The trouble with solid wood is it shrinks or swells across the grain with changes in humidity in the environment. It can move a lot. The rule of thumb in woodworking is not to glue wood cross grain over 8 inches wide. But we routinely do it in the hammered dulcimer world, gluing tops as wide as 24 inches to maple pin blocks. It is asking for trouble, but we all do it. If the top is not totally dry when glued to the frame, and it shrinks in winter, it can crack. If it is dry, but the humidity goes way up, it will swell and put stress on the overall instrument.
The construction of the top for the Finch model is a completely new and novel way to eliminate this problem. They are composed of 7 individual narrow boards joined by tight fitting tongue and groove joints which are not glued. This allows each individual board to shrink or swell as it needs without causing problems. No more cracks, no warps, no having to keep your dulcimer in a specially humidified environment in the winter or you void your warrantee, no worries at all. Just play it and enjoy it. We believe this is the way solid wood top hammered dulcimers should be built. It works great! We have tested them, and they will take almost any environment and just sound good. No special care necessary. Sound holes all need to be in the back on these. Cutting sound holes on the top would compromise the structure.
Credit where credit is due, this is not my idea. It was given to me, here is how it came about. My aunt, Dottie Raun passed away and we wanted to go to the funeral in Des Moines, 150 miles away. The funeral was scheduled for 8:00 AM which meant we had to go and stay overnight. We wound up in a really bad motel. The bed was awful, I wasn’t sleeping well and dreamed this dulcimer. It was vivid, went on all night, and by morning I had it all worked out. I told Melanie I’d had this dream, described it, and she knew right away things would change. This was not something I had been mulling over or was even concerned about. It is so out of the blue that I know it came from outside myself and was just given to me for whatever reason. You may interpret it however you wish, but since I am a believer, I think it came from above and am just humbly grateful.
For solid one board tops, builders are pretty much trapped with some version of mahogany or other, or a softwood like spruce because they are the most stable. But with our new system it is now possible to make dulcimers from many different woods. We tried a bunch, they all sounded good, but some are better. Air Dried Walnut is just magical with full rich tone and amazing tuning stability!
Air Dried Walnut, Curly Maple bindings, Hard Maple sides, Walnut bridges, and laminated Birch back.
We also have a version of the Finch available as a 17/16/8 chromatic dulcimer. Learn more about the Finch Chromatic hammered dulcimer, or our flagship model, the 17/16/8 Finch Chromatic Pro.
||44 × 24 × 6 in
Availability: We are a small Mom and Pop enterprise, and can’t have everything we make in stock all the time. We should have all of the accessories and small items all of the time. We also try to keep natural Phoebe and Chickadee dulcimers around all of the time. But other finishes or higher end models will be hit or miss. We build dulcimers 6 of each model at a time to get the economy of scale, so if we have them, we have them, if not, it could be a month or two depending on where we are in our cycle. If you have a deadline, please contact us for availability of what you are thinking of getting before placing the order.
Shipping Info: A shipping calculator with all the functionality would cost us big money, so we opted to use the basic and reliable Paypal checkout system and include a reasonable average shipping cost on the price of each item. If you order multiple items to ship in the same package, we will refund the extra via Paypal.
International Shipping: Our standard shipping amount is for shipments to the lower 48 United States. We can ship internationally, but not to everywhere. Our packages must go via US Postal Service to be as economical as possible. It depends on the rules of the receiving country what size package they will accept. In general most European countries are OK. Also Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. If you are wondering, you can check yourself on the Post Office website. Our most common package is 44 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 6 inches thick for a total length plus girth of 104 inches. They weigh 33 pounds. This should be enough info to get you a quote. You can always contact us for a quote, too.
Payment Info: We have been using Paypal for years, and believe it is the safest online way to pay. You don’t need to have an account with them to use our Paypal checkout system, and best of all, we never need to know your credit card or bank details. Of course, we still like checks best since they don’t cost us money to process! If you want to send us one in the mail, we would greatly appreciate it! Just don’t use the shopping cart, and contact us directly with your order, and we’ll work out the total and details. You can also call us directly with a credit card number for payment.
Dealers: When possible, it is always best to go see and try out an instrument before buying. You can also get the input of a knowledgeable sales person. A good dealer will have in stock several different models of hammered dulcimer. Some will even have instruments from different makers, and it is very educational to see and hear the difference.
We have many trusted dealers all over the country that we have been working with for many years. We consider these folks close friends, and would not hesitate to recommend them to you. Contact us and we can put you in touch with someone near you.