My first attempt in making a acoustic Mountain Dulcimer. I had a sheet of poplar plywood (3mm) of 60 cm lying around so I decided to make a 20" Mountain Dulcimer.
The headstock and the bridge side part were made from 2 pieces of a 18 mm edge-glued beech panel glued together (height 36mm). The Headstock and V-shape bridge side part (angle 60°) were cut using a bandsaw.
Two strips of 36mm width poplar plywood were used for the curved sides and glued to the headstock and bridge V-shape part.
The bottom plywood sheet was glued on the frame and cut by using a bandsaw. Two holes were cut in the upper plywood sheet. A piezo was hotglued on the upper plywood approximately were the bridge will be, and an output jack was added in the side part.(no picture)
A Beech strip (380x40x8 mm) was used for the fretboard. The scale length was aimed at 20 inches (508 mm). Diatonic fretting was used (including the 6+ fret). The fretboard was glued on the sound board.
|distance from nut (mm)||55.4||104.8||127.4||169.0||205.9||222.9||238.9||254.0||281.7||306.4||317.7||338.5||357.0|
An aluminium 90° angle profile (10x10mm) was used as nut. A 10mm aluminium T-profile was used for the bridge. The dulcimer was waxed.
As this dulcimer has a rather short scale, I used the String Tension Pro calculator from D'Addario to determine the strings that will keep the feel of the D'Addario EJ64 set(-> Electric Mountain Dulcimer). Using standard tuning (D4 D4 A3 D3) the following strings gauges were calculated and used: 0.016, 0.016, 0.018, 0.030w. The double D4 string is difficult to handle because of the thickness (0.016). I use only one D4 string at the moment.