Show us your sound holes!

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
8 months ago
806 posts

What Rojo said and elegant.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

rojo
@rojo
8 months ago
18 posts

Wow they are fantastic. Confident woodworking

dennis harris
dennis harris
@dennis-harris
8 months ago
1 posts

This dulcimer is all walnut. There is absolutely no luthier information.  I got it in Berkeley, CA via craigslist.

rojo
@rojo
8 months ago
18 posts

Found the right button to start a new topic. Thanks. You might come to regret it!

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
8 months ago
1,485 posts

No need to apologize, @rojo.  There are lots of nooks and crannies here at FOTMD and it might not be obvious which is the best one. The overall goal is for our conversations to be usable and searchable months and years from now.  So you might imagine someone joining in a year with a question such as yours. Where would they look for information?




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
rojo
@rojo
8 months ago
18 posts

Apologies.  I'll get to grips with the site shortly, hopefully.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
8 months ago
1,485 posts

@rojo, you might want to pose these kinds of questions in the Dulcimer Making Group , where builders discuss their work.  Here in this more general forum there are lots of folks like me for whom instrument construction is no more familiar than ancient Greek.  Make sure you "join" the group first so you can see all the conversations already there, but then feel free to start a conversation specific to your question.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
rojo
@rojo
8 months ago
18 posts

Thanks.

I'm messing on with the fret board at the moment.I've gone for hollow but deliberating as weather to open up the sound board or not.

Any advice gratefully received.

rob.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
8 months ago
1,227 posts

Wow, @rojo!  That back is stunningly beautiful!  So cool.

rojo
@rojo
8 months ago
18 posts

Thanks Robin. It whiles away the 'lockdown' hours. 

Here is the back. Plenty left to do. 

IMG_2890.JPG
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Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
8 months ago
1,227 posts

Those look good to me, @rojo

rojo
@rojo
8 months ago
18 posts

Ok I'm going to try again via the add attachment button to post sound holes. Took it with the selfie camera lens hoping it would be small enough 

IMG_2889.JPG
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Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,867 posts

Good job with the photo this time Crazie!   I really like your unusual sound hole shapes.  The ducks are particularly innovative.  And being the occasional "knife assembler" I like that shape a lot too.  I am currently hilting a custom seax blade forged for me with maple burl and walnut. 

Crazie Eddie
Crazie Eddie
@crazie-eddie
9 months ago
1 posts

Not sure if the photo is here but...The first one i made had knife shaped sound holes because that was during my knife making days. The one i just finished had duck shaped holes to go with the duck head on the first one. I couldn't decide on traditional f holes or duck holes so i combined the 2. 

3-14-21 (2) - Copy.JPG

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 months ago
2,001 posts

Another detail-  I notice you are both embedding AND attaching your image to a post. No need to do both- just pick one method or the other.  winky




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 months ago
2,001 posts

@rojo, Ken is correct- when you are in the window where you select an image to embed in your post, on the left side there should be a drop down box where you can choose the size- the default is set to 800 xxxl or something... if you change it to the XL instead, the image will not be so huge. Try it again with one image here, and I'll adjust or delete it afterwards if needed.  :)  Maybe I'll change the default size to one level smaller as well.

Another way is to go ahead and post the embedded image as is, and then click the EDIT gear icon on you post to edit it, and in that window you can click the corner of the image and DRAG it smaller. Sometimes you'd need to drag it smaller several times to get it to the size that looks reasonable. Then save your edited post by clicking the "update post" button. That's what I did just now to make your last embedded image smaller, btw.

If you are doing all this from a phone's tiny screen, then it might be trickier to see or access all these options and menus... just sayin'.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990

updated by @strumelia: 03/08/21 08:04:40AM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,867 posts

Your Attached image -- with the file name opens up just fine.  It's when you try to Embed the image that things go wrong.
When you click on the Embed Image button above what numbers do you see? 

This image of my recent NC Holly Leaf Pattern shows as 1200x378px , but with a Display Size of  256-Large selected

final3.JPG

This is the same 1200x387 image but I've changed the Display Size to 384px-Xtra Large selected.

final3.JPG

Another factor might be the file type which you are importing.  I notice yours is a .PNG where my images are always .JPG.


updated by @ken-hulme: 03/08/21 07:20:31AM
rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

Back to the drawing board!

rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

original Testing to see if I've managed to crop photo to useable size.

