Friday, 21 September 2012

Kantele Making update

I have been a full time luthier for over 10 years now and have been making Kanteles since the start.
 The main techniques of construction are fully shown in my Kantele Making CD-Rom. but there are a few differences in the finer points of making them that I wanted to share.

In the CD-ROM I suggested inserting hard maple or beech under the tuning pin holes, I now insert a whole strip of hard maple under the soundboard. These needs a 5 piece construction for the tuning/head section

It takes longer to build this way but it allows the free use of softer timber like spruce, alder or walnut and still safely use zither pins. Over time softer woods would wear down without the inserts.

It helps to plane all the timbers through a thicknesses, unlike the individual inserts that can be done by bench press drill

Note: I use miller dowels to secure the laminations of all pieces now, these are self gripping and makes gluing up si much simpler.

When we get to stringing I will show how to lay out the strings now on the finished instrument!

CD-ROM available from my website
or from my alternative blog account here:

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Cutting List for Stick Dulcimer making course!

One element that was missing from my original Stick Dulcimer DVD was a cutting list,   It is of course possible to work out what sizes you need from the plans and I had left that out.   Here is a general guide for future reference, These are the finished sizes so please allow for final sanding or planing by adding a little to the length,  

Neck: Gdg  492mm Long 26mm-28mm thick and 32 depth
          Dad  560mm Long 26mm-28mm thick and 32 depth
Body sides 410 Long by 28mm wide and 1.5/1.8mm thick  (X 2)
Front and back:  350 long by 135mm wide and 3mm thick
Fingerboard: Gdg  382mm  by 26/28mm by 5.5mm
                    Dad   430mm by 26/28mm by 5.5mm
Please note,  you can make the neck of of several pieces to build up the heel and head,  you can also utilise scraps from a guitar and join up several pieces for the backs.

more information on timber and materials is here: