Forum Activity for @Bob

Bob
@Bob
03/20/17 10:00:12PM
78 posts

The technician and the artist


Chord/melody modern style playing discussions

Sometimes my right hand does not know what my left hand is doing.

Bob
@Bob
03/18/17 05:45:17PM
78 posts

Fret Material


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

I am using brass frets on my newest dulcimer. I had a question about their longevity and I spoke with a pretty noteworthy luthier supplier who said they should last a good long time, not to worry, if they are the style you are looking form. They do look nice on the Bolivian Rosewood fret board.

Bob
@Bob
03/10/17 11:24:57AM
78 posts

Just intonation and limitations


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Robert and Ken. Very helpful ! smiler

Bob
@Bob
03/09/17 10:08:08PM
78 posts

Just intonation and limitations


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, this is really interesting! 

I was thinking of designing, for a JI fingerboard, a sound box to set a blank fret-board on top. I would rig a dulcimer string to stretch over it to mark off the notes using an electronic tuner, and then cut in the fret slots... I wonder if it would work.

So... if I was going to build a dulcimer with the idea that I would offer it for sale,  would it be better to have the scale in Equal Temperament or Just Intonation?

Bob
@Bob
03/09/17 02:01:15PM
78 posts

Fret Scale Templates


Building dulcimers

I remember there was a full-scale 26" or so down-loadable dulcimer fretboard template (I wish I had saved it!)...


updated by @Bob: 03/09/17 02:01:43PM
Bob
@Bob
03/09/17 09:04:44AM
78 posts

Just intonation and limitations


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Are the pre-slotted fingerboards sold by Folkcraft Just Intonation or Equal Temperament?

(I am planning to make a JI finger board using an electronic tuning meter to locate fret positions...)


updated by @Bob: 03/09/17 09:05:30AM
Bob
@Bob
03/08/17 03:46:52PM
78 posts

Just intonation and limitations


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Just found this discussion- it is so interesting.

Bob
@Bob
03/07/17 01:18:01PM
78 posts

PA German Zitter


Building dulcimers

That's great information thanks Ken. I may just try making my own wood stain now :-)

Bob
@Bob
03/06/17 09:33:39PM
78 posts

PA German Zitter


Building dulcimers

Very cool! It looks old! I am interested how you attached the tuning head to the body. Cant see any seam. You're a very good woodworker! Also, how did you make the stain? Poplar usually needs as sanding sealer as it has very distinct grain.

Looking forward to hearing it!

By the way, will you display it at the center/museum where you found and copied the original?

Bob
@Bob
02/24/17 10:28:24AM
78 posts

PA German Zitter


Building dulcimers

Hi Ken,

I am really looking forward to seeing your new Zitter project! As a "living Historian" (Re-enactor) these things excite me!

I haven't been able to see very clearly the tuning keys on the original you are recreating, but they appear to resemble violin pegs. I was looking at various épinette des Vosges and noticed they have that type of tuners.

Actually, seeing what  you are doing sparked my imagination and I am planning on building one after my current 5 string walnut/spruce dulcimer is completed!

Bob
@Bob
02/21/17 11:25:33PM
78 posts

Single or Double Melody Strings?


Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions

My new project is a 5 string dulcimer with double melody string. Its my first at this style. The body is 2 1/4" deep so it should be nice and full sounding.


updated by @Bob: 02/21/17 11:29:42PM
Bob
@Bob
02/20/17 09:05:23PM
78 posts

PA German Zitter


Building dulcimers

Pretty cool and great story! I like how you have brought these into the public and keep their history alive.

Do you know what the original woods were that were used? It appears you have selected Poplar for your recreation. Do you think that wood was used? It is plentiful in the Northeast US/Colonies and used commonly as a secondary wood in cabinetry.

As Bert said, it will be interesting to hear it's voice!

Bob
@Bob
02/20/17 04:55:53PM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Ken Longfield:

Looks good, Bob. I have cuts all over my hands from work I did this weekend. I'll try to take a few photos tonight and post them - of the work, not the cuts.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a new song."

Thanks Ken- would love to see your work-- I am sure the cuts were well worth it!

Bob
@Bob
02/20/17 11:12:26AM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Kusani:

VERY nice job.  I hope you are pleased with the sound. 

Thanks and yes, very pleased with the sound thumbsup

Bob
@Bob
02/20/17 11:11:09AM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Kusani:

VERY nice job.  I hope you are pleased with the sound. 

I learned something new with this instrument. I was thinking the frets were a bit off as I played the higher notes, which got me really upset. Then I realized that I needed to tune it much more carefully, as the "sympathetic strings" need to be just right or the melody string would be off. Now, it sounds just amazing. My favorite so far!

Bob
@Bob
02/20/17 11:07:53AM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Bee Lick Farm:

Absolutely beautiful.

Now go wear the first set of string out. Play it until the strings are in shreds and your fingers bleed.

Really wonderful job, looks fantastic. Congrats!

Thanks . And I already got a bleeding finger making that dulcimer!

