Butterfly Dulcimer

This was my very first stringed instrument. I used a commercial plan, but redesigned the tail block and peg head quite a bit to make it my own. I also added many details like the binding/purfling along the edges as well as raised and embellished the sound holes. The design of the sound holes was a collaboration between my wife Christina and I as we sat perched above a lake high in the Italian Dolomites.

It’s a teardrop-shaped mountain dulcimer with a curly soft maple body and pau ferro bindings and fret board cap. Purfling is holly and pau ferro. Hand-carved violin-like scroll on the peg head and an inlayed marquetry butterfly on the back. Raised accents on the cherry butterfly sound holes. Finish is blonde shellac and a French Polish, the first time I attempted this technique.

See a slideshow of how I built this dulcimer over at Smilebox:

Select any image to launch a slideshow.

All photo credits: Eric Mouffe & David Mouffe