4 String Fretless Thing

There was a tickling in my mind for quite some time. An image, an idea, a desire to hear an instrument play a sound.

The sound I wanted to hear, was of a 4 stringed instrument based on the chanter and 3 drones of the Great Highland Bagpipe. The vision, was of lap played intrument, similar to a slide dulcimer, with a single melody string, with 1 bass and 2 tenor drone strings. Ideally, the entire instument would be crafted from material I already had in my wood shop of scrap pile.

What I wanted, and what was created, are certainly not the same thing, and that is the both the downside and beauty of crafting a unique thing. :)

Pine, and ΒΌ" Plywood Scrap

The dimensions of the sound box are dictated by the size and shape of the scrap left over from making Woofs Navel

Wood Was Cut and Clamped and Glued

and Clamped and Glued Again

...and Again, Until The Neck and Box Were Complete

Redwood Fingerboard

Peg Holes in the Head, and Black Locust Tuning Pegs

Black Locust Nut and Bridge

Glueng the Nut to the Neck, and the Neck into the Sound Box

Gluing the Sound Board onto the Sound Box

Construction Complete, Time to Assemble and Tune

1 Melody, and 3 Drone Strings

Woowee, it took a while, but I could now hear the sound of a 1 melody and 3 drone string fretless thing.

I didn't like it. Aside from being difficult to tune, I found the 3 drones to be absolutely overpowering of the melody string. At this point, I was a bit disheartened, but the instrument was mine and change it if I wanted to. So that is what I did.

Add a Steering Peg

A peg was added to the head to allow me to string the instrument as 2 parallel melody strings and two drone strings. The second melody string comes over the the nut and the is steered around the steering peg to the tuning peg.

Finished Peg Setup

Hahahaha, I still don't like it. Tuning is brutal and I really want some frets.

Oh well, at least it got made. :)