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I made this dulcimer for my wife. Although she doesn't play yet, she has wanted on for a long time. The woodworking club I belong to chose a dulcimer as a club project, so I couldn't put off making one any longer. This is my first stringed instrument, and was loads of fun to make. I started with a piece of 5/4 figured cherry (her favorite) 9 1/2" wide and 48" long. Since my jointer is only 8", I had to rely on the my planer, bandsaw and drum sander. The top, sides and bottom are 1/8" thk., but the sides are laminated from two 1/16" pieces glued up in a form the shape of the side. The fretboard is cocobolo. I sanded the cherry to 320 before assembly. I applied two coats of Watco Danish Oil to pop the figure out, then wet sanded with 600 using the same Watco. I let it dry for a week before buffing with 0000 steel wool and applying two coats of paste wax. My wife, Cathy, goes by the name of "Cat" hence the cat-shaped sound holes. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for looking.

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Really great work, Dan. I especially like the cats. Reminds one of the mountain ladies on the front porch in the evening. It's been a while since I've heard a dulcimer. They don't seem to be as popular in this part of the country.
Tom
 

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Wow!

It's amazing, and you say it's your first instrument? Unbelievable. I love the nice detail of the holes cut in form of cat silhouettes too.
 

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lovely. Great idea for the cats!!
 

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So how does it sound? Very nice looking instrument btw.
 

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That is a beautiful job! Nice work. I bet the wife loves it (whether she ever plays it or not…).
 

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Great job, Dan.

I remember my dad building a dulcimer from a kit many years ago. As I already played guitar, I found it very easy to play. Your wife should give it a try…it's probably the easiest of stringed instruments to learn. Of course the professionals can get into some very serious technique, but basic strumming is within anyone's grasp.
 

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Woodworking art! Great job.
 

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Woodworking art! Great job.
 

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A great looking instrument Dan. Well done.
 

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nice dulicumer. i like the cats. where are you located in WV. i live outside of salem a few miles.
keep up the good work. jerryw
 

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Thanks for all the nice comments. Everyone seems to like the cats, includeing "Cat."

Jerry, I live in Scott Depot. It's on I-64, about halfway between Charleston and Huntington. I think you make the third Mountaineer here on LJ. If your ever in the area, give me a call, I'll give you a shop tour. I'm in the phone book.
 

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Dan thanks for the invite. I don't get to your area very often, but you never know. If your in the Clarksburg area, email me and I will give you direction. I will be at the Forest Festival in Elkins Oct. 4-6 , if you should happen to be in the area.
 

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Great job!

I started a violin a few years ago and I am trying to get interested again.

Have you had anyone that knows how to play, try it out yet?

Gary
 

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Very cool…
 

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Gary, I haven't yet. Will post a comment when she gets it tuned up.
 

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That is really a pretty dulcimer! When you get that case made, you'll have to post a photo as well. I used blue foam inside mine, cut to match the dulcimer outline, then used spray adhesive to apply foam backed velour.
 

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That's a real nice dulcimwr and I'll just bet that your wife loves and treasures it. It's always rewarding to make beautiful things for a loved one.
 
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