Adjusting action on dulcimer

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Adjusting action on dulcimer

Postby DownVirginia8 » Thu May 11, 2017 5:49 pm

Hi, I have a used dulcimer of unknown make (maybe a McSpadden kit?) that has high action. I'd like to lower it and it was suggested that I should start a new thread to ask for help on how to lower the action.

I also have a new McSpadden that that plays nicely and I like the action on it. When I compare the string height one the two dulcimers, the string height near the first fret seems pretty close on both dulcimers. However, the string height near the higher frets on the used dulcimer seems really high. For a reference point, I can stack three three nickels beneath the bass string between the 11th and 12th frets.

If it's any help, I'm attaching some pictures of what the bridge looks like.
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bridge2.jpg
bridge1.jpg
DownVirginia8
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Re: Adjusting action on dulcimer

Postby Skip » Thu May 11, 2017 6:03 pm

The action may be high to facilitate playing N/D style. Check the action using a nickel and dime, dime next to the 1st fret and nickel on top of the 7th fret. If they are high you should be able to remove the bridge and sand a bit off the bottom, then recheck.
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Re: Adjusting action on dulcimer

Postby KenH » Thu May 11, 2017 8:15 pm

What Skip said! Slack all the strings, then tap the bridge out of the slot (use a thin wooden 'punch' if you need to). Lay a piece of 60 or 80 grit sandpaper flat on a surface, then sand a dozen or twenty strokes off the bottom. Reinsert, tighten the bass and melody strings and check the height. Rinse and repeat until a nickel set on top of the 7th fret just touches the strings.
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Re: Adjusting action on dulcimer

Postby DownVirginia8 » Sun May 14, 2017 10:20 am

Thanks for the instructions for adjusting the action. I tried it and it worked.
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Re: Adjusting action on dulcimer

Postby KenH » Sun May 14, 2017 4:03 pm

I love it when a plan works right!
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