My local woodworking club (www.semiww.org)
recently hosted a class taught by William Wells (www.williamwellsfurniture.com)
on making dulcitars much like Bob McNally's "Strumsticks" (www.strumstick.com).
A dulcitar is a 3-string diatonically fretted dulcimer-like
instrument which is designed to be easy to play even by novices to
stringed instruments. More details on dulcitars and various
commercial dulcitars can be found here.
Neck and body are walnut, fingerboard is rosewood, soundboard is spruce, and the back and headstock inlays are maple. The finish is Tru-Oil. Hardware (modified mandolin stuff) is from Stu-Mac.
These things are easy, fun, and cheap to build and will make great gifts. I especially enjoyed learning to make the inlay in the headstock.
NOTE: William Wells taught me how to build these instruments, and he has been kind enough to scan his hand-drawn plans and build instructions and offered to make them available for free here. Click on THIS LINK for a 6.4 Mb zip file with his scanned instructions and plans. Make a few of these things and let me know how they turn out.
© Copyright 2009 Chris Billman