Categories for Dulcimer design

How and Why of the New Finch Tops

January 15, 2019 1 Comment

Here is the why and how of the tongue and groove tops for the new Finch model hammered dulcimers. These are 2 photos of the tops before being glued to the frame, and you can easily see the tongue and groove joints.   Here is why we need to build them this way. I built special humidity box to test a dulcimer we had built in the fall and kept it at 70-80% humidity for a couple weeks. It did... Read More →

Excluding moisture exchange from wood

August 7, 2017 Leave your thoughts

Wood is hygroscopic meaning it wants to absorb or release moisture based on the humidity of the environment. Wood reaches an equilibrium moisture content based on whatever the conditions are. In a humid Iowa summer any wood can get close to 12% moisture content (MC) in a non air conditioned home. In winter the same wood will pretty quickly drop to close to 6% MC in a normally heated home. When wood absorbs or loses moisture it shrinks or swells... Read More →

Finishes

January 14, 2012 Leave your thoughts

I have been spraying lacquer for twenty years now. Hated it the whole time. It is nasty stuff. I have to wear a complete hazmat suit, respirator, rubber gloves, boots, and still I can’t help getting a small dose. It is also bad for the environment. I can’t see how I am being a good steward of the Earth by spraying these chemicals out into the air. But it is fast, and looks good. I have been looking for an... Read More →

Wood selections

June 3, 2011 Leave your thoughts

For many years we built the Whippoorwill and Warbler dulcimers with solid Honduras Mahogany tops. We were buying it from some folks in St. Louis that imported it directly. Otherwise known as “Genuine” Mahogany, it was a truly great tone wood. But in the very late 1990s an international ban was put in place on trade of Honduras Mahogany taken from its native range. By 2007 the supply of it had dwindled to the point that it became unavailable for... Read More →