"Possum board"

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"Possum board"

Postby Papasims46 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:53 pm

New to ED and really enjoying playing my MD for the last month. I play a little everyday and finding out how quickly tunes can be played, especially hymns. My clawhammer banjo has helped in the process of playing by ear.
I was wondering if anyone has made their own "possum board" to place under their dulcimer while playing. I am experimenting and like the ability the instrument has to sustain sound. This can be placed on the lap or on a desktop while playing and does not produce a muted sound, but rather lets the instrument ring out a little more. I suppose another title would be simply a "false bottom" for the MD. Galaxy style MDs have this built in.

Just curious
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Re: "Possum board"

Postby kwl » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:56 pm

Yes. Welcome to ED. It's good to have you aboard. I am glad that you are enjoying the mountain dulcimer. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask. If we don't know the answer, we'll make something up. Just kidding. There is great knowledge among the members of this site.

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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Re: "Possum board"

Postby dholeton » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:41 pm

Welcome to ED Papasim
I haven't experimented with possum boards yet, but like the dulcimer, a very simple design or a very complex design are two possibilities based on the tools, wood, and abilities of people who can work with wood to create a possum board. A simple board might just be a rectangular piece of wood as wide and long as the dulcimer with a way to keep the dulcimer on the board while maintaining some separation between the bottom of the dulcimer and the top of the possum board. A more complex board might be cut to the exact shape of a given dulcimer with fittings to hold the dulcimer secure while playing with the dulcimer on the lap or on a dulcimer stand. Are you looking for a permanently attached possum board or a board than can be used or not used based on your preference?

Attached are a couple of urls to sites that provide options for possum boards. In the mean time, maybe somebody who has a permanently attached possum board or a generic board for multiple dulcimers will add a comment.



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Re: "Possum board"

Postby Frimp » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:44 pm

Hi, Papa Sims! Welcome to the community.

Possum boards can be quite simple, as already mentioned, or more complex. The main parts are the board itself, which can be of 1/4" plywood cut to the size of your dulcimer, and the end pieces that clamp and elevate the dulcimer over the board, about 1/4" or so. You'll want to make 2 small blocks, again about 1/4" thick, to set the heel and the tailblock of the dulcimer on. Then 2 small blocks for sides on each end to wrap closely around the heel and tailblock.
Just a sliding fit. Then stain, paint or leave it bare wood. Hope this conveys the proper idea to you. Good luck!

John K.
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Re: "Possum board"

Postby JoeBesse » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:18 am

McSpadden makes a standard possum board for their dulcimers and also for the Ginger and I have both models . They work great.

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Re: "Possum board"

Postby Papasims46 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:53 pm

Thanks for all the input. I've tried my hand at it. Turned out pretty nice, like the sustaining sound and stronger bass.
There are pics found on my Flickr.com site under my name Ray Sims.
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