Hammer dulcimer, Part 4

Ok folks, last round of pictures.

Here’s the soundboard, with the piezo pickups glued to the underside and wires soldered to them:


And here the wires are threaded through the holes in the braces.  When the sound board is lowered into place, the wires are pulled somewhat taut, so they won’t rattle around too much.


Now the wires are pulled out through the jacks hole, and trimmed to length:


Then the ends are stripped, and the hot wires are all soldered together, and so are the ground wires, with a short section of wire that will go to the jack:


The soldered portions are trimmed down, and covered with tape so they won’t short out:


Now the wires are soldered to the jack.  After taking this picture, I realized I got the hot and ground wires mixed up, so I had to reverse them…


Now the jack plate is screwed to the instrument:


Here’s where those steel rods end up.  The idea here is, after stringing it up, you can move these rods around if it doesn’t sound good.  You have to do it fairly quickly, because the string pressure will make press the rods into the soundboard a bit, and it they won’t want to move then.


The bridges and saddle set into place:


Here’s the delrin markers that go on top of the bridges.  White ones mark the start and end of keys:


I almost forgot my label…


Here it is with half the strings put on:


The other half:


And it’s finished!  Please excuse the cluttered desk…


I’ll try to record a video or sound clip soon.

If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to speak up.




12 thoughts on “Hammer dulcimer, Part 4

    • Hi Chris!
      How’s it going?
      They both looked the same under the black lacquer, but if I’d stained it or left it natural, there would definitely be a difference. The cedar you gave me is much darker. It also seemed to be a bit stiffer.

      Happy holidays,

  1. Hi Chris! I am impressed with this Hammered Dulcimer, could you be kind and give me the measurements of the top? do you use and angle of 55º ?

  2. Hi Philip
    Loved your hammered dulcimer, you are a skilled craftsman! Inspired me to make one. What size is your instrument as unfortunately you don’t leave any dimensions. Also do you use only one diameter piano wire, or is it thinner for the shorter lengths?
    It’s real good of you to show your work online.

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