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  1. Joe Collins makes what he calls the "working class" capo. It's just a bolt, a wing nut, some vinyl tubing and cork for the sides. If you're looking to save money it might be cheaper to get one from him than buying larger quantities of the stuff to make it. Here's a link with a photo of his: https://jcdulcimer.ecwid.com/#!/Working-Class-Capo/p/51492762/category=34442728 I would think it would be fairly straightforward with wood/cork sandwich for the sides being the only part that might require some tools. If I had to guess, I'd say he used a hole saw drill bit to punch them out.
  2. There's a lot available now due to the pandemic. Stephen Seifert and Dulcimer Crossing both have online / on demand videos. Bing Futch gives full access to his vault of videos and books if you subscribe to his Patreon for $5 a month. There's a lot of video lessons from festival workshops in there. Then there are individual workshops that instructors do live. To name a few: Erin Mae Joe Collins Jessica Comeau Aubrey Atwater Carol Walker And for a festival, the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association festival is coming up in a couple weeks. Registration was extended, but ends tomorrow for that one. Hope that helps!
  3. Thanks for the extra photos, it's a interesting instrument 🙂 Sometimes they will have the maker's info written inside the instrument if you can see anything in there. It might give a clue to the age. For strings, I would take it to music shop and ask them to measure the ones that are still on there. They can measure them with calipers or a micrometer and tell you the exact size and probably sell you single strings. Many of them will be the same thickness, though you may want a thicker string for strings tuned lower. If you're able to measure the distance between the saddle and the metal fret closest to the tuning pegs we can use a calculator based on the intended tuning to recommend some gauges.
  4. What does the crown on the frets look like? Do they have a well rounded top with a single point of contact for the string or are they possibly a little flat?
  5. Greetings! It looks like a type of hummel / hommel. They can be tuned similarly to a dulcimer with the drone strings being the root and 5th of the scale and then the melody strings being tuned to the mode you want to play (5th for Ionian, 4th for Aoelian, 8th for Mixolydian, etc.). So for example CGG or DAA tuning could just be extended to match the number of strings. A tuning like CGGG-GGGGGG would work for playing major scale/ionian mode songs.
  6. Welcome! Feel free to ask any questions you have and we'll try to help you out. Regarding the strings - most of the time a DAA set will make it up into DAd, though depending on the exact gauge they may not. Also if the strings are older you may want to go ahead and change them anyways. Looking at the fretboard, your dulcimer doesn't have a 6 1/2 fret on it so a 1-5-5 tuning like DAA or CGG may be better for playing most tunes. These are tuning for playing the major scale from the 3rd fret up to the 10th fret, also known as Ionian mode. Without the 6 1/2 fret if it's tuned DAd, it will play the Mixolydian mode from the open string. This is close to the Major scale/Ionian mode, but the 7th note (6th fret) is flat. A 6 1/2 fret allows it to play the major scale from the open string up to the 7th fret. It's possible to play major scale tunes in DAd without a 6 1/2 fret, but you'll either need to avoid tunes that call for the 6 1/2 fret, play that note on the middle string (9th fret on middle string is the same note as the 6 1/2 on the melody string), or possibly have a 6 1/2 fret added to the instrument. DAA is a perfectly good option too, though less common now. Either way you'll have a lot of fun, but I would recommend changing the string if they're more than a year or two old.
  7. Unfortunately all the plans I've seen are full size. I think this may be a case where you'll have to scale an existing plan down or design your own. One thing that may be helpful to think about if you scale one down yourself - you probably want to keep the fretboard width (and string spacing) at or near regular width so it doesn't impact the playability.
  8. If you're familiar with building a Ukulele, you could make it as a 3 or 4 string with diatonic frets and you'd be all set. I've seen a couple like that before:
  9. From what I can find on plum it should be similar to a very hard maple. It'll probably make a bright sounding instrument. And it looks like it glues and finishes well, so you should be fine. Dulcimers are commonly made out of walnut, cherry, mahogany and sometimes have a spruce, redwood, maple or butternut tops. But really they're made out of all sorts of woods. Even cardboard.
  10. I agree with @NoterMan, you're not likely to find a pattern for one as it's a commercial instrument they created on their own pattern. I use to have one of these and they're definitely carved from a single piece of wood except for the top, which a separate piece laid on the body. Just want to mention one thing about the tuning / frets on these. They come tuned DAd, which is fine, but they don't have what would be called a 6 fret on a dulcimer (only 6.5). The fret pattern is Ionian instead of Mixolydian from the open string, which has a couple consequences: 1) You can't play Mixolydian tunes and 2) It's missing the G note on the middle string (only has G#) which makes forming some chords odd. 3) Modal tuning is problematic. You can still do it, but the modes will not match the ones on a dulcimer because of the fret pattern differing. If you're building one, I'd at least add the regular 6 fret on there. Also the number of frets is a little low. You can still play a lot with it, but there are also a lot of tunes will go to the 10th fret, some the 12th. You may want something with a few more frets for more versatility. If you do build one, would love to see some pics 🙂
  11. The link you posted is just one image. Can you give a better picture of the label? I can make out the words "Salterios" and "Atlizaya"(?) which I would guess are the brand, model or manufacturer. And then it says "Reproducion de ..." which means "Reproduction of ...". I was thinking "Salterios" is somehow related to Psaltery and Google translate confirms that's the spanish word for psalteries. I don't personally know much about hammered dulcimers, others will know more, but the label will likely be the most helpful thing to track down more info. edit: Is what I'm think of as the label, actually the business card you mentioned?
  12. Hi Carla, Sorry to hear you have to cancel. Things are still dicey with the pandemic, so probably the right call. Have you considered doing an online workshop? I've attended a few over Zoom and those have gone well.
  13. Hi Elizabeth, Welcome to the site. I'm not familiar with that maker and I haven't seen one by them before. Doing a little searching, the only thing I came up with is probably the same listing you're looking at. There was also a reference to someone with that name starting a dulcimer club ~25-ish years ago but that was about all I could find. It could be a one off / personal instrument that they built for themselves. I remember seeing a class last year for building this style of instrument, I think it was at the Black Mountain festival. So it could be something like that as well.
  14. A luthier (instrument builder/repairer) would probably be the way to go to have one added. Most dulcimer builders can do that for you, but local places that work with fretted instruments (guitars for example) would have the tools to do it. They basically need to saw a new slot for it, hammer in the fret wire and then dress it so it's the right shape/height and doesn't have sharp edges. DAD is the most common tuning you'll find in modern books and publications and also at jams / workshops. It's still fairly common to retune the dulcimer to play in other modes (like DAC for the minor key), but most classes and instruction books will assume you're set up for and starting in DAD with a 6+ fret.
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