20210308_055553.png
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Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,867 posts

You're right Dusty.  Very few actually carve/cut  a Celtic knot soundhole.  Most use a laser-cut rosette for that sort of intricate work.

rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

I just thought natural knot and Celtic knot. But I know my limitations

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 months ago
1,485 posts

When I've seen Celtic knots, they are more often rosettes that are set into a large sound hole rather than carved right out of the soundboard itself.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,867 posts

Celtic knots as sound holes are very difficult to pull off well, unless you have a laser engraving rig and computer set up!  They don't really have that much hole space that doesn't depend on other parts of the design.

rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to tech. I'm using a old iPad but I'm sure you are right. I'll get one of the grandkids to teach me.

anyway I've attached the back and am going to take your advice about hole position. A Celtic knot would be appropriate but too complicated 

for me. So round holes it'll be.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,867 posts

There is usually some ability to adjust photo size in your phone.  Or better yet, download your phone pix to a graphic editor where you can crop, adjust color. size, and other attributes.

rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

Done it again. Picture too big, that's the top half of my first attempt at a dulcimer.

rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

Sounds like a plan. Thanks for the advice. original

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,867 posts

No problemo, I just couldn't see!    Thanx Lisa.

I would say YES you need more sound hole area to get good volume.   I would center the knotholes on the length of the instrument, and add 4 more round sound holes about the same size, half way between the knotholes and the ends of the instrument.   Generally speaking you want at least as much sound hole area as 4 US quarters -- about 2-3 square inches.  

rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

Many thanks for sorting the picture size.

i new to this site and am not finding it easy to navigate. 

I'll persevere but apologies in advance for my basic errors.

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 months ago
2,001 posts

i fixed the pic size.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
9 months ago
1,867 posts

Well I don't see any knotholes in the pictures as you posted themThe photos are far too large.  Try reposting them smaller so we can see the entire picture. 

 
All I see is a portion of woven basket, the butt ends of two planks that appear to be walnut, and one end of what appears to be a glue up of walnut and something else troughly trimmed to a dulcimer head or tail shape.|


updated by @ken-hulme: 03/05/21 06:57:31AM
rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

original

rojo
@rojo
9 months ago
18 posts

Knot holes but do I need to add extra holes? original

jimws
@jimws
9 months ago
5 posts

Warren May dulcimer

IMG_20200511_172229.jpg

Susie
Susie
@susie
10 months ago
444 posts

rojo:

Very nice but far to complicated for this absolute beginner.

For a builder, I agree with you! 

For a company that has CNC machines, I think not. 

rojo
@rojo
10 months ago
18 posts

Very nice but far to complicated for this absolute beginner.

Susie
Susie
@susie
10 months ago
444 posts

These are called "Seahorse F" sound holes. 

FolkcraftBaritone (1).jpg

rojo
@rojo
10 months ago
18 posts

Peter W.:These are the soundholes of my modified Cedar Creek kit dulcimer. I drilled them myself yesterday. A simple, timeless design made with three wood drills of 6, 12 and 18 mm (about 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 inches).



I'm new to this dulcimer making and I am agonising about cutting sound holes in cedar. I thing I'm going to follow your pattern but with


15, 8 and 6mm drills as I have those. I my get more adventurous in future projects.

marg
@marg
3 years ago
570 posts

saras

custom designs, beautiful & so personal

 

SaraS
SaraS
@saras
3 years ago
3 posts

Here is mine I designed them 

100_5039.JPG
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Susie
Susie
@susie
4 years ago
444 posts
Custom Folkcraft dolphin soundholes with matching dolphin fretboard inlay. One of Steve Ash's last creations, before his untimely death.
FolkcraftCustom2.jpg
FolkcraftCustom2.jpg  •  122KB

marg
@marg
4 years ago
570 posts

I ran across  Vander Woude"  dulcimers & they have the very same sound hole as my trailing/weeping/bleeding heart, what a surprise. His site directs one to Hewoud Music. Vander Woude decided to retire & his granddaughter, Victoria has taken over the business. I wrote her & she sent back this reply below. It was very sweet for Victoria to take the time to do this research - much like what has already been posted.

