This tin still had the scent of perfumed powder inside when I started with it. It’s little, but it can sing. This is a dulcimer or dulcitar with four strings and a diatonic scale. It can be tuned and played lots of ways but typically only two strings are pressed to the frets and the remaining two are drones.
5 1/2 x 3 1/4 inch tin
scale length: 500 mm, 19 5/8 in.
head to tail: 670 mm, 26 1/4 in.
strings: G .008, C .013, G .008, G .008 plain steel, loop end
mahogany fret board
silk neck tie strap
All for $160, such a deal! Send me a message if you are interested.
In 2009 after making a cigar box ukulele (using a neck from a toy guitar) I built my first instrument from scratch. I had seen photos of canjos and other instruments with metal can bodies and I had a swell 10 inch cookie tin just itching to be made into something new. The neck is scrap maple picture frame stock, the frets are improvised brass flat-stock, and the tin bottom was flat. The odd can noises this instrument added to the strings (you can hear it “bark” in the short video) prompted me to try my hand at shaping a resonator out of the can bottom for later instruments. This instrument has since been reworked and now has a shaped tin bottom, a better bridge, and a more predictable sound. The frets are set in a diatonic scale and it is strung like a mountain dulcimer. It is fun and easy to play. I still have this one around but I would be embarrassed to sell it. It’s just too funky, even with the retrofitted body.