free plans for a Ray Jacobs Rocky Mountain Dulcimer

Happy 5th! Here's a set of free plans. It's called a Rocky Mountain Dulcimer, a cardboard topped 3-stringed instrument. Sounds great! 

Here's a young lass playing one.

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Comment by Paul Craig on November 21, 2017 at 3:30pm

Great sound on these. Looks like an easy build and these instrument are very easy to play.

Comment by George Crawford on November 17, 2016 at 10:16am

I was lucky enough to take a class with Ray years ago.  He's a great guy to hang and play with.  Shirley is truly a world class musician and a wonderful woman to boot. I am making a fancied up version of this right now with a complete set of frets and more durable materials.  My homely Ray Jacobs dulcimer hangs with pride in my living room. I'm glad to see this here.

Comment by Shane Speal shanespeal.com on July 21, 2016 at 6:51am

Comment by Doug Krantz on July 19, 2016 at 9:53pm

Kiko, are you the same man that builds cobb ovens?

Comment by Rafael Pessi on April 7, 2016 at 4:33pm

Thanks for sharing these plans. Here in Brazil I have never seen an instrument like this. The positioning of the frets is all new to me. It seems like an instrument that is been around for centuries, is that true?

Comment by Wade on December 16, 2015 at 7:17pm

Beautifully song!!!

Comment by Kiko Denzer on December 15, 2013 at 12:31pm

I'm not much of a musician, so I can't answer the question about the fret arrangements. I'll try to remember to ask Ray next time I talk to him. As for the cardboard, I'm just so impressed with the sound quality, and how easy it makes the whole project (especially for someone w/limited wood-working capability), that I think the "durability" question just isn't an issue -- especially for a starter instrument. When it wears out, if the kid's still playing, replace it! Surface paint can help prevent sweat damage. Or find a piece of wood. Ray does build wooden instruments of all kinds -- equally creative and wonderful -- some examples are in the plans.

Comment by Rand Moore on December 15, 2013 at 5:20am

He also uses a fret "1½" in addition to the more standard fret 6½. It seems to allow him a few more chord possibilities. I've seen other mountain dulcimer users add a 1½ fret, but not sure why/how they justify it.
Any ideas?

-Rand.

Comment by Rand Moore on December 15, 2013 at 4:15am

Nice plans. He does some things differently, so its well worth the read. I have built a stick dulcimer with an all cardboard box and it sounded okay (but the box wasn't so pretty). So, I know cardboard can be used for home made instruments, but I'm not convinced of their long term durability as compared to an all wood instrument. This builder has a fairly extensive wood working shop, so I'm not sure why he doesn't build all wood instruments.

-Rand.

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