I have two identical Brick House boxes that say they want me to create a mountain dulcimer out of them. I'm wondering now about the neck design. I've seen the necks that are arched on the side that meets the soundboard leaving smaller contact points with the box. I think this is done to let the soundboard vibrate more freely than it can with the whole length of neck glued /screwed to it.
Is that true, or is it just done to make it prettier?
If it is for sound, do you think the extra work is worth the payoff?
Thank you for your input, Bluesheart
Cool, a hollow neck seems like a good idea. Would one also have opening/s in the top under a hollow neck to"let the sound into the boxes" ?
It's probably cheating-but I just make sure that my neck is thinner than a standard guitar neck, and flat in the back (though rounded at the sides). I then glue and peg small, matching rectangular blocks where I want the points to meet, and then use a round file and fine grit emery board to sculpt the result into a rounded arch. For some reason I find this so much easier to do than hollowing out the neck.
Yes, the small blocks under the neck idea occurred to me as well. Sounds like a good compromise. Thanks!
I ended up using 3 boxes for the body and kept the neck raised off of them with small oak spacers. Boxes are open to each other and neck bolts to boxes with #6 machine bolts and flat washers. If I still had a router I would have routed out the neck and cut openings in the boxes and mounted it direct. Overall I am very pleased with how it sounds, especially in a quiet room. Playing with others I find the volume needs a boost so that is when the piezo will be handy. The tone and sustain are as good or even better than I had hoped for. Not being a dulcimer player, I find I tend to do most of my "Finger Dancing" on the D instead of the doubled melody strings (dd) but I like what I'm hearing!