Bob
@Bob
02/11/17 11:27:40PM
78 posts

Recording and Amplifying your mountain dulcimer ?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Noah. For the microphone I went way lower budget than the SM57 for now & selected a PylePro Hand Mic (along with a stand) and a small Sawtooth Guitar Amplifier.  They both had pretty decent reviews. I may spring for more pro grade down the line but it seems like a good start.

For recording, I will just have to wait a bit until I know more of how to set all that up on a computer.

Thanks again for your help!

Bob
@Bob
02/11/17 06:07:50PM
78 posts

Recording and Amplifying your mountain dulcimer ?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you Ken and  Dusty. Lots of good information there. I have just a small Point-and-shoot digital camera with a video switch, but it really is very poor quality, naturally. 

I remember seeing a small mic that clipped on to a dulcimer and was plugged into a small amp. It was a pretty simple set-up, and i was years ago, so I dont know if things are that simple now. It looks like dusty might be speaking about something similar with the Sure SM57 and a small amp. For me, the simpler the better. 

Bob
@Bob
02/10/17 05:34:50PM
78 posts

Recording and Amplifying your mountain dulcimer ?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Actually this is two questions:

1) What type of video/audio recorder do you use (or suggest) ? The video camera I have has records all sorts of static or background noises.

2) If you use a mic with an amplifier for a Mountain Dulcimer, what type do you use and what would you suggest? Hopefully nothing very expensive blinders

Thanks for any and all suggestions :-)

Bob
@Bob
02/08/17 06:45:45AM
78 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I am just learning some simple cords now. Small steps but enjoying the results blush


updated by @Bob: 02/08/17 06:48:26AM
Bob
@Bob
02/07/17 12:06:36PM
78 posts

Black Walnut and Sitka Spruce Dulcimer project !


Building dulcimers

I am getting ready for my next Appalachian Dulcimer project. It will be made from American Black Walnut, with a Sitka Alaskan Spruce sound board. 5 strings (double melody strings), Scroll-carved tuning head with Planetary geared tuning pegs (these things are great!). I think it will be made to sell, unless I get too darned attached to it :-)

Bob
@Bob
02/05/17 03:45:24PM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Well, today I have finished building my newest Appalachian Dulcimer. I am pretty happy with it. Have learned a few things on this one too (I am learning as I go). I like the finish (a wipe on Polly) and let it "cure" a few days before stringing it. The geared planetary pegs (my first time using them) will make tuning easier I am sure!  I think it will be fun to play! 


Bobs new 2017 dulcimer sm.jpg Bobs new 2017 dulcimer sm.jpg - 733KB
Bob
@Bob
02/03/17 07:24:47PM
78 posts

Selecting the wood finish


Building dulcimers

I applied a light coat of the Minwax today. I really like it. Nice, easy application. Who knows, maybe by the end of the weekend this dulcimer will be completed. And the world will have just a bit more music banjo

Bob
@Bob
02/02/17 12:47:08PM
78 posts

Selecting the wood finish


Building dulcimers

Hi Mark,

So glad to read your post and see your photos (You make beautiful dulcimers indeed!).

For the finish, I was just looking to use many very light layers of wipe-on polly. I don't know if I want to use a heavy varnish, and I am not familliar with 'curtting" or diluting them. I had read that the Minwax product was good-to-go and was going to go with that.

I had read that, with Purple Heart., a water-based finish was not the best, as it tended do lower the brightness of the wood. Also, layers of tung oil might not be the best finish for a musical instrument.

I don't think i would need a sealer, would I?


updated by @Bob: 02/02/17 12:48:00PM
Bob
@Bob
02/01/17 07:26:34PM
78 posts

Selecting the wood finish


Building dulcimers

Thanks Ken and Bert. I will give it a go!

Bob
@Bob
02/01/17 03:32:29PM
78 posts

Selecting the wood finish


Building dulcimers

Hi all,
I will be soon completing my next mountain dulcimer, made from Cherry (Top), African Mahogany sides and back, and Purple Heart Tuning Head, Tail and Finger Board.
I want a soft luster finish and after doing some reading, think Minwax Wipe-On Polly (Satin Finish) is the one to use.
Has anyone used this product, particularly on Purple Heart, and what were your results?
Thanks

Bob
@Bob
01/29/17 08:29:25PM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Lynn austin:

Wow, another beauty Bob!  It's interesting how you faded out the Purple Heart in the strum hollow.  Love the weeping heart lower sounholes!

Thanks Lynn- its always exciting to see how these turn out. I am finding that design ideas just come to mind as it comes along.

Bob
@Bob
01/29/17 05:36:05PM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Some more work on the new dulcimer- it's ready for final sanding, lacquering and installing the hardware...


Dulcimer 43.jpg Dulcimer 43.jpg - 801KB
Bob
@Bob
01/27/17 11:44:59AM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

I finished cutting, carving and filing the sound holes for the Cherry top. After it is glued to the dulcimer body, the edges will be trimmed. 


dulcimer 29.jpg dulcimer 29.jpg - 226KB
Bob
@Bob
01/23/17 11:06:54AM
78 posts

Starting a new dulcimer


Building dulcimers

Mark Runge:

Really pretty. I love to woods you chose together!

Thanks- Wood selection was fun. I was lucky to find a great source for the Purple Heart!

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