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Tone Woods For A Dulcimer

December 17, 2021 - Tone Woods For Your Dulcimer

Happy Friday, Folkcraft Friends!

As we approach the end of 2021, here at Folkcraft, we've been laying in a great supply of some awesome-looking woods for building next year's dulcimers!

The top shelf you see here is butternut. Butternut is surprisingly hard to get these days! I'm told there's a fungus moving north that's wiping out this species, which is a terrible shame. I'm old enough to remember the Dutch elm problems and it looks like butternut is facing the same demise. Butternut is related to black walnut and is our top-selling wood for dulcimer soundboards.

dulcimer tone woods

Butternut and Eastern red cedar dulcimer tops

The lower shelf in this photo is full of Eastern red cedar - one of my favorite top woods. It has great tone and looks sharp, too. I got a huge supply of this back in 2016 and have been slowly using it up ever since. It won't be too many more years and I'll have to buy some more. 
Buying large quantities of this lumber gives the wood plenty of time to age, in our shop, before it is sliced and sanded into dulcimer parts. Letting wood age makes for a more stable instrument and one that's less prone to problems over the decades.

Richard Ash