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KWL last won the day on May 21

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  1. You made a fine looking dulcimer. You'll have fun playing it. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  2. I've used a few things for loop end string anchors. I used #2 brass screws on a few. I've also used brass plated 3/4 inch nails. For ball ends I cut off the heads. Plain steel brads in various lengths and hitch pins from Folkcraft have worked as well. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  3. Welcome to Everything Dulcimer Kevin. You may recall that I welcomed you to FOTMD as well. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  4. I can see why you don't what to take the thickness off the top of your peg head. That's a nice looking piece of wood. I find that most guitar-style peg heads are 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  5. The sound holes look good. Are you doing a guitar-style peg head? I don't quite get the last photo and what you are trying to show. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  6. I don't see why that wouldn't work. You are looking for something that will prevent splits and cracks. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  7. You can always reinforce the sound hole area with a thin patch of wood under the sound hole. Just orient the grain perpendicular to the grain of the top. A friend of mine uses used dryer softener sheets to do this .I've tried this as well, but must no be using hard enough glue as I get fuzzy edges when I cut the sound holes. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song." cc
  8. Strum hollow depth is a personal choice. Some dulcimers have no strum hollow at all. On some of my dulcimers I cut down to about1/8th inch left glued to the top. On others I cut only down 1/8th inch from the top of the fret board. Those who cut a deep strum hollow feel it allows the top to vibrate a little more. I can't say that I have any proof of that. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  9. KWL

    Making Dulcimers

    I'll try to answer a few of you questions. Flat or "guitar-style" peg heads have become popular because it is easier to restring a dulcimer with a flat peg head. Some folks find it difficult to change strings on closed scroll peg heads.It really comes down to a matter of personal preference and what sells. The type of tuning peg you use sometimes dictates the type of peg head you use as your already noted. Again, whether or not to hollow out the fret board is a personal choice which had little overall effect on the sound of the dulcimer. You can find examples of both on older dulcimers. Walnut is a good wood for dulcimers. You can even use it for the top. I have an all walnut dulcimer which is top, sides, bottom, peg head, and fret board. Spruce and cedar work well also. The dulcimers made in the early days of dulcimer history were made from whatever wood the builder could acquire; pine, poplar, cherry, walnut, maple, birch, chestnut, oak, etc. For the most part, the idea of using a soft wood for the top like on guitars, mandolins, violins, etc., came in to vogue with the "dulcimer revival." The "old" builders used one wood throughout the instrument. Of course, there are exceptions to that statement! A good number of the dulcimers I have made have walnut fret boards. I have also used poplar and maple, but any hardwood will do. From my experience it is more difficult to hammer frets in to maple than walnut. Hope some of this information helps. Keep asking question. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  10. Looks like you are coming along well with your build. Like Noterman, I don't care for kerf blocks. Some of the older builder did not use kerfing or other linings, but glued the top and back directly to the sides. The bone nut and bridge should give the dulcimer a nice bright sound. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  11. Bernd Krause makes a very nice nylon string dulcimer. If you scroll through his Facebook page, you will find of video of him playing and talking about the nylon dulcimer. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  12. It shouldn't be a problem. When I make dulcimers with braces, I like to place them so that they are not too visible through the sound holes. On single piece backs I seldom use braces. I use them mostly on two piece backs. On two piece backs I also use a strip down the center of the back about 3/4 inches wide with the grain of the center strip perpendicular to the joint. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  13. I use Stewart-MacDonalds #0147 narrow/medium fret wire. I've used many different finishes on my dulcimers: violin varnish, black milk paint, spray lacquer from a rattle can (Deft), a water based poly finish, and shellac with carnauba wax. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
  14. Here is one book that is all classical music. https://www.folkcraft.com/collections/sheet-music-tab-books-and-tablature/products/larry-conger-the-classical-dulcimer-1 If you look through the books list at Folkcraft you will find a few other books that contain some classical music pieces. Ken "The dulcimer sings a sweet song."
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