I hear their dulcimers are 'beautiful' & the sound 'unique'

"The meaning, origins, and history of the Trailing/Weeping/Bleeding Heart soundhole design are completely shrouded in mystery. Mountain Dulcimer lovers have been debating over it for years, but there appears to be no single concrete answers available. There are numerous theories, some of which I have included here: -Bleeding or Weeping Heart shapes are traditionally used to represent sadness or loss. For those who enjoyed playing sad love songs or wished to commemorate a lost loved one, bleeding heart soundholes would add a sentimental touch to their instrument and music. -A common theory is that they are not “bleeding” hearts but rather a depiction of “Trailing Hearts”, a flowering vine with heart-shaped leaves, also known as the Rosary Vine. Some Mountain Dulcimer builders specifically state that their design is a heart-shaped leaf and vine. -The geometrical heart shape was originally used to represent leaves (not sentiment), especially of the Linden tree. Legend says that any couple who sits under the branches of “the tree of lovers” would be in love forever. -The Pennsylvania Dutch frequently used hearts in their décor to represent love of God, family, friends, and country. The tips of the trailing hearts point heavenwards as a reminder that true love comes from God. The Mountain Dulcimer was partially based on a German folk instrument (the zither) and was commonly used as a church instrument, so this heart design is a reflection of the instrument’s roots. -The simplest theory is that the ornamental heart was born from builders experimenting with how to make heart soundholes more elegant. No symbolism was meant beyond those conveyed in standard hearts. As you can see, symbolism is mainly left open to interpretation now. Some people don't relish the thought of having "bleeding" hearts on their instrument and prefer the floral explanations. Others feel the historical meanings are more substantial. Legends and theories aside, the Trailing/Weeping/Bleeding Heart soundhole has become one of the most common and beloved Mountain Dulcimer soundhole designs. Most builders seem to use it as a soundhole design option. Its graceful ornamental shape adds a nice touch of whimsy to this beautiful folk instrument, it allows greater resonance than most soundhole designs, and the mysteries behind its origins reflect the mysteries of the Mountain Dulcimer’s true roots"

JenniferC
JenniferC
@jenniferc
4 years ago
36 posts
I've really enjoyed looking through everyone's pictures on this forum topic!

This is my Ron Gibson teardrop. I spent a number of years living in an area frequented by barn swallows, and spent almost every morning sitting on my front porch watching them. Ron did a great job interpreting what I wanted!
Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
4 years ago
169 posts

The Germans (Penn. Dutch) used the heart to represent 4 ideas concerning love.......love of God, love of family, love of friends and love of country at least that is what I recall from years ago.  In the old German Lutheran Liturgy which I grew up with, like the Roman liturgy the Sursum Corda is offered by the celebrant who intones........."Lift up your hearts" and the congregants reply........."We lift them up unto the Lord."    That intonation goes back to the third or fourth century according to those old dusty books I have.  The upward pointed heart may be a reference to doing that......looking to heaven the source of all true love.   (see those years of seminary have provided me with all sorts of information that would be great if I ever get on Jeopardy).  When the German settlers put hearts on all sorts of things they usually referred to love of family or community and faith.  Some have said  that upward pointing hearts meant the instrument was to be used for hymnody and celebration and the regular heart for the love of one human being for all of creation including family and friends.   Then again, maybe this is just all speculation......but it is fun to think about.

