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  2. Thanks Bert I was surprised to see this song could be played on a mountain dulcimer. I know the melody so I tried it in DAA and it works in DAA, too. Dave
  3. Alongside -- we actually set a dime on the fretboard next to the 1st fret. The coin is marginally taller than the fret. Probably best not to use anything relating to guitars/mandolins/banjos when 'messing about' with dulcimers. The construction techniques are different. The dulcimer does not produce the majority of its sound by vibrating the top. Dulcimers don't want a complex system of braces under the top or bottom, they don't need kerf strips glued into the edges of the sides, etc.
  4. Thank you, that is very helpful. By, "alongside the 1st fret" I guess you mean as if you were fretting a note at the 1st. I 'm more comfortable with reducing the bridge material than nut. I did have a formula that showed what reduction in nut height achieved a corresponding reduction at the frets for acoustic guitar, but I have not seen one for shorter scale lengths of the dulcimer. Again, your input is much appreciated. Dave T
  5. An American dime is 1.35mm thick; a nickel is 1.95mm. Call them 1.5 and 2.0 for round numbers. You measure the dime height from the surface of the fretboard alongside the 1st fret. You measure the nickel from the top of the 7th fret (not the 6+ fret). Yes you can just sand a bit off the bottom of the nut and the bridge if they come out easily. Bridges most often are not compensated for string thickness.
  6. i've received a dulcimer which is playable, but i feel it may benefit from having the action lowered. I'm familiar with what is desirable on an acoustic guitar, but all I have seen so far on mountain dulcimers is reference to a "dime" of clearance string to fret. I don't have any USA dimes, so maybe a measurement in mm or fraction of inches is available? I do have a set of "feelers" available. it looks like I can pop out the plastic bridge once the strings are off, can I just sand some off the bottom? I'm not sure if the bridge is on an angle to adjust for string gauge, if it is I c
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  8. Marvin


    Thanks, NoterMan. I didn't notice the other post on building till after I had posted mine. I just figured if I had the major do's and dont's, I could do my own thing. Will have to adjust for the banjimer.
  9. Marvin


    Am looking for plans to build my own mountain dulcimer. Also hope to meke a ducijo, banjo?
  10. In more than 30 years of building and playing dulcimers I've never seen plans for a banjimer. You'll have to be a bit more specific -- what STYLE of dulcimer do you want to build? There are many "standard" shapes -- Elliptical, Teardrop, Diamond, Hourglass, Fiddle, Box, Aorell, Trapezoid, and Zither to name a few. It might help if you look at Larry's post about finding plans immediately below this...
  11. Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.pdf Precious Lord Take My Hand - D.mid
  12. Marvin


