Question about kits

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Question about kits

Postby DulciBob81 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:34 am

What dulcimer builders offer the best price, quality, and options? Out of the ones I've looked at, I think I'm leaning heaviest toward are McSpadden or Cedar Creek. But I would like to know what other people think or would recommend about what else is out there?
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Re: Question about kits

Postby Frimp » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:19 pm

In my opinion, you'd do well getting a dulcimer kit from McSpadden.
I have built several "Sweet Song" kits over the years, and they assemble into a very nice instrument.
The looks, tone and playability are right up there with the best. Customer service is also great.
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Re: Question about kits

Postby kwl » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:26 pm

I, too, have built several of McSpadden's Sweet Song dulcimer kits. The kit makes a dulcimer slightly smaller than the standard McSpadden dulcimer and larger than the Ginger model. They are easy to assemble and make a nice instrument. Also, I have built several Folkcraft kits which also make very nice instruments. These are their full sized instruments in either hourglass or teardrop shapes. While I have not made any instruments from Cedar Creek kits, I have played a few made by friends and they are fine instruments as well. You can't go wrong with any one of them.

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Re: Question about kits

Postby bret » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:43 pm

@Ken - I was looking at the Folkcraft kits. The images on the website show rectangular boards for the top and back. Could you tell me if they are they actually cut to the hourglass/tear drop shape? And it's just some gluing, drilling, and hammering to assemble?

I was thinking about trying a kit for fun, but I don't have a band saw or jigsaw to cut a pattern out.
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Re: Question about kits

Postby KenH » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:55 pm

I believe the Folkcraft boards are just rectangles. You do not need a bandsaw or jigsaw to cut those. A handheld sabersaw (electric) will do. You can however, use manual tools. Pick up an inexpensive manual jeweler's saw or other fine-toothed, thin-bladed saw from Ace Hardware or a Big Box store for just a few bucks. Cut just shy of the line and then use sanding blocks and a variety of paper grits to remove the excess. I built my first dulcimer of my own design with a handle for a hacksaw blade to cut the plank to shape, an electric "palm sander" and an electric drill. The soundhole shapes I cut with a saw blade designed to be used with X-Acto knives.
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Re: Question about kits

Postby kwl » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:10 pm

Ken H is correct in that the top and bottom are both rectangles. You can easily cut them with a coping saw or the others that Ken H mentioned. You also need to cut out your own sound holes.

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Re: Question about kits

Postby Don O. » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:38 am

I built a Folkcraft teardrop kit many years back, I think it as the early 90s. When it came to cutting out the top and back plates, believe it or not, the instructions that came with the kit called for putting the plates on a cutting board, then using a utility knife to score the sections of wood you wanted to cut away. If the knife didn’t quite go all the way through, no worries, with a little force the wood could be snapped along the line you scored. When things were roughed out you could use a sanding block to smooth things out. You left things with a little overhang until the plates were glued to the ribs. The you did your final shaping to get the plates flush with the ribs.

If anyone thinks I’m kidding, I saved the instructions. Again, I don’t know if they write them the same way now, but back then the instructions called for no power tools. In fact, all of the necessary tools were things that most people have on hand. Who doesn’t have a utility knife in their tool box? And glueing? No fancy clamps, just a couple of heavy books on top! I actually built it this way. I followed the instructions religiously. Cutting the top and bottom plates with the knife is tedious but doable.
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Re: Question about kits

Postby dholeton » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:09 am

Don
Do you have a picture of your dulcimer you can post here?
Thanks
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Re: Question about kits

Postby Don O. » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:39 pm

I will try to get one up over the next few days or so, but I have tried to post pictures here in the past and I always have an epic fail for some reason.
Last edited by Don O. on Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question about kits

Postby dholeton » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:46 am

Don
Uploaded files need to be less than 2Mb in size. If your pictures are more than 2Mb in size, your picture viewing software might allow you to export them to make them smaller in size.
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