Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer


Box Dulcimers

A group for those who play, make, or admire all types of BOX dulcimers!
If you'd like to tell us about your box dulcimer, please start a 'NEW DISCUSSION' here all about your particular box dulcimer, rather than posting it on the Comment Wall.

Members: 86
Latest Activity: Feb 23

Discussion Forum

building baritone box dulcimer 3 Replies

I am thinking of trying to build a box dulcimer this spring.  I would love to have a baritone dulcimer but right now that just isn't in the budget. I need to do a box shape because I don't have the…Continue

Started by teri awbrey. Last reply by LESLIE LAND Jan 5.

Mini Box Dulcimer - a five hour project 11 Replies


Started by Peter W.. Last reply by Bob Davidson Aug 22, 2014.

Box dulcimer finished,but sound not good 18 Replies

just finished my box dulcimer, but sound is tinny. Cant get it to sound right. It has a suspended sound board (copyed from a museum piece) I put a piece in to get more contact with the soundboard,…Continue

Started by chuck queisser. Last reply by Dan Baker Jun 18, 2014.

Videos of FOTMD members playing box dulcimers 21 Replies

Hey everyone- embed your Youtube videos or links to your videos here in this thread, so we can have a central place to see everyone playing their box dulcimers!    :DContinue

Tags: videos, music, tennessee, dulcimer, box

Started by Strumelia. Last reply by Jack Ferguson Oct 8, 2013.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Box Dulcimers to add comments!

Comment by Ken Hulme on October 4, 2013 at 1:55pm

AS John Henry sez, it's the VSL and the notes to which you commonly tune (DAA, CGc, GDD, etc) that are THE factors that control what strings go on ANY dulcimer, TMB or otherwise.  Use the String Gauge Calculator at

Comment by John Henry on October 4, 2013 at 12:10pm

Hello Diane, depends on some variables, ie, what sound you are loking for, how you intend to play it , bowed, noted, or chorded, and above all, the instruments VSL (vibrating string length).

I have a coupole of vids posted here, using differing string setups.   For instance check out  'Ten Thousand Charms' ?       "27" VSL instrument being bowed, three strings, 0.022 loop end wound, 0.010 plain steel , and 0.012 plain steel, both loop ends.

best wishes


I am notoriously bad at computer skills (its me age you know) hence my failure to give you a 'link', but when in Video mode, type in 'TMB' and you will get a variety of information !

Comment by Diana Cash on October 4, 2013 at 11:33am

I'm trying find out what the strings are on the TMB.  Type, gauge etc. Thank you.

Comment by Greg Gunner on August 2, 2013 at 2:25pm

I have a used, but nice, TMB padded case for sale.  It was made by the Colorado Case Company, and the quality is comparable to that of the Bag Lady.  It was made specifically to fit a TMB I used to own.  Inside dimensions are 29 inches x 13 1/2 inches x 6 inches.  If you have been looking for a case to protect your instrument, this might be what you have been looking for.  Take a look in the classified section or contact me with questions.

Comment by John Tose on July 28, 2013 at 3:09am

Hi Leslie, the picture is of this thing we have in Wales - it's a mid winter tradition where a horses skull mounted on a pole and covered in a sheet is carried round from house to house. It's a kind of luck-visiting thing called the Mari Lwyd - Grey Mary in English.

My TMB's not quite finished yet - the box is complete, fret board hollowed out and attached. Just got to apply some sort of finish to it, do the tin-work and fit the staple frets. I'm going to do that last of all after I've fitted strings so I can establish the exact placement so it plays properly in tune allowing for string stretch.

Comment by LESLIE LAND on July 28, 2013 at 1:04am

Hey John, found your post in some old mail. I had to go to your page to figure out the photo you use.  What the heck is that eating your head???

I've been working on my ukuleles (seems I have AUS as well as ADS) (acquire ukulele/dulcimer syndrome).  Time to get back to my dulcimers.  I stink on all of them, but I have fun. I even found a guy that gives free baritone ukulele lessons, which is about all I can afford. The baritone uke, like the dulcimer, has basically the same fingerings (at least those I've learned so far), but different names since the strings are different. It is tuned like the lower (higher) four strings of a guitar. Anyway, you post reminded me that my TMB hasn't been getting any time either.  Your TMB sounds interesting.  I wish I knew where I could get some nice used wood.  Never see anything around here, but I'll keep looking.  If I ever get a "sleep by numbers" bed, I just might use grandma's bedframe myself.  I'll go back to your page and see if your TMB is there.  Happy strumming!

Comment by John Tose on July 22, 2013 at 3:16am

I've been playing dulcimer since I was a teenager in the late sixties though not so much at all in the last 20 years or so. Thanks to FOTM I've had my interest rekindled. Used to make dulcimers too. Guess I've made something like 10 altogether but that's in the distant past as well. Just started on a TMB. Nothing fancy - just plywood for the top and bottom, piece of recycled timber from an old bed frame for the fretboard. So far the fretboard is done except for stapling and the box top as well. All the dulcimers I've made before have had solid fretboards and sound posts but this time I've hollowed out the fretboard. I know that's not traditional in a TMB but as you can't see it on the finished instrument I thought I'd give it a go.

Comment by LESLIE LAND on November 18, 2012 at 2:45pm

Hi Brian.  I'm still a beginner myself.  I bought a baritone from McSpadden a few weeks ago and absolutely love it.  However, it's no bigger than my regular dulcimers (I might even have a reg. that is slightly bigger).  I realized I could have tuned my regular down and had a baritone, except I got a 6-string baritone. Mine is tuned AA-eE-AA.  My regular sized ones are all DAd, so I only had to tune it down three steps to achieve a baritone with the one I changed over.  I changed it back and I don't regret the purchase of the 6-string at all. I have a German Scheitholt that Jack Ferguson made (he's a member here) and I'm thinking about getting a little creative with it.  It has eight strings, so I could add some nice drone chords there.  I might have to change the strings, and I'll get together with "my string guy" Billy up the street if I decide to do that.  I'm thinking it might be nice to tune it pentatonically like the Reverie harp. 

Comment by brian romero on November 18, 2012 at 2:34pm

Comment by brian romero on November 18, 2012 at 2:15pm

 howdy folks,nice to be dulcimers are some of my favorite to research the old history  of them and some of my favorite to build. i started a different kind of small box dulcimer just yesterday and it is interesting to me because it has a scale length of 30 inches that i borrowed from a dulcimer i just got from e-bay a few days ago. not knowing more than i do about these i would think that the 30 inch scale could be considered baritone scale length.the one i got from e-bay is triangular in shape and once i did the repairs on it and got strings on it i tuned it lower to test out the barotone connection.the tuning is--b b-f#-B--its a 4 string with one set of paired strings. it has a very nice sound to it at this tuning,i originally tuned it to open D then dropped the tuning by ear to find a sweet spot then checked it with the tuner and it seemed to be an open B tuning. i am not really a singer or a player just a beginner but being a builder of hand made instruments also has led me to the interesting instrument of the dulcimer.i am loving the design and function and history of the box dulcimer in particular.thanks for this group for all it will be to me as a beginner i will enjoy the history here for sure.


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