November 11, 2022
Good Morning, Y'all!
Cardboard dulcimers? Actually, that's a horrible name. Really. People always use the word "cardboard" incorrectly. Cardboard is a stiff, one-layer piece of material, like you would find on the back of a legal pad. Or the cover of a spiral-bound notebook.We should really call them "corrugated paper" dulcimers. Corrugated paper is what they use to make boxes. Corrugated paper (what we often call "cardboard" is usually three layers - two flat outside layers, and an inside layer that's "corrugated" - formed into tight waves - to add strength without much weight.
So, when we talk about "cardboard" dulcimers, the corrugated paper people are rolling their eyes already! If you look at the Folkcraft website, though, I call them "cardboard dulcimers" in the title, but use the phrase "corrugated paper" in the product descriptions.
These are a neat, inexpensive way to get into dulcimer. They're not fancy, and they don't sound as good as a Folkcraft wood dulcimer. But they're repeatable, and consistent, and have great intonation. Something you don't often find with sub-$100 wood instruments.
I've attached a couple of photos of some decoration modifications that one of our customers (HD Welker, thank you!) shared with us. HD used tung oil to finish the fretboard, and used a light finish to seal the body. HD also cut in a strum hollow (not necessary, but it looks great, and might well contribute to a louder sound!), and most importantly (to my thinking) added some decoration. HD put on some position dots at frets 3, 5, 7, 9, and 12 (and matching in the upper octave). These dots make sense on a chromatic dulcimer, so that was a great choice.
But, HD then had leftover mother of pearl dots, so they were used as decoration in the strum hollow. Look closely, you'll see some wood burning, some painting, and the extra position dots installed there. It looks COOL! This has opened up the creative part of my brain to thinking about doing some decoration in strum hollows on customer instruments.
It never ceases to amaze me what creative people (artists) will come up with. Way to go, HD. I should put up a page at Folkcraft showing some of the neat cardboard (corrugated!!!!) dulcimer photos I've received over the years. In my spare time...
Thanks for reading, y'all - have a great Friday!