Only $40.00 away from free shipping
Only $495.00 away from free shipping

Create a Folkcraft account for free rewards! Click HERE

Solar Eclipse Viewing & Other Exciting Happenings

April 12, 2024
Happy Eclipse Week, Y'all!
What a week we've been having! All good so far, at least as of me writing this on Tuesday, April 9. We started out the week with a high-quality solar eclipse. Here in Woodburn, we had totality for eight seconds, but folks just a short drive away had a multi-minute-long totality. 

Monday afternoon, those of us who didn't drive to a longer-totality location met outside our shop door, and viewed the celestial event.

From top to bottom: Cheyenne (amazing dulcimer builder), Jim (Dad), Aly (Wife), and Richard (me).
The shadows on the ground in this photo? Our outside lights came on as it got darker in the moments leading up to the event. The city's street lights came on, too. It was definitely not dark!
Pam (our case maker) took the day off to view the eclipse from her home, and Casey (our other amazing dulcimer builder) took the afternoon off to drive to a premium eclipse-viewing site.
Moments after the eclipse, we were back in the shop, making your instruments!
Today we had visitors in the shop from Maine. They came to our part of the country yesterday because of the eclipse (Hi, Eric and Linda!) and I can say with near 100% certainty that they're the first to buy a "solar eclipse dulcimer."
We're gaining on our backlog of dulcimer orders. Our newest employee is helping a lot with that. You haven't met Casey yet, so here he is.

Casey, the newest addition to the Folkcraft staff.
Casey is an awesome luthier, but (like everyone, I guess) reasonably new to mountain dulcimer. He worked at Sweetwater for 10+ years, and has a ton of experience working on high-end guitar repairs. He's been to guitar-building school, and has all the certifications from Taylor, Martin, and the other larger guitar companies. If your Martin guitar needed warranty work, Martin would have Casey fix it, rather than have it shipped back to their factory. Same for lots of other brands. Trust me, he's got the credentials. 
Cheyenne and I have been teaching Casey everything we know about mountain dulcimer building, setup, and repair. And he's taught us a few things, too. It is nice having smart, talented people in the wood shop, and Casey has been a great addition to our growing staff.
In this photo, Casey is holding one of the interior braces we use for our DulciVox mountain dulcimers. This brace is made of Sitka spruce, which is very light, and very strong for the light weight. The brace supports the bridge, and keeps the top of the dulcimer totally flat, even with the pull of the strings trying to twist the bridge and collapse the top.

Here's a brace laid on top of an instrument, so you can see the approximate location of the brace:

Braces laid on top of a DulciVox, showing the approximate interior location.
Before we glue the brace to the top, it'll be contoured (removing extra weight!) and trimmed to the exact size. Our goal is to stiffen/support the top, without adding mass - mass reduces sustain and volume, so heavy bracing is bad!
Lastly, but definitely not least, I'm sure you've all seen the ongoing development of our DulciVox, but in case you've been living in a cave, here's a video. And we're taking orders now, too. If you ask nicely, I'll make sure your DulciVox is made with the brace that Casey is holding.
Thanks for reading, Y'all - I hope that each of you has an awesome weekend, full of fun dulcimer music!

Richard Ash
Folkcraft Instruments, Inc.
Dulcimer Downloads