    Looking for a good set of plans to build my own mountain dulcimer. Also for the dulcimer banjo. Thanks, Marvin
  13. So here you see a peg style bending jig made from a piece of shelving from a big box store and some lengths of 1/2" dowel. You cut the dowels so that they are a bit shorter than the height of the sides. As you can see, they alternate inside and outside of the lines of the sides, to pull and push the hot-water-soaked (no steam, no hot pipe bending) wood into the curves you want and hold them there while the wood dries to shape. Then you glue to Bottom onto the bent frame shape before removing the "carcass" from the jig. Gotta run right now. We'll talk more today. Let me know questions.
  14. The one I really want to build is the Hour Glass style. It just looks right for me. I want to build 1 all normal, and 1 with a pickup coil in the sound board for a amp.
  15. Ralph Lee Smith, died this morning, December 30, at this home in Virginia. He was 93 years old. Ralph was the premier historian of the Appalachian (mountain) dulcimer. I first met Ralph around 1974 in Washington, D.C. when he came in to the Iguana Coffee House to play his dulcimer. He was always friendly and gracious, sharing his knowledge and love the dulcimer freely. I was fortunate to work with Ralph on a couple of projects and help him with some workshops over the years. I don't know if his death will bump his final article from DPN, but it is based on information I provided him about a Pe
  16. Looks like you've got plenty there to go on! Scott Antes was a well known and respected dulcimer builder. His how-to build a Hammered Dulcimer is highly regarded. That James Hall design is called a Fiddle shape. Not particularly common, but a nice shape. More difficult to build than an Hourglass, as you've noticed. 28.5" VSL is very long by modern standards. If you play Noter & Drone or Fingerdance style they can be good. But modern Chord-Melody stylists with short fingers find them harder to work with. Most today are built with a 26" or 27" VSL. I don't know the Hall name a
  17. I have received 1 book and 1 full set of drawings. The book has drawings and very good details on how to build a Dulcimer. Not full size drawings but has enough info so you can draw them from a grid square. Lots of details and Math on fretting. It uses pegs in the head piece, but can be changed. The body is like an Hour Glass sort of. The waste part is a semi circle where you glue a flat side board in around the curve. The body uses flat side boards that you glue and bend till it reaches the semi circle. Has a 28 1/2" Vibrating String Length for Fretting. I got the book on Ebay for around $15
  18. I know this is an old topic, but if you would like another arrangement I have a nice one in DAd which is on the middle and melody strings. If you click on my name you can send me a private message with your email. I will scan it and email it to you. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  19. I bought my replacement strings from Dusty Strings https://manufacturing.dustystrings.com/hammered-dulcimers/strings . Because my HD is a one-off, as in Sam Rizzetta made it before he was affiliated with Dusty Strings, we engaged in a three-way email conversation before we all figured out exactly what I needed. Worked beautifully, and I made notes for future string replacements.
  20. New here, and this seems a great location to introduce myself. I'm Arkay, and I play hammered dulcimer. I was always attracted to the sound, but didn't really know what a hammered dulcimer was, until I happened upon Maggie Sansone playing hers at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in 1987. I followed her around the rest of the day, listening to everything she played. Later that year, I discovered a music store in Tacoma, MD, that sold all kinds of interesting instruments, and one of them was a large Sam Rizzetta-built chromatic HD. I bought it on the spot. Being a percussionis
  21. Thanks for sharing this! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 🙂
  22. I just found several more plans and bought them. They will be here in a few weeks. I'll post an update when I get them. Larry
  23. The plans I bought and down loaded was from Musicmakers https://www.harpkit.com/mountain-dulcimer-plan-download.html It was at 1/2 price ( nice plans ) I had them printed at up as blue prints at staples but was also able to print them up at home. (25 pages) I was thinking of just making it thinner in width so I could make it fit the wood offered on Ebay. I would rather make the back and top with only 2 pieces of wood ( Book End Style) than have 3 or 4 pieces. Any help in getting wider 1/8" would be great. Larry
  24. It would help if we knew which plans you down loaded. I have wood sources where I can buy 8-10" wide wood, but it is not common certainly. Also, ther is no law that says you can't edge glue 3 or 4 or more strips together to the a width you want. However. I've attached a "plan" for a classic J.E. "Uncle Ed" Thomas hourglass dulcemore with the essential measurements. The one shown is one of his late models when he was experimenting with soundposts. They don't work particularly well in dulcimers, and you can simply ignore them. This version is 6-1/8" at its widest and certainly can be
  25. Hi ! I'm just starting out in the making my Dulcimer. I download what I thought was a nice set of plans, but it turned out that its way to wide for any wood I can find for sell. Its 9.3/8" and most wood is 8" wide when you glue 2 peace's together. I want to make a hourglass type. I may have to trim the sides down at the widest part an inch just to fit the woods that are out there. Thanks for any advice you might bring. Larry
  26. I know there are plenty of tablature files available, but I thought I would provide the link to my OneDrive anyway. I've added some Christmas tablature in DAA, DAC, DAG, and other tunings. I've also been adding a lot of non-holiday tablature. Dave OneDrive
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