 

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 years ago
1,867 posts

IIRC "trailing hearts" is what the Ford's called their "vine with multiple heart shaped leaves" soundhole design.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
4 years ago
1,485 posts

marg: ken


(   Linden leaf - a source of magical power ...  "bleeding heart" - too sentimental or liberal )


Both of those meanings sound better than maybe 'sad'


thanks 


I am not even sure the design in question is usually considered a "bleeding" or "weeping" heart, both of which imply loss and sadness.  What about a "trailing" heart?  I have definitely heard that term used.  I think Ron Ewing refers to trailing hearts as a soundhole option for his dulcimers.  It might even be a reference to a rosary vine, which is sometimes called a string of hearts or trailing hearts plant.


string of hearts image.jpg


Of course, it is very likely that there is no one stable meaning to a single image, but that different luthiers think it means different things or even nothing at all but just looks cool.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie

updated by @dusty-turtle: 06/27/17 02:00:17PM
marg
@marg
4 years ago
570 posts

 Salt-Springs,

A true treasure

 

Salt Springs
Salt Springs
@salt-springs
4 years ago
169 posts

Ike and Izzy........the last two Carolina Parakeets before the species went extinct.  These sound holes were done By Kerry Coates and this is one of the last dulcimers she built.  A genuine lady and true artist.  

 

 

IMG_3565.JPG

 

 


updated by @salt-springs: 06/27/17 01:09:40PM
Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 years ago
1,867 posts

Kerry passed away in 2014; her passing was a great loss to the dulcimer world.

 

marg
@marg
4 years ago
570 posts

ken

( Linden leaf - a source of magical power ... "bleeding heart" - too sentimental or liberal)

Both of those meanings sound better than maybe 'sad'

thanks

joe sanguinette
joe sanguinette
@joe-sanguinette
4 years ago
73 posts

kerry anderson made beautiful and unusual sound holes.  no surprize her background was art and costume design.

she is a friend and advertized my books and cd's on her website  for years.  would love to see her back

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
4 years ago
1,867 posts

Bleeding or Weeping Hearts are also found on many tomahawk blades, as well as Pennsylvania/Kentucky longrifles.  As someone said there are as many folk tales about what that means as there are tomahawks and long rifles.  A "bleeding heart" is, of course, someone who is considered too sentimental or liberal in dealing with social situations. 

There is some indication that prior to the 14th century the heart as a geometric shape represented not the heart of sentimentality, but rather the shape of the Linden leaf, which was held by Germanic/Scandinavian mythology to be a source of magical power, or any number of other plant references.  Only in the 15th century does the heart geometric shape begin to represent love, sentimentality, and other Christian ideals.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
4 years ago
1,485 posts

Bob, your dulcimers are indeed beautiful.  I like that heart inlay in the end block.  And I've always been in awe of the delicate work evidenced in nice rosette. How pretty!




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
marg
@marg
4 years ago
570 posts

bob,

Your dulcimer you are working on is beautiful. Since you mention ( Weeping Heart motifs )  in this site, I was wondering if you knew what the meaning could be for them.

    Yes, this is a nice discussion & I am so glad it has started back up. I have several dulcimers with different sound holes but my latest is a San Carrell '84 'fiddleside' with the weeping heart, or crying heart. At the moment I have it tuned to DAAA & is a bit sadder than maybe DAdd would be. I understand Carrell returned to Fla to help his ill parents in '84 & maybe only made a few dulcimers after that, could the weeping Hearts be because he was leaving TN? 

Bob
Bob
@bob
4 years ago
86 posts

Its always so interesting to see the many creative designs and elements used for dulcimer sound-holes. There are some true beauties on display on this thread that sparked my design interests with the creativity and artistry of these unique elements.

I always have liked the traditional Heart and Weeping Heart motifs and used them on the few dulcimers I have made, including my recent March's Dulcimer. Also beautiful are the various Rosettes that are on many dulcimers. I have used them in my April and May Dulcimer (as well as soon completed June's Dulcimer), tinting some with a splash of color for a nice effect.

This is a wonderful discussion!!

March Dulcimer.jpg
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May & April.JPG.jpg
May & April.JPG.jpg  •  911KB

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
4 years ago
1,485 posts

This is a cool discussion topic in which I participated back when I was a newbie, could barely play a few tunes, and only had one dulcimer. Ah, those simple days of yore!  I still have that first dulcimer, by the way.

My most recent purchase is a McCafferty dulcimer.  The inlay on the fretboard centers on the fifth fret with a wolf silhouetted against a full moon. And then for position markers (on frets 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12) there are little stars positioned in such a way as to appear random but still mark the appropriate frets.  The four soundholes are quarter moons, with one little star, as you see in this picture.  My daughter insists that only one name is appropriate for this dulcimer: Luna.  So be it.

