Recent work

Well, this week I finished and sold three knives, which is pretty good for me.   I typically make about 50 knives per year, so 3 in one week is great.  I wish I would keep that up…

All three are hunting knives.

The first one is twist damascus with black walnut handle:

 

 

 

 

 

This one is redwood burl and stainless/carbon laminate:

 

 

 

 

 

and this one is desert ironwood and laminate:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Electric dulcimer, part 2.

Final round of pics:

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I ended up not using the switch because there was not enough room for it. Instead I just used two jacks, one for each pickup.

Turns out both pickups work equally well. The only difference I can detect is that the pickup under the saddle picks up more of the higher frequencies than the other. Which was predictable. Both sound good though. I will try to record some clips.

Another mountain dulcimer

Several weeks ago I bought a Zoom G2, which is a guitar effects pedal.  I haven’t built myself an electric guitar (yet), so I’ve been using my moms MD, which has a pickup on it.  It works pretty well, and you can get some really interesting sounds using the pedal.  Problem is, it’s a regular dulcimer, i.e., with a hollow body.  So feedback is sometimes a problem.  So I’m making myself a solid body dulcimer.
Most of the electric dulcimers I came across while researching this, were made by just taking a board and attaching the components. I wanted mine to be a little more elegant than that, so I carved the top, out of Menards mahogany.  Menards doesn’t sell any hog thicker than 3/4″, so I had to glue up multiple pieces.  There are 6 pieces here.
Some pics:

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Some of the holes drilled that will be needed for wiring:

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Here it is with the fingerboard in place and after sanding the gouge marks off:

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I decided to dye the body using aniline dyes, which are very different than the stains people usually use.  Aniline dyes actually bring out the grain of the wood, whereas stains make it more dull and boring.
I used a mixture of equal parts of brown, amber, and red.
I’m using piezo pickups, rather than the coil pickups you see on most electric guitars.   These are actually piezo buzzers that I got from Radio Shack for about $2 a piece.  Many people have used them for amplifying acoustic instruments; I don’t know how they’ll do for a solid body.
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It’ll look much nicer once the finish is on.
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I’m now in the midst of spraying. After that, I’ll finish wiring everything.  If it works, I’ll post some sound clips.  If it doesn’t, pretend this post never happened.  😀