The kit was easy to assemble. But I had Folkcraft to finish the fretboard. Well worth the extra coast. I am very satisfied wit my dulcimer
I was able to get a customized fretboard (25" VSL, chromatic) with this kit for a reasonable upcharge since it had to be crafted manually.
It was totally fun designing and painting the body. I sanded out a string hollow, leaving out a few of the highest frets which I never use, and left the highest notes diatonic. The fretboard is high quality and, even if the cardboard body gets completely destroyed (but it's stronger than it looks), this fretboard will live on as part of another instrument.
The sound is sweet and warm, not very loud, but you can install a pickup easily. I left the top unglued so I could continue to fiddle with the placement of the pickup.
I put this together in a couple of hours. Easy assembly and plays great! I know have the strings off and neck taped up so my 8 year old can decorate and paint it for me. High quality kit!
I got this chromatic dulcimer kit because I wanted to learn the mountain dulcimer, but being from a more classical music background I liked the idea of the flexibility of the chromatic over the traditional fretting. However, a nice chromatic instrument is not cheap to come by (not many used ones)
I did work with the Folkcraft team, and I paid the installation fee for my frets because I wanted that done right.
I read the instructions provided, but having the video series on Youtube was a huge help in understanding everything.
I also wanted to put some form of finish to my fretboard and the cardboard itself - and again Richard was great in giving guidance on that. I actually went with an instrument lacquer on the cardboard and tung oil on the fretboard.
I did do some additional work on mine that is not a part of the kit:
I worked out a way that I would be able to have strap buttons installed, to be able to use a strap because I'm clumsy.
I was also able to find online guidance for how to do the position marker inlays and added those also (acrylic 2mm).
The final thing I did was added some art to the strum hollow, just for fun as I had a wood burner and extra position markers. This was mostly for fun.
In the end, I love it!!! It's something I made and now I get to learn to play.
The only issue is that I have a bit of a rattle, mostly in my middle string. Right now it's not bothering me too much - but I hope to look at it more soon.
I will update the review once I see the kit and help my granddaughter put it together. I got it for her last month as a birthday gift. With some luck, I'll include a photo. As always, Folkcraft is one of my go-to dulcimer builders.