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Having A Lot Of Fun This Week & All Of It's For You!

May 24, 2024
Good Morning, Y'all:
We're having a lot of fun this week, making things for you!

I guess that's about it - making things. Books, cases, and dulcimers. There are worse things to be doing with our lives, that's for sure! It is even more rewarding, knowing that what we're making is going to be something you will all enjoy. Making airplane parts, paper, or shovels (how's that for weird examples of things we could be making?) would be fine. Satisfaction in making a quality "whatever". But making dulcimers? This is a GREAT job. I see your videos, play songs with you in jams, and hear the pro's use our dulcimers on stage.
Thank you for letting us make your dulcimers. This is an awesome profession!
Here's what we've all been working on this week:
Richard (that's me) - books, still. I'm very nearly done binding our huge inventory of Shelley Stevens' books. By the time you read this newsletter, the last of them will be bound and inventoried, and I'll be moving on to the next big job.
Here's the book I've been working on:

richard ash holding two of shelley stevens baker's dozen books that he just finished binding

Shelley Stevens' "Classical Music For Mountain Dulcimer" book. Formerly known as Volume 2 of "Three String Choir" (and renamed, since Mel Bay has the publishing rights to Volume 1), this is a great book with a lot of familiar classical melodies. Making (there's that word again) new cover art, printing, and binding are all straightforward, but very time consuming.
And before I forget, here's the print book that's on sale this week - Book Three of the Baker's Dozen series (Old Time Songs). Good stuff, and for a few days, dirt cheap. ($3.99, marked down from $12, but only for a few days...)
Dad's been working on kit fretboards (photo below) which are now done!

stack of parts for folkcraft dulcimer kits
and on DulciVox heads (photo below):

a trio of folkcraft dulcivox heads in production

Parts for dulcimer making? This is a never-ending job. But making parts (we all do this) allows us to make instruments. Which is what Casey and Cheyenne have been up to.

casey sanding the side of a folkcraft dulcivox pro

Here's Casey sanding the side of a DulciVox Pro (photo above) making the side match the outside edges of the fretboard. The belt sander he's using is the perfect tool for this precision job.
Cheyenne's working on a dulcimer heading to Beaconsfield, England (photo below). It'll be done in a couple of days, then we'll send it on its way to the U.K.!

cheyenne working on a folkcraft dulcimer that will be shipping soon to England

Hickory body, butternut top, Classic F sound holes. I'll give this dulcimer a good play test tomorrow!
I couldn't find Pam while making the rounds for photos, but she's been working on case parts today, too. Here's Pam's latest cutting project: giant sheets of foam.

large piece of medium density foam used for folkcraft dulcimer cases

We use a medium-high density of foam for our cases, and for the best yield (usable parts versus waste) we get the largest available sheets - 82" x 76". They fit perfectly on our cutting table, which is convenient. Pam will mark the top layer with the cut pattern, then use an oscillating blade to cut all the layers at once.
I've included a couple of books in the photo, so you can get a sense of the foam sheet's size.
Lots going on, and all of it for you. Thanks again, Y'all - have a great weekend!
Richard Ash - luthier-with-a-great-staff-that-doesn't-need-much-supervision-which-is-good-because-my-brain-is-already-busy-thinking-about-dulcimer-music