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  3. FWIW -- it would have been better to post this under Building Dulcimers, not under the general topic of Hammered Dulcimer Beginners... I don't normally build HDs, having more than enough fun with the Mountain Dulcemore and other instruments. However if I were to build a Hammered Dulcimer, the plans I would use are those by Randy "Ardie" Davis -- A Dulcimer Builder's Do-It-Yourself Guidebook for the Hobbist. you can find it on Amazon and other places. Several builders who I admire and respect use Ardie's plans with great results. Drill parallel stock, not tapered. Then sand the tapers in with a table or spindle sander or even just a handheld belt sander flipped on it's back. Your experience with a run-away router is exactly why I will never own one or use it for building delicate things like dulcimers.
  4. i started making a hammered dulcimer 6 years ago, got the case made, the top, the bridges, and then got stumped by laying out the holes in the pinblocks. lately i've corresponded with chris at songbird and he told me i should change the bracing from front to back to side to side. those braces sat under the bridges and had a dowel glued to them for support. so i did that then after looking at pictures online i realized i needed to cut openings in the rails to accomodate moveable tone rods so i did that. the router got away from me and did some damage buti was able to repair it. he also said my bridges were incorrect and he's right. i'm making it from plans from folk craft. it's a 12/11. i very carefully made patterns for the pinblock from the plans but it seems to me that the plan may have been drawn smaller and then printed on a plotter because it seems that every little misalignment is magnified. the plan shows the bridges tapering from 29mm to 22mm front to back, and also tapered top to bottom. that particular cut seems difficult to finesse. it would be terrifying to try to run that small piece of wood, with the holes already drilled and just begging for chipout through the table saw. and planing that taper would be problematic with the holes already drilled and i can't wrap my head around drilling them into an already tapered bridge. do i really need to do that top to bottom taper? can i get away with planing the edges of the top to almost meet the groove for the rod? if i have to taper them top to bottom i'm going to glue some pine pieces the bottom of the bridge and make some kind of sled that grips the saw fence so i have some safe control. i've got everything i need to finish this..the motivation, the hitchpins, the tuning pins, the strings. just need to remake the bridges. any advice would be welcome. thanks
  5. It could be the slots for the strings in either the nut or bridge or both. A way to check this to place your finger on the string on the peg head side of the nut and strum the string. If it doesn't buzz (reverb) that is where the problem is. You do the same with the bridge placing the finger on the endpin side of the nut. The buzzing is caused by the string slot being to large for the string. If that is the case there are a couple of ways to fix it. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  6. Contact John & Karen Keane and the Arkladulcifest Facebook page. They should have some ideas of local groups in that area.
  7. Just rebuilt an old dulcimer and added new fixed bridge and nut. All is well but I get a lot of reverb and buzzing on the melody strings when strummed open. Other strings are ok. Plenty of action distance so that is not it. Any ideas out there? Erick
  8. looking for dulcimer clubs and events in North East Arkansas
  9. This is as easy to play. To add some color to your playing, you might play the song on the melody string the first time through, the bass string the second time through and back to the melody string the third time through. Little Liza Jane - Bass.pdf Little Liza Jane - Bass.mid
  10. Many of the songs written in the 1600's and 1700's had unusual timing. This song was written in 6/4 timing (6 - ¼ notes per measure). Rock Of Ages.pdf Rock Of Ages.mid
  11. Thanks, that's what I needed. EV
  12. I inset both the outside Melody string and the Bass string 1/8" in from the edge of the fret board no matter how wide. Put the middle drone half way between those two. Put the inner Melody string 1/8" in from the outer Melody string.
  13. I just bought a fixer upper lap dulcimer and need to replace the nut and the bridge. Both the nut and bridge are gone. I have replacement nut blanks, but for the life of me I can't find any information on the placement and spacing of the strings for the new nut. This is a 4 string dulcimer with a 1 3/8 inch wide fret board. Where do I cut the new slots? Any help would be appreciated. EV
  14. In Arizona no one wants to teach in person. I cannot follow on live, since every dulcimer is tends to be different. Just have to go the the music books for songs that I know so that I can get the rhythm.
  15. Are there any in-person teachers from NC out there?
  16. Nice playing. But how can a waltz be a sea chanty??? One is a slow dance tune, the other a sailor's work song. Especially played that slowly!! The time and tempo fit none of the dozen or or sea chanties which I know of. As far as I can see and hear that tune is a waltz, plain and simple.
