Stick Dulcimers (commonly referred to by the trademarked name “Strumstick”) are a really fun instrument for beginners and veterans alike. They are missing some frets in order to make them only play the notes of a particular key. That means that you can pick up and strum a tune without hitting any “sour” notes. I made one last year with a cigar box, but I wanted to make another one with a ukulele sized body.
The tuners were from a classical guitar set. I used a “zero fret” nut with some eye screws to guide the strings.
I used the neck from the kit on another project, but I still had the body. (Never throw any old parts away. You never know when you might need them.)
The neck and fretboard were made of poplar and oak. I used a dowel to give the joint between the body and the neck more strength.
A small hinge serves as the tailpiece. I had to drill an extra hole in the middle for the third string. The bridge is floating, which means that it can be moved to adjust intonation. This style makes the build process a little less scary. If you glue the bridge on and it’s not at the right location, the instrument will not play right.
See it in action!