dulcimer plans

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Forum topic by TDW posted 10-19-2020 02:49 AM 290 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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59 posts in 3897 days

10-19-2020 02:49 AM

looking for an easy (and free) dulcimer plan for a first time build.

-- Tom, Ky.

5 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3161 posts in 3086 days

#1 posted 10-19-2020 01:59 PM

You looking for an Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer or a Hammered Dulcimer. Do a search there are a lot of different plans. They are not going to be free. The Mountain Dulcimer is not really difficult but you will need some skill The Hammered Dulcimer is probably the same. Just take it one step at a time. The plans for both are available but not free people have put a lot of time and energy into drawing developing these plans. Some have a pretty reasonable price. I have built several mountain dulcimers and some are posted as projects.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Loren's profile


10784 posts in 4561 days

#2 posted 10-19-2020 03:11 PM

not free, but good dulcimer plans.

Those are for professional quality instruments. You can buy mountain dulcimer kits with pre-bent sides too from Stewart McDonald’s and other sources like ebay.

I have a book on making folk instruments and while the drawings look good, the instructions leave something to be desired due to the number of instruments covered and translation from Dutch. It probably has a zither in there.

View SMP's profile


2856 posts in 818 days

#3 posted 10-19-2020 03:39 PM

Have used them for banjo stuff but looks like they have dulcimer stuff as well. $10 for plans, probably cheaper than you could get printed at Fedex office.

View PBWilson1970's profile


142 posts in 306 days

#4 posted 10-20-2020 12:41 PM

Check out and poke around the “other stringed instruments” section. There are a number of dulcimer builders on that forum and they share freely.

What kind of wood are you thinking of building with?

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View Kelly's profile


3156 posts in 3857 days

#5 posted 10-20-2020 05:40 PM


My buddy built three (different lengths) in my shop. I helped, but it was, mostly, all on him.

Setting the fret positions, he used a formula, but was off on some of the frets, requiring a do-over. That left him sweating bullets. However, I reminded him the neck was a monster, in the scheme of things and when compared to what guitars have, and which suffer more abuse over a larger area.

I suggested he test the next set of positions up against a tuner, and using a piece of fret material with the bottom, which presses into the wood, ground off. That worked, if only to double check position results.

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