  17. I use the Dudley Quick Release brass capo. It is waaaaay superior to all the usual wooden style dulcimer capos. On my chromatic dulcimer I can change the pitch of any tune in a matter of seconds with my capo. I can play in all keys, and in all modes in all keys. A good, workable capo on a chromatic fretboard is a superb tool and adds great, instant versatility. It also enables you to instantly match any tune, regardless of where the melody fits within a key or mode, to your vocal range (as long as you use a chromatic dulcimer).... you merely move the capo to a position where the melody is easiest for you to sing.
  18. Ainsley's Waltz.pdf Ainsley's Waltz.mid
  19. I was looking up something to do with my tuning pegs, and lo and behold, here it is! A - mazing.
  20. I know that "ebonizing" stain, and have a bottle of my own -- made from a steel wool pad. Guess I've never let it get that dark on my projects... Very nice. I've never had to use a peg shaver with commercial pegs... they already come with the 1:30 taper so all you haver to do is ream out the holes.
  21. NoterMan, thanks for the kind words, and the advice! I stained the maple with a home-brew concoction known by various names...it was a common leather dye in the 18th century. Its made by putting some pieces of scrap iron in a glass jar (I used some pieces of very old barbed wire from an old fence on my property), filling it with vinegar, and allow it to "work" for a few months. Then pour the remaining liquid into another bottle through a paint strainer, and seal tightly. The resulting liquid is sort of clear, but when brushed onto vegetable tanned leather, reacts with the tannins and turns the leather a deep brownish-black. Works much the same way with curly maple...and darkens the walnut to a deep ebony shade. I think the actual chemical compound produced is iron acetate. I have a couple of sets of violin pegs, and have already bought a reamer and peg shaver. I was going to use them in my next builds...I'm in eastern Kentucky, very near Hindman, and want to try an Uncle Ed Thomas style next. However, I can fit violin pegs to this one easily...I just have to carefully drill the peg holes through the other side of the peg box, and taper them to fit. These uke tuners are in a 5/16' hole, which is what I need to start reaming. I might change them anyway, since the friction tuners don't seem to be holding very well.
  22. Beautifully done Greg! That was one magnificent piece curly maple! We always learn something, every time we build another dulcimer. What did you use to stain the maple? A tobacco-based stain like some of the old Kentucky rifles? One suggestion I'll make for your next build is to open up the bottom of the channel in your scroll head. A closed bottom makes it really hard sometimes to get a string around and through a tuning peg. I've had a couple closed head and hated stringing and re-stringing them compared to an open bottom head. I sure wish you'd have put traditional violin style wooden pegs on there. Commercial pegs are really inexpensive (I get 1/4 size pegs for about $1 each) and if you have an inexpensive tapered reamer they are easy to install and easy to tune.
  23. Hello folks! My name is Greg, and this is my first post. I just finished building my first dulcimer, completely from scratch. It’s not perfect, but I learned a lot to use in the future. I used the article from Woodcraft magazine as a guide, but made changes due to the size of lumber I had, and the fact that I wanted a scroll peg head. I made the body from a remnant of a curly maple gunstock blank (one of my other hobbies is building flintlock rifles), and made the peg head and fretboard from scraps of black walnut. The position markers are from a lighter colored piece of English walnut. Bone nut and bridge, and ukulele friction tuners from CB Gitty. This one is a little small, 30.5” x 7”, and the scale is 25.5”. I’m already planning #2…
  24. Anne Bowman is one of the premiere dulcimer players in Oz. Richard Troughear is perhaps the most scientifically oriented dulcimer builders in the world. There are three or four other dulcimer players I've heard of Downunder. But as you know, Oz is huge -- the size and same basic shape as the US -- and I've not heard of any Gatherings of dulcimer folk. I know Anne from Facebook dulcimer groups. She lives in Leura, NSW. If anyone knows what's going on there, she will. Tell he I said G'day!
  25. G'Day all. I am well into my retirement years alone now, in an independent living village. Playing anglo concertina and Hohner melodeon. I am exploring the concept of playing a quieter instrument in preparation for transitioning into closer communal living. I have not been able to discover any gatherings of Mountain Dulcimer players down under. Hoping there are some around who would share their interest with me. A friend crafted me a large Tennessee Music Box modified but basic style as TMBs were. I have picked up a rather tired 4 string DADD hourglass. Even tempted now to order in a Cardboard Dulcimer from a respectable maker who houses them in his backyard USA 😆. So that thumbnail sketch tells you I am travelling in circles and in need of guidance. May everyone stay safe and healthy in these most troubling times.
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