The 3 dulcimers turned out fine. Marilyn and I are looking forward to Christmas when the girls will get them. I have enclosed pictures. These were developed at Walmart and the man who developed them recognized dulcimers. He said he wished he had one. I told him to get your plans and make his own. They were a lot of fun to make. Thanks for all your extra help.
Maurice Colvin, Indiana
Received your book in the mail. It's Great! It provided me with a lot of the information I was missing. Thank you for sharing it.
Clifford Chin, Charlotte, NC
I just wanted to let you know that the Hammered Dulcimer Book (order placed 9/5) arrived in Ohio yesterday (9/7) in perfect condition! My father was completely surprised by the package, and extremely pleased with it......it's exactly the sort of instructions that he's been searching all summer for! Thank You EVER so much!!!
Taryn Campbell, Ohio
My son purchased your book. He gave it to me at Christmas. He also gave me
a full size set of plans to build a hammered dulcimer. He said with both I
should be able to build one. I started with the full size plans, but found
there were more questions than answers so I threw it in the trash can and
turned to your book. One week later I had a hammered
dulcimer in tune and
playing beautifully. Being a wood worker I changed it some. I sloped the
top and bottom, doing away with the box look. I used 1/4" cypress on the
top. That was the only thing I could not find in your book, the thickness
of the sound board. I built one more and used 1/8" baltic birch and it
sounds better than the cypress. Just wanted to let you know with your book
you can build a hammer dulcimer. Thank you.
Johnny Harrelson, Alabama
Good delivery in France of the "Hammer Dulcimer Book". Very
interesting and helpful to a novice like me! Many thanks for sending me
also the "Hammer Dulcimer Compendium".
Jean Claude Auriol, Nantes,
Johnny Hanelon, Alabama
"Would you please show this picture to your Dad? The dulcimer
turned out great. My dad made the outside out of a cherry tree that he
had cut down in the early 1950's. The bottom strings are missing
because they sent me the wrong size but I hope to have them by the
end of the week. We had great fun building the dulcimer and have 2
more in the works. My dad is 87 years old and had never seen a
dulcimer before I sent him Charlie's book. Thanks!"
Unfortunately I've lost this beautiful dulcimer picture & the e-mail
address of the
person who sent it due to a hard disk crash. If you read this, please
re-send the picture. Thanks. -Dave
"Just think - if I had not met you at our retreat last fall, I
probably would never have tackled the job of building a hammer dulcimer! I
had always admired the music of such a dulcimer, but never dreamed I
would ever own one."
"You have done a very good job with the book, by the way - even I can
understand it! The instructions are very thorough. Thanks again for
motivating me to build a dulcimer, and for sending me the book."
Rev. Bill Tollas, Indiana
"I believe your book is just what I need! When things slow down this
winter I hope to try my hand at building."
John Mason, Mountain Song Hammered Dulcimer Music, North Carolina
"Thank goodness you are showing us how to build a hammered dulcimer. I
can't afford to buy the one I'd like to build."
Bill Strech, Michigan
"Just to let you know another successful hammered dulcimer has been
built using your
book, The Hammer Dulcimer - How I Build the Things. It has been a fun
project and I am really proud of the way the instrument
has turned out. I have enclosed some pictures of it
for you. Thanks for making it all happen with your book."
Kees Van Der Leek, British Columbia, Canada
"I live in Seattle, but I was a student of your dad back in about 1980 at
Tecumseh Jr. High. I was also a member of the Industrial Arts Club both
in my 7th and 8th grade years, and accompanied the club on its annual
Chicago trip both years. My fondest memories of those years were
working with the club at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, and the
Festival of the Turning Leaves, while listening to your dad playing his
hammered dulcimer (my favorite song was "The Wabash Cannonball") I also
had the opportunity to build a mountain dulcimer under your dad's
supervision. I still have it and play it a lot!"
Keith Hanthorn, Washington
Referring to the fact that postage on the book is only $2 anywhere in the
"Great! A big change from getting stung heaps of money for postage/freight when I usually get stuff from the US."
