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Review: Constructing the Mountain Dulcimer by Dean Kimball

Review: Constructing the Mountain Dulcimer by Dean Kimball

Reviewed by Peter M. Estes

Originally published in American Lutherie #1, 1985 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000

Constructing the Mountain Dulcimer
Dean Kimball
David McKay Company, Inc., 1975
$14 from Luthiers Mercantile International (1999)

This last Christmas my wife Lynn asked me to help her build a mountain dulcimer for an old friend of ours. I had bought and read Constructing the Mountain Dulcimer when it was first published, but this was the first opportunity I had to use it.

The pictures and diagrams in this book are so well done that I ended up skimming the text, reading in detail only when I needed clarification. We used his “Standard Dulcimer” pattern. Lynn did all the measuring and laid out the lines for cutting. I built a simpler version of his elaborate production assembly fixture to hold the sides in position during assembly. We used some dust-covered bargain mahogany guitar sets for the back, sides, and top (the backs from the guitar sets made excellent stock for recipe boxes for gifts). I did not attempt his rotary planer method for thinning stock.

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