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Sleeping Beauty/Hammered Dulcimer Construction

[Moderator's note:  The posting of this message was delayed due to
previously unnoticed confusion resulting from the change in the list's
host platform. Hopefully, there will be no more delays of this type. Very
obviously, the moderators may have something to say about the message's
comments on list policy. This may be forthcoming in subsequent messages
and has in no way contributed to the delay.]
I subscribed to this list several months ago because I was beginning
construction of a 16/15 Chromatic Hammered Dulcimer for my wife.
Since that time, traffic on this list has never been very heavy.  I have not
sent previous messages because I have always felt that I would be
"intruding" on the "legitimate" discussions going on between museum
Early messages from the moderators indicated that messages
suggesting "harmful" methods of instrument maintenance would be
censored by the list moderator and would not be posted to this list.  I
believe that ALL messages should be posted to this list and discussed.
Let the list membership decide what is harmful.  Isn't that the purpose of
the list?
If the moderators have OPINIONS (which is all they are regardless of
how much experience they have), they should contribute to the
I have many questions about the construction and maintenance of
Hammered Dulcimers, including:
What types of wood should I select?
How do different types of wood influence the sound of the instrument?
What finishes should I use on the wood?
How do the finishes influence the sound?
What information is available about the history of Hammered Dulcimers?
How can I care for the Hammered and Appalachian Dulcimers that my
wife already owns?
How often should maintenance be performed?
What should maintenance include?
What polishes and or cleaning agents are safe to use?  Why?
Some of my ideas for finishes are sometimes frowned on (oil stains,
etc.), but I have reasons for them, and would like the opportunity to
share my reasons and learn from others with experience.
If this list is not for open discussion, please let me know so that I can

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