Cigar Box Stick Dulcimers (New for 2022)
My Cigar Box Stick Dulcimers are a combination of two instruments with similar goals of playability and affordability/ease of build. These have been on my to-do list for many years. I had started to build a real Cigar Box model for myself a long time ago and designed this one based on the dimensions that could be made from any locally available wood. These offer great scope for playing and customisation for the maker and player alike.
In 2020, I began some cigar box style models with hand tools during lockdown when my Bandsaw was out of action and dust masks were not available, completing a concert Uke and half finishing a Stick Dulcimer between my Commissions. Only finished the Stick Dulcimer version this year and wrote the construction notes and finished the design drawings while recovering from a bout of Covid and not ready to go back into the workshop.
I chose a shorter 20"/ 508mm scale, the same scale as a Baritone Ukulele as it offers amazing playability for tunes and the strings are not too thick for D-a-d tuning. I have kept the very best of the neck design in this model, a deep D shape neck and the thick fingerboard present a very pleasant instrument in the hand and a very stable neck. I can use my favourite Belcat Piezo pickups and good quality Jack sockets with a metal plate separate from the Brass tailpiece and endpin on these instruments. The current batch will be made from my collection of offcuts and recycled timbers and eventually will only be made from only locally sourced or recycled timbers. I am building a small number of these, one or two batches a year between other work, and will list them on my Etsy shop. Message me if you are interested in being notified when they are up for sale.
Prices will be between £600 and £800 for the all-handmade version in various kinds of wood and maybe a little less for a real Cigar Box adaptation version. These come without a case, plus shipping (Possibly a gig bag will be included at some point if I can find one that works) Belcat Piezo Pickup is standard on these models.
Woods for 2022-23 Yellow Cedar, Red Cedar and Spruce tops are in stock, for the bodies I currently have Acacia, figured Maple, recycled Oak Whisky Barrel and Walnut. Neck woods can be natural or stained black. Fingerboards in Oak, Maple, Chacate preto, Bog oak, and Torrefied Ashwood.
I hope to encourage more people to have a go at making one, Plans to make your own are now available and will be explored in a Youtube Series in 2023, an accompanying book to be published later that year. If you purchase the plans now, you will get any updates to the plans and a pdf copy of the book when it's out.
This is a 20" D-A-d tuned instrument, easier to build than my standard model, shorter scale a joy to play. Download Version Includes: Plans for the front, back, sides, bracings and Mould pattern in PDF format A4 and USA Letter-sized versions to print off easily on your home computer PDF Large plans in A1 format if you want to get a poster made. Photos of one of my instruments Copies of my Video short series for sound samples PDf notes: comprehensive, including Cutting lists construction notes and fret scales If you sign up for an update
Please feel free to message me if you have any questions at all. I am revising the notes for book format and planning to film a making guide, and any feedback will be useful.