Well, Bobby built hi version of the Honaker or Virginia holly leaf dulcimer described by Ralph Lee Smith in a 2004 issue of DPN, so I decided to build my version of the Burnsville, NC holly leaf pattern described in the same article. As you'll see, mine varies from the original pre-CW dulcimore in that my version is a bit softer, with curved tail and shoulder boards rather than dead straight. If I can get more information from the lady who has/had this instrument in collection I'll probably make more of an exacting replica.
Here's the original -- photo from DPN:
And here's what I'm doing:
Mine will be 8" wide at the butt, 4" waist, and 5-1/2" shoulder. Maple sides 1-1/2" tall, 33" long overall. Three strings, 1" wide maple fretboard, 27" VSL, Walnut top and back. This will be my first wooden peg tuning head; I'm cheating and bought some violin pegs
Well, I got the tuning head roughed out. My first ever wooden peg head. Rather than try to carve it out of a single block, I decided to make it up from several pieces. Next time I'll make the knob a bit bigger, but overall I like it. I used my "test head" to determine what drill bit to use and how deep to run the taper reamer (then marked it with a strip of tape), before attacking 'the real thing'. Test Head = two strips of wood as thick as the side wall of my finished head (1/4"), glued up with scrap spacers to equal the width of the head.
The first time I ever used the reamer -- on a Lyre I built -- I didn't make a Test Head.... 5 out of 6 turned out OK; the 6th one I set the peg 'way too deep. Lesson learned.
Well, here, at long last is a real progress pix. Just wet with a rag so you can see the grain. The body is all glued up, tuning head attached, and fretboard hollowed and marked (new drill bits should arrive tomorrow so I can fret the board). Not much left now -- biggest thing is to make the tailblock and attach it after the fretboard is glued in place.