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Everything posted by NoterMan

  1. Post photos here and in some of the FB pages asking the same question. Personally I've never heard of Jim Trantham of Canton, NC. Basically though, selling used dulcimers of any kind is sort of "what someone is willing to pay".
  2. That explains it! I have never been much of a Stones fans, and never heard of this tune! Nice run though. I still think you need to develop a tune from it, Dave.
  3. Pretty. But I haven't a clue. One phrase does not a copyright make; add more to it and make a tune. I added a half a dozen notes after that could go somewhere too!
  4. You should be able to Edit the post Dave. Button at the bottom left of each of your posts. Although... the idea of a 1/12th fret is intriguing...
  5. Yeah... plywood rules out 1800s, although that was the look they were going for. Excellent job in any case. Plywood or not, it's certainly worth more than 10 euros even as just a folk-art wall hanger! For strings, it would depend on what keynotes you want for the open tuning. You will want plain steel strings for all 9 strings -- no wound strings like modern dulciemrs use for their bass string. Measuring the thickness of the fretted strings is a good start, and then fins a good gauge for the bourdons. According to my string calculator you could use: D .025 d .014 A .018 or
  6. Filing a piece of regular fretwire down is a LOT more trouble that just using a piece of paperclip or a small brad. WHY not make it permanent? Because permanent is permanent. To experiment and see if you will really use a plus fret as much as you think you would; before actually you spend the money to have a fret installed that you don't really want or need except occasionally. If you're like me and lots of others you might have two or three songs in your hundred or more song repertoire which absolutely requires that odd fret. BUT you only ever play those songs once or twice a year.
  7. That is a Fretted Zither, and since you're from Belgium (and I assume the instrument is also), it is your 'regional' variation called a Hummel. The five strings over the frets would be tuned something like DDddd or CCCcc -- some combination of strings an octave apart -- and all strummed together and played together using a noter. The four bourdons or drones would be tuned a fifth above -- A or G -- and strummed to a greater or lesser degree long with the melody strings. All the strings are plain -- not wound. The Hummel was almost always played flat on a table, to enhance the sound (
  8. 1. Don't recognize the maker, but the design, with the pins in the side blocks, is NOT common. 2. Those ARE loop end strings. They start on one side, cross over the top, around a pin on the far side, then back to the start. What gauges? You'll need a micrometer to measure that. You'll also want to know the length of the longest string -- from loop end across to the pin and back. Where? Folkcraft may be able to help. I buy most of my strings from www.juststrings.com; but then I know exactly what I want. 3. Yes that crack in the pin line is "worrisome". Those holes probably s
  9. You're fine Kristie. What you have are a series of jigs (not usually called "forms") for building hourglass dulcimers of several shapes and sizes. Some of the jigs are for bending the side boards, some are for laying out the sound holes and fretboard, etc. It would take someone a certain amount of 'studying' to figure out how and in what combinations Mr. Green used to make his instruments.
  10. If you have not seen the following link you will find it very informative. https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2020/05/margaret-macarthur/ I would suggest contacting the Vermont Folklife Center, which seems to own her life collection: https://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org/
  11. Strings are strings are strings as a friend says. There are only a handful of companies in the world that make what is called music wire. They sell the stuff, in mile-long rolls of various diameters to companies who add windings of various kinds to some of the wire, to make wound bass strings. They also sell miles of plain string to companies like D'Addario, D'arco, Martin, and others, who cut it into lengths and put loop or ball ends on the cut lengths. So. Brand really doesn't matter. But some sellers are more expensive than others. I usually buy in bulk -- a dozen strings of a give
  12. Anytime you get a second hand instrument, it's a good thing to change strings. One at a time -- do NOT take them all off them put them all back. If the bridge or nut aren't in exactly the right place it can really mess things up if one or both fall out of place, and string tension will keep them where they belong. What is the VSL? That's the distance between the inside edge of the nut and the inside edge of the bridge. THAT, plus what you want for the home tuning, is what tells you which strings to buy. There are charts and calculators, but virtually ALL pre-packaged sets of "dulcimer"
  13. If you have any questions, just holler! We make up pretty good answers!
  14. We mostly DON'T make "piccolo" or "soprano" dulcimers except by scaling down. Haven't seen real plans for one in 40 years, although a couple of makers specialize in short VSL instruments (Mc Spad Ginger, the Dave Beedy miniatures, etc. For kids we don't normally take the tunings up into the soprano or "piccolo" range, but rather use strings that work with short VSLs to get normal C or D tunings. Basically, make a regular width, short VSL (say 18-20") fretboard with an inch or two aft of the nut, and design an elliptical or teardrop body around it.
  15. Welcome to our world! Enjoy your journey. MOST dulcimers -- first or second hand -- are "finished". In decades of dulcimering, I've never seen an unfinished dulcimer sold, unless it was an uncompleted kit instrument. Many of us builders use a tung oil or linseed oil finish. Some of us use wax finishes. Many of us do not do super glossy finishes -- all of which may look "unfinished" to the inexperienced eye -- because we don't like the glassy, glossy look of fancy furniture, we build folk instruments. To clean a dulcimer, I most commonly use a damp paper towel or washcloth rag
  16. 1. Get a new "nail", that one's bent beyond straightening I suspect. Get a brad that is longer. 2. Get some quick-set epoxy mix some up and put some in the hole. 3. Put the nail in the old hole and gently but firmly tap the nail in until its head is the same level as the others. Wipe up excess glue. The alternative is to drill a new pilot hole and add the new nail that way.
  17. As my "handle" implies, I am Noter...man. I make noters. Exotic and common American hardwoods $10. Bamboo (including rivercane) $5, plus a buck or two shipping. Round, square, flat or ergonomic.
  18. If you're gonna add all those extra frets and take the instrument totally away from being a dulcimer by having Dulcimer-Shaped-Object made with a chromatic fretboard.
  19. "It looks like the bottom as well as the top is made of solid walnut, giving it a brighter ring than dulcimers with laminate (plywood) backs." FYI -- the top is NOT Walnut; it appears to be Spruce. And solid wood does not necessarily give a dulcimer a "brighter" ring; in fact, the glue between layers of laminate seems to have that effect -- the glue is harder than the wood and reflects sound differently than solid wood.
  20. Wow! That would be great! Think of that Merlin shape -- which is actually a Renaissance shape -- as a Ukulele without all the extra frets!
  21. Plum is a fabulous wood. I have a Mirliton flute made from Plum. Too bad you have left it as a log rather than slicing it into boards and stickering them in a pile to dry. Hopefully boards that you cut now won't go all squirrely warping when released from the log. Plum has a Janka Hardness of 1550, where Hard Maple has a hardness of 1450; so just a bit harder than hard maple. Dulcimers were traditionally made from Eastern hardwoods, as Admin says. Poplar was very common, so was Chestnut before they all died. Spruce and redwood are not traditional woods, but some people think they
  22. Yeah; I understand. There are a number of places and people who don't bother to do any research or listen to those who do. Diatonic sticks are no more a dulcimer than a Martin Guitar is!😮
  23. Hi Brudd: Merlin is a brand name, you aren't going to find plans for that. If you can copy the shape (if that's what appeals to you, then making a "stick instrument" (NOT a dulcimer) like it is fairly simple if you have a handful of tools and some experience building folk instruments. The only "plan" you need is the correct fret spacing for the VSL that you choose. I've built similar instruments by simply drawing out the shape on an appropriately thick and wide plank, and using a saber saw to cut out that shape; and then cut away the interior wood, leaving a 1/4" thick rim. After t
  24. NIce looking instrument, never heard of the builder before. Is he a Michigan native?
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