17/16/8 Finch Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer



The trouble with solid wood is it shrinks or swells across the grain with changes in humidity in the environment.  It can move a lot.  The rule of thumb in woodworking is not to glue wood cross grain over 8 inches wide.  But we routinely do it in the hammered dulcimer world, gluing tops as wide as 24 inches to maple pin blocks.  It is asking for trouble, but we all do it.  If the top is not totally dry when glued to the frame, and it shrinks in winter, it can crack.  If it is dry, but the humidity goes way up, it will swell and put stress on the overall instrument. 
 
The construction of the top for the Finch model is a completely new and novel way to eliminate this problem.  They are composed of 7 individual narrow boards joined by tight fitting tongue and groove joints which are not glued.  This allows each individual board to shrink or swell as it needs without causing problems.  No more cracks, no warps, no having to keep your dulcimer in a specially humidified environment in the winter or you void your warrantee, no worries at all.  Just play it and enjoy it.  We believe this is the way solid wood top hammered dulcimers should be built.  It works great!  We have tested them, and they will take almost any environment and just sound good.  No special care necessary.  Sound holes all need to be in the back on these.  Cutting sound holes on the top would compromise the structure.
 
Credit where credit is due, this is not my idea.  It was given to me, here is how it came about.  My aunt, Dottie Raun passed away and we wanted to go to the funeral in Des Moines, 150 miles away.  The funeral was scheduled for 8:00 AM which meant we had to go and stay overnight.  We wound up in a really bad motel.  The bed was awful, I wasn’t sleeping well and dreamed this dulcimer.  It was vivid, went on all night, and by morning I had it all worked out.  I told Melanie I’d had this dream, described it, and she knew right away things would change.  This was not something I had been mulling over or was even concerned about.  It is so out of the blue that I know it came from outside myself and was just given to me for whatever reason.  You may interpret it however you wish, but since I am a believer, I think it came from above and am just humbly grateful.
 
For solid one board tops, builders are pretty much trapped with some version of mahogany or other, or a softwood like spruce because they are the most stable.  But we can now make dulcimers from any wood.  We tried a bunch, they all sounded good, but some are better.  Walnut and Curly Soft Maple are the standouts so these are the ones we will offer.  But it would also be fun to build custom dulcimers for people.  So if you have a piece of your grandfather’s old cherry tree or some other special piece of wood and have enough of it, we could do it, contact us. 
 
Our standard model will be the Walnut.  It has Curly Maple bindings, Hard Maple sides, Cherry bridges, and laminated Birch back. 

The Curly Maple version may not always be available due to sourcing of the wood, so contact us before placing an order.  It has Walnut bindings, finished Walnut bridges, Hard Maple sides, and laminated Birch back with Walnut bindings.  The Curly Maple version will also only be available as Chromatic.  
  

Prices listed below do not include shipping fees.
 
Finch Chromatic Dulcimer (Walnut) $825 Choose your options and buy the Chickadee Chromatic Dulcimer now
Finch Chromatic Dulcimer (Curly Maple)* $925 Choose your options and buy the Finch Chromatic Dulcimer in Curly Maple
*Availability may be limited due to sourcing of the wood. Please contact us before placing your order.
 
 

Complete Package   learn more >>
Complete package includes: dulcimer, case, stand, electronic tuner, hammers, tuning wrench, book
Finch Chromatic Dulcimer (Walnut) Package $950 Choose your options and buy the Chickadee Chromatic Dulcimer now
Finch Chromatic Dulcimer (Curly Maple) Package $1,050 Choose your options and buy the Finch Chromatic Dulcimer in Curly Maple
*Availability may be limited due to sourcing of the wood. Please contact us before placing your order.
 

 
Finch Chromatic - Walnut

17/16/8 Finch chromatic (walnut) dulcimer from Songbird Dulcimers  17/16/8 chromatic Finch hammered dulcimer   Finch chromatic dulcimer (in walnut) from Songbird Dulcimers

   17/16/8 walnut Finch chromatic hammered dulcimer   Finch chromatic hammered dulcimer - sound holes
Finch Chromatic - Curly Maple*
*Availability may be limited due to sourcing of the wood. Please contact us before placing your order.

17/16/8 Finch chromatic (maple) dulcimer from Songbird Dulcimers   Finch chromatic hammered dulcimer in curly maple   17/16/8 hammered dulcimer from Songbird Dulcimers - the Finch chromatic    Finch chromatic hammered dulcimer - bridges

Availability: We are a small Mom and Pop enterprise, and can't have everything we make in stock all the time.  If you have a deadline, please contact us for availability of what you are thinking of getting before placing the order.

Shipping Info:  A shipping calculator with all the functionality would cost us big money, so we opted to use the basic and reliable Paypal checkout system and include a reasonable average shipping cost on the price of each item.  This year it is $35 for dulcimers or complete packages.  If you order multiple items, we will refund the extra via Paypal.

Payment Info: We believe PayPal is the safest online option for payments. You don't need a PayPal account to use our checkout system. Of course, we still like checks best since they don't cost us money to process!  If you want to send us one in the mail, we would greatly appreciate it! Just don't use the shopping cart, and contact us directly with your order, and we'll work out the total and details.

 

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