Just wanted to share what I've been working on. I decided to get back into viola (well, sort of) after a 10 year or so break. I wanted to learn fiddle tunes on it and thought about getting some octave strings, but decided to convert it into a fiddle instead. Then my love for all things sympathetic took hold and...boom, took the fingerboard off, chiseled it and the neck out, drilled some holes in the bridge and in the tailpiece, made a wee nut, made some tuning pegs, drilled three holes in the pegbox for the new tuning pegs, and clamped it all back together. Viola to fiddle to hardanger-ish fiddle!
I've also been building a bouzouki-ish type of instrument. I used a gourd for the body, spruce for the top, and will have a neck running through the body..I'll get some pics up shortly. Oh, and I plan to have at least 7 or so symps running across the top somehow!
Lastly, I wanted to share that I've signed on with Rich Sticks! They're a custom drumstick company based here in NH. I took a tour of their shop after ordering a couple pairs of sticks and was so impressed with how friendly everyone was and how open they were to discussing every aspect of making sticks. And not just sticks! They also make quite a number of other products, like the Drum Taco, which I'm a huge fan of. The Taco clips on magnetically to a drum's tension rods/lugs and dampens the resonance a bit. It can be easily flipped on and off the drumhead and comes in three different sizes..I've been using it on my floor tom and am finally pleased with how it sounds.
Check 'em out here: https://richsticks.com
It's pretty amazing how little it costs to get completely custom drumsticks made through them...and they feel great! Definitely on par (and even better in my opinion) with everything else out there!