1976 Hee Haw Plank Dulcimer (Video, Photos, Dimensions)
The Hee Haw Plank is a solidbody dulcimer designed by musician, Tut Taylor and marketed on the Hee Haw TV show in 1976. The instrument's shape hearkens to Tennessee music boxes, crudely built Appalachian dulcimers from the late 1800's and early 1900's, rectangle in shape and made without any curves in the body.
A Tennessee Music Box built by Shane Speal using salvaged wood from a shipping box.
This Hee Haw Plank is complete with the original box. The photo above shows both the front and back of the instrument.
Watch the video for a sound demo of this rare instrument and then scroll down for full dimensions (in case you want to build your own) and much more information.
The Hee Haw Plank is a solid piece of wood, 2 feet in length. In order to facilitate an acoustic tone, the rear has been chambered out to provide a little extra resonance.
Although the fretboard and bridge are injection molded plastic, proper wood fretboards and bridges can be handcrafted in making your own. Here are the full dimensions:
Because of the simplicity of The Hee Haw Plank, you can make one longer and increase the scale length to a standard 26 or 27" dulcimer scale. However, if you want to recreate The Plank in its original form, here are the fret distances:
A closeup of the tuning pegs and headstock. Note how the pegs are placed sideways, with the strings just wrapping over the edge to be held in place with the end of the peg. The name, "PLANK T.M." is branded into the wood.
The Hee Haw donkey logo and Tut Taylor's signature are also branded into the instrument. Learn more about Hee Haw's cast member, Taylor on his Wikipedia page here.
Here is a look at the information on the back of the box. Unfortunately, the application to join the Plank Pluckers of America is long gone. Perhaps we should bring back the organization!
The fretboard is numbered, allowing you to play ten different songs printed on the back of the box. (Below)
The Hee Haw Plank was acquired by Shane Speal in May 2022 and is currently in his private collection.