I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Just share stories or offer advice

I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby PhilC » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:02 am

Almost there :)
Installing the strings but I've now broken three D strings so thought it best to come here and cry "HELP" :)
I'm using Folkcraft Plain Steel Loop end .011 (I have two left)
Tuning to D 293.7 Hz
Distance between nut and bridge:- 35"
I'm tightening the strings gingerly, letting it rest and allowing my heart rate to settle a bit :)
Any tips? Thanks.

20170812_075338_small.jpg
User avatar
PhilC
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:39 am
Location: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA

Re: I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby Jon » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:22 am

The strings are likely breaking because of the 35 inch VSL. Using http://www.stringbusters.com/stringfaqs.asp, a string diameter of 0.011 inches gives a tension of 29.31 lbs-roughly twice what would be desired. The same site shows for 15 lbs, you need a string diameter of 0.008 inches. Normal dulcimer VSLs are in the range of 26 to 30 inches.
Jon
Jon
Senior Mbr (101-500 posts)
 
Posts: 235
Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby PhilC » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:35 am

ah ha! yes that makes sense, (now :D ) thanks.

This is my first dulcimer, I have no plans. I'm basically working from memory of some dulcimers that I have seen and pictures off the net.

Again thanks.
User avatar
PhilC
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:39 am
Location: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA

Re: I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby Skip » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:54 am

Have you thought of making it a bass? The long VSL points to that. A bass is an octave lower and uses heavier strings, the melody D is the D below middle C, same as the bass on a standard MD.
Skip
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 529
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 7:22 pm
Location: Arkansas (West Central)

Re: I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby KenH » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:42 pm

To play in DAA or DAd along with most of the rest of the dulcimer world, you'll want

.015 for the bass string D;
.010 for the A, and if you want DAd, you'll use a
.008 for the melody ds.

This according to the Strothers String Calculator, which is know to be a bit light.

That is a HUGE LONG VSL -- I think I've only ever seen one other that long!! Most VSLs run from 24" to 28"
User avatar
KenH
Dulcified! (>2000 posts)
 
Posts: 10014
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:16 pm
Location: Afloat in Fort Myers, FL

Re: I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby PhilC » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:33 pm

Thanks Skip. Tried that and it appears to be working, may even stick with it.

I had no idea that I was making a big one. I just started with a yardstick, a roll of butcher's paper and a pencil :)

I kept a photo journal as work progressed, you can see it at:-
https://www.facebook.com/PhilipJCooke
Go to Photos > Albums > Mountain Dulcimer

I've thoroughly enjoyed making it. The input from this forum has been much appreciated. I'm sure that I'll make another one but maybe a little smaller ;)
User avatar
PhilC
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:39 am
Location: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA

Re: I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby strumelia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:58 am

If you want to play in the key of D, I suggest staying with the Bass dulcimer setup that Skip recommended.

Even with an .008 string for the melody, on a 35" scale it's going to break long before you crank it up to high D. You cannot put strings thin enough to tune up to the usual high DAd on this length. Plus, I found that really thin .008 strings and thin wound strings tend to break more easily in general.
User avatar
strumelia
Super Mbr (501-2000 posts)
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:05 pm
Location: Upstate New york

Re: I'm feeling a little highly strung!

Postby PhilC » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:07 pm

Thanks folks, base it is :)

This is very much a new experience for me, but then again if it were easy it would not captivate my interest. Tomorrow I'll take a trip to the music store in town and I know the guy there will be able to fix me up with a set of suitable strings.

I'm already planning my next dulcimer build. It's like pringles or tattoos, you can't just make one :D
User avatar
PhilC
Junior Mbr (0-50 posts)
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:39 am
Location: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA


Return to Making Dulcimers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron