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Letter: The Hammered Dulcimer Business

Letter: The Hammered Dulcimer Business

by Christopher Foss

Originally published in American Lutherie #63, 2000

Hey Tim,

Back in 1991 I noticed a letter from John Calkin in AL#26 complete with photos of a mandolin family he’d made. The sides weren’t smoothly curved, but kerfed in four places and bent at those angles. They looked pretty cool, and John stated he’d made them in three days from lumber to spraying.

I thought if he could do that, surely I could build one with bent sides in somewhat the same time. So I set to work in my Dad’s shop and made a nice little flattop mandolin. It’s based roughly on an antique Washburn where a large block forms little horns and the sides are glued to the ends of the block. You actually see part of the block in the finished instrument. I got it done in twenty-one hours honest time including designing, making the jigs, spraying, fretting, and everything. I still have that instrument and still play it.

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