Dr. Graeme Newell, Queensland, Australia
Thank you for the good help I have had from reading your book.
I have finally completed my first hammered dulcimeer, which
is based on old drawings from the Smithsonian institute.
I have enclosed a picture of my hammered dulcimer.
Harald Hougaard, Oslo, Norway
Love my new hammered dulcimer. It realy rings. This is my 2nd one to
build. It was much easier to build with your instructions.
"Thanks for the book! I've made 2 hammered dulcimers already by
cannibalizing old pianos. What I found most useful were the instructions
on how to use the table saw, and the order in which you assemble the
instrument. Also, there are a lot of tidbits scattered throughout. I'll
send a photo when I complete my next pair."
Brian Lowry, Pennsylvania
"I am writing as a testimonial to your book as a profesional dulcimer
maker of some 35 yrs. experience when I decided to design My own
model some years ago, I ordered your book it was probably one of the
best books on the subject I have read. The dulcimers I build now are part
yours, part mine, and part their's."
I happened upon the web site for your Dad's book some months ago, and returned to it again today. I hope to be purchasing a copy soon. I may not actually build a dulcimer any time soon, but there are other reasons for getting the book.
I was in your Dad's Industrial Arts class at Tecumseh in the late 70's, and was a member of the Industrial Arts Club as well. I made a mountain dulcimer and a thumb piano during that time, spent time at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, and generally enjoyed myself.
I grew up just down the street from your Dad's house, at 2200 Ottawa Drive. My older brother, Dean Johnson, was a friend of Bob's. I've alwaays enjoyed music and woodworking, but haven't taken the time to try to build anything since those days in junior high school. Since then, I've moved to Champaign, Illinois, where I currently work at a "retirement hotel" (basically an assisted living community). My work in computers is still what I enjoy best, and I still do some freelance work. I was Systems Administrator for a web design firm here for a while, but the 70-hour weeks got to be too much.
At any rate, please let you dad know that his former students still think of him, and remember him fondly. At times I think I learned a lot more about life in his classes than I did in any of the others.
Dan Johnson, Champaign, Illinois
"I wanted to drop you a note thanking you so much for the beautiful
dulcimer that you and Marvin Hayes put together for me. When Marvin
presented me with the dulcimer I simply did not know what to say. It is a
wonderful instrument that will get many years of use in our household.
Plus my little boy simply loves it."
"What you an Marvin do with the dulcimers in your shop is truly
incredible. You have a ministry there all your own and I know that you
bring a lot of joy into peoples lives through music. Thanks again so
Paul Spickerman, Indiana
My wife purchased your dulcimer book as a great gift. I normally do
woodworking, expecially with wood I personally harvested on farms here in
Your how-to manual was excellent with photos, calculations and theory.
Enclosed is a photo you
might fing interesting. This dulcimer is a chromatic version (low E to C
above high c, 32 note, all double course).
"Osage orange" was used for the base and laminated pin blocks. (Thats
"Bois d'arc" in Kansas). Black walnut and bur oak struts are also used.
Straight grain western red cedar was purchased at a local lumber store
(can't be a total purist, huh?) for sound board.
This version allows a xylophone player to convert - sharps & flats on
left, naturals on right.
Bill Taylor, Iowa
team ply different trades in adjacent buildings by Tom Dienhart.
article from the Journal & Courier, Lafayette, Indiana.
Make Dulcimers in Shop by Janice Kubian-Bryant. Newspaper
article from the Herald Journal, Monticello, Indiana.
Goodwill a Good Reason to
Make Dulcimers by Dan Pressler. Newspaper article from
the Rensselaer Republican, Rensselaer, Indiana.
Woodworking Together - An
Dave and Charlie doing a little whittling together while on a fishing
trip someplace in Wisconsin.
Lenore is in the cabin. Charlie is working on a carving that is in
the shop today, over by the lathe. It is a strange little totem Charlie
called "The Ubangee". Notice
the LARGE KNIFE David is using. This was around 1952, a long time before
the Charlie started his first hammered dulcimer. Taken by Carl Bowman.
Copyright © 2010 Charlie Alm