CHAPTER 4: Dulcimers in the British Isles since 1800 > Dulcimers in the Midlands & the North

Bill Fell - materials

The 1948 instrument was made out of packing cases - with no noticeable loss of tone quality - and he also recycles box-wood rulers.

He says he got his ebony "from an old elephant" (33).

He makes his own wrest-pins from 4" nails, a time-consuming practice which gives his instruments an air of having been invested with a large degree of emotional involvement, and which otherwise seems to have died out 150 years ago.

He hammers the ends square, and drills a hole in each, in contrast to the older makers, who hammered their nails flat and, sometimes, filed a notch in the top.

Recent instruments have requisitioned the somewhat soulless mass-produced pins from old pianos.