will go, and make small notches in the nut where they will rest. Cover the fingerboard with masking tape and apply a stain, varnish, or oil as you prefer, and allow the instrument to dry completely.

Remove the masking tape when you are finished applying the stain. Insert the tuning gears into the scroll.I'm providing these images of scale plans I drew up long ago when I was building accoustic dulcimers. I used to carry these so if anyone wanted to build one, we could step into a copy shop and they could make a copy.

free dulcimer plans

I've always tried to encourage people to go ahead and build their own. I figure this is also where to start in developing your own plans, acoustic or electric, since the string lengths and bridge placement are the same, and all dulcimers follow this general pattern. I have scanned them as full size images, at dpi, so each should fit on a legal size piece of paper and provide better detail compared to what you see on the 72 dpi available on the webpage.

Each image overlaps the adjoining one so they can be printed out and taped together carefully to assemble the complete plan. An important point is that the bridge angles are based upon the distance between each course.

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These plans are based on a spacing of about 1. I use two strings per course, but some dulcimers usethree, four, or even five, which vwould require wider spacing. The bridge angles are also relative, that is, you could have one side stright up and down and the other side twice and angled and everything would work out the same, and in fact, some traditional dulcimer-type instruments are made this way.

You have to make your own decisions. Something this small is still playable for testing but requires less time and effort than a "full-sized" model. Even "full-size" is relative. It is important to remember that for a given spacing of the courses, the bridges can be extended up and down as far as you can reach. You could also arrange the strings chromatically, which would alter the bridge angle again.

Though this has been done in some traditional and modern designs, you should consider that one of the essentially harmonic components of the dulcimer's design is that the strings that pass close to each other on the same or adjacent courses are harmonically related at primary harmonic levels, the fifth, an octave, or a fourth, which is essentially an inverted fifth.

The harmonic resonation of these adjacent strings is part of the tone of the dulcimer.

Mountain Dulcimer Plans

This can be easily demonstrated by hammering just one string for a bit, then damping it out, and listening to the harmonics still ringing from the other strings. Though in some traditional instruments a single half-step progression is added eg a "C" followed by a "C " above it to give a greater range of keys, and range in the available keys, in a smaller instrument.

These few chromatic steps, sometimes only the one used as example, doesn't effect the over-all nature of the instrument so much. While the chromatic arrangement that was popularized on the piano keyboard is useful, it is not the only way or even the best arrangement. A study of the arrangement of the notes in the dulcimer will reveal it to be a practical, effective, and a musically natural and logical pattern of notes, ancient and quite perfect, even if unfamiliar to eyes and minds taught to see music in the relatively recent chromatic progression of a keyboard.

Rick Fogel at Whamadiddle wrote up an excellent paper on the mathematics of calculating string lengths if you want to go that far. Otherwise, as long as it is close, you can tweak the desired string tension by adjusting the end rails in or out slightly. This is to suggest that in your designs you leave a bit of margin, at least in your prototypes, for the rails and bridges to be slid around slightly to the best placement. The center bridge divides the string for a perfect fifth between sides, the right bridge uses the double octave node, and even if not played, the high notes on the right side of this bridge will be clearly heard in the harmonics if not damped, especially in an electric instrument.

I get into suggestions for electrics more on the electric dulcimer builder's page, so I'll let this go as it is. Also, while the dulcimer is laid out for a right-handed lead, For a right-handed lead, it is best to have the bass on the right, where you start more common ascending chords and scales, it would be perfectly reasonable to build a "left-handed" design, reversing the placement of the bridges. Some people add foot-operated dampers.

Anyway, please think of this as a starting point for your own plans. Traditionally, rock maple is used for the pin-blocks to grip "zither pins" which are hammered into slightly undersized holes, then tuned with a special "tuning wrench" you buy with the pins. Though other woods possibly teak in China or metal could be used to tighten and adjust the tension on the strings at one end, and hitch them at the other. You can buy smooth "hitch pins" as well, though I just use double headed common nails for my hitch pins, cut off and dropped into drilled holes the same depth as the tuning pins.

They need to be fairly heavy or they will bend.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Store Locator Shop. Downloadable plans are available in the My Account Section after purchase. Downloadable plans are nonrefundable. See how you can get free standard shipping. Add to Cart.

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Add to Wish List. Find In Store Choose your store Choose a store Choose Another Store. Mountain Dulcimer Downloadable Plan. Item WJC Skip to the end of the images gallery. Skip to the beginning of the images gallery. Product Description The mountain or lap dulcimer is a simple-to-build, easy-to-play stringed instrument.

More Information Brand Woodworker's Journal. Powered by TurnTo. Review More Purchases My Posts. Dulcimer Plan Download. Great download, great detail and explanation, and great price.

July 12, Purchased 9 months ago.

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Woodworking Experience:. I have not had the chance to start building my dulicmer yet. The plans look easy to follow. Looking forward to starting my build soon. I would recommend these plans to anyone looking to build a dulicmer. February 14, Kimberly H. Purchased 1 year ago. Mountain dulcimer instructions. After experiencing a malfunction in downloading instructions, I immediately notified customer support about this problem. On the next working day the problem was acknowledged and corrected immediately.

I highly recommend, without reservations, Rockler to any woodworking customers. March 6, I really want to build one of these, I bookmarked your page, as well as all the links. Big thanks for the Fret calculator as well. Did you complete yours? Love your description, specifically looked it up again to get some dimensions.

Particularly wonder how the wood for the box is 23" long, the fretboard is 28" long, and the box is longer.

Or did I miss it somewhere? You're right, that's confusing. The picture shows a dulcimer with an abbreviated fretboard. The design is for one with five extra inches for a headstock that extends beyond the box.

I added a picture and some clarification. I like the extended headstock so you can use banjo or guitar tuners instead of friction pegs.

I also added hyperlinks to places you can get things mentioned in the article. Good luck with your project. I personally like the abbreviated fret board. So the box is 23"x6". Looks wider than that.

free dulcimer plans

The VSL is measured from the nut to the bridge. The vibrating string length rather depends on where you actually put the bridge and nut. That's part of the construction process and depends rather on what bridge and nut assembly you use. It can be 22 inches, 23 inches or somewhere between.

Simply enter the VSL in the fret calculator and it will adjust your fret measurements accordingly. With the one I've linked to above, you can play around with the VSL till you get measurements you like and then set your bridge and nut. Remember that because dulcimers are not chromatic, they don't have every fret. The fret calculator tells you which ones to skip. The pictures are of wider box dulcimers.

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Free dulcimer plans

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