building my own BD.

It's a bow! It's a dulcimer. Now what do I do? :-)

building my own BD.

Postby saor » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:10 pm

Hello Everyone ! I'm new here, but have read and learned alot!
I have built a couple of MD for my own enjoyment. One was a kit the other from scratch. They turned out pretty nice. Now I have turned my attention to a bowed dulcimer. Sure I could buy one, but where's the fun in that!
So I have a few questions and I would take any suggestions. To start with it's going to be a flat top, not arched. I have some concerns about bracing. How much is needed, if any . Will a soundpost and bass bar be sufficient, or needed at all?
Also, any thoughts/concerns about a sycamore soundboard ( I already have one) would be great, too. Thanks!

J.G.
saor
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Re: building my own BD.

Postby Ken Bloom » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:21 am

Hi J.G.,

I built quite a few bowed dulicmers with flat soundboards when I started. They were ok but not really that responsive. When I started carving and graduating the tops is when they really started to sound good. As for bracing, I only do a bass bar and soundpost. It is a balancing act, getting all the thicknesses and placements just right for the sound you are looking for. Hardwood soundboards do not sound very good. I use sitka spruce for mine. It is one of the stiffest spruces out there and the results have always been good. Bowed dulcimers do not work like plucked ones. You are basically making a modern version of the viola da gamba. That has been my model for the many years I have been doing this. Good luck on your project.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.com
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Re: building my own BD.

Postby saor » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:38 am

Thanks Ken, I appreciate the help! I have seen your BD and they look and sound beautiful. I don't think mine will sound half as good, but I'm going to give it a shot any way.
saor
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Re: building my own BD.

Postby Ken Bloom » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:46 am

Happy to help. The more people building BDs, the better. There will be a documentary comingout, hopefully in the Spring that shows me building a bowed dulcimer in detail. It is my hope that this will go a long way to expanding the number of folks who will be building these wonderful instruments.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.com
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Re: building my own BD.

Postby saor » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:52 am

That sounds great, Ken! I'm from Connecticut, and there very few people who have ever heard of a dulcimer, let alone a bowed dulcimer.
I'll let you know how mine turns out.
J.G.
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Re: building my own BD.

Postby Ken Bloom » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:18 am

Hi J.G.

I'll be up your way during the firt week in February recording a new CD. I'll be doing a house concert February 9 in Hopewell Junction, NY. Let me know if you'd like more info and I'll see that you get it.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.com
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Re: building my own BD.

Postby saor » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:38 am

Hey, Thanks!
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