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Fixing A Broken Dulcimer

July 8, 2022

Hi Everybody!

While I was at Kentucky Music week, a lot of people brought me instruments for repair work. Plenty of Folkcraft® and FolkRoots® dulcimers, but lots of dulcimers from other makers, too. Strings, frets, minor repairs? Not a problem when I'm on the road, since I travel with a pretty complete tool kit. But some jobs take bigger shop tools - adding pickups, for example - or require a lacquer booth, and those instruments have to visit Woodburn for their more-intensive repairs.

This week's "In The Shop" shows the process I used a few years ago for the repair of a FolkRoots® dulcimer. I'm happy with the work. It is just as good as new, structurally, and 99 percent, ish, visually. I'll count it as a "win" for the customer.
The top was broken, around the sound hole (would y'all PLEASE quit picking up your dulcimers this way!). But luckily, the player kept the broken-off piece, and brought it to KMW for me. I could have made a new piece, but the "visual" part of the repair would have ended up at 90%, not 99%, since the wood grain wouldn't have matched perfectly.

broken sound hole piece