Jump to content
EverythingDulcimer
lshillman

Help me identify this dulcimer? Plus other beginner questions...

Recommended Posts

Hi folks,

I was recently given a dulcimer that had spent 30 years gathering dust in a hot, dry attic. I'm told it has a much longer history, but its original owner, who possibly built it from a kit, died in 1990 and it hasn't been played since.

I searched around and found a tuning chart and some youtube videos on tuning, and actually managed to get it sounding somewhat decent. Of course a few of the highest strings snapped while I was tuning it. A friend of mine who plays said the best place to get replacement strings is from the original manufacturer, but as I said, this thing is old, and maybe kit-built. There are no markings on it anywhere aside from the design around the sound holes.

1: Do any of you recognize this instrument?

I'm seeing that most of the strings are long ones starting from one tuning pin, wrapping around the hitch pin, and looping back to a second tuning pin (effectively four strings per treble course). All the strings on the instrument appear to be of the same gauge.

2: if I need to order generic replacement strings, where should I get them, and what gauge? Searching around on the internet, I mainly see loop-end strings, which do not appear to be the kind this dulcimer was built for.

3. How worried should I be about the cracking you can see going through the bottom row of hitch pins? I suspect it may be pretty bad. This thing goes a full step flat in about a day. I'm having fun with it, but I have to do a LOT of tuning, and I worry it's eventually going to tear itself apart.

Much obliged for any advice you can provide!

Luke

1751652549_2020-10-1316_50_28.thumb.jpg.7be2d1a0b964a6d4463a0bf2005b24e4.jpg

2020-10-11 14.52.54.jpg

2020-10-11 14.52.42.jpg

2020-10-17 17.03.24.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 should be re-drilled lower and new pins hammered in.  At least the cracks should be filled with one of the more gel-like super glues, which should stop movement and tighten things up a hair.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...