 

DSC_0008edit.jpg




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Joe Robison
Joe Robison
@joe-robison
6 years ago
25 posts

My computer skills don't allow me to send a picture but I had a caller inquiring about my dulcimers the other day that asked me if I had any with butterfly sound holes. I didn't but a few days later discovered my wife had some butterfly magnets on the fridge. They were just the right size for the large holes and my wife found a greeting card with a smaller one for the other hole. I have them cut for a dulcimer in progress and like them very much. I probably will use them again.

Mark Hoskey
Mark Hoskey
@mark-hoskey
6 years ago
5 posts

Furman Thornton dulcimer from 2002

Upper bout

236_forums.jpg

Lower bout

237_forums.jpg

Meredith Winn
Meredith Winn
@meredith-winn
6 years ago
3 posts

I have Blair 285

Meredith Winn
Meredith Winn
@meredith-winn
6 years ago
3 posts


Mark Jones said:

Check out more Mark Blair Dulcimers online at www.markblairdulcimers.com and also see the Facebook page forMark Blair Dulcimers. My name is Mark, I was named after Mark Blair, he was my Uncle. I hadn't tracked down #290 yet!

Dave shattuck said:

I just bought this on eBay, and I am thrilled. It was 234_forums.jpg built by Mark Blair, #290. He made around 600+. All walnut I believe. These holes he uses are patented. Also the Smithsonian bought one of his dulcimers

Nikolas4squid
Nikolas4squid
@nikolas4squid
6 years ago
22 posts

Can't go wrong with birds. Those are nice.

Bob Reinsel
Bob Reinsel
@bob-reinsel
6 years ago
79 posts

Eastern Kingbirds. These were the first sound holes I ever cut.

232_forums.jpg?width=500




--
Bob
Site Moderator

The greatest music is made for love, not for money -- Greg Lake
marg
@marg
6 years ago
570 posts

So many different sound holes designs, mine also now.

marg
@marg
6 years ago
570 posts

yes, very nice

Dana R. McCall said:

I love natural knot holes for sound holes and have several dulcimers that way. I don't think it make any difference in the sound they are just pretty.
Meredith Winn
Meredith Winn
@meredith-winn
7 years ago
3 posts

My neighbor just gave me #285 for FREE!

Dave shattuck said:

I just bought this on eBay, and I am thrilled. It was 231_forums.jpg built by Mark Blair, #290. He made around 600+. All walnut I believe. These holes he uses are patented. Also the Smithsonian bought one of his dulcimers

John D Hedrick
John D Hedrick
@john-d-hedrick
7 years ago
3 posts
Here is a simple sound hole design using Forstner bits. Just stringing up my most recent 25" VSL.
Dave shattuck
Dave shattuck
@dave-shattuck
7 years ago
22 posts

I just bought this on eBay, and I am thrilled. It was 230_forums.jpg built by Mark Blair, #290. He made around 600+. All walnut I believe. These holes he uses are patented. Also the Smithsonian bought one of his dulcimers

Jack Ferguson
Jack Ferguson
@jack-ferguson
7 years ago
8 posts

Sharon, I like your instruments/sound-holes, especially the Scheitholt!

Sharon Setzer said:

I have hummingbirds, circles, and f/Celtic knot sound holes.
Jack Ferguson
Jack Ferguson
@jack-ferguson
7 years ago
8 posts


John D Hedrick said:

I like your designs. Do you use ink or burner for the outlines?

Jack Ferguson said: I wood-burn the design.

Nice rosettes, John. I've found my "blossom" designs to be popular.

229_forums.jpg?width=721

Sharon Setzer
Sharon Setzer
@sharon-setzer
7 years ago
3 posts
I have hummingbirds, circles, and f/Celtic knot sound holes.
John D Hedrick
John D Hedrick
@john-d-hedrick
7 years ago
3 posts
I like your designs. Do you use ink or burner for the outlines?

Jack Ferguson said:

Nice rosettes, John. I've found my "blossom" designs to be popular.

228_forums.jpg?width=721

Jack Ferguson
Jack Ferguson
@jack-ferguson
7 years ago
8 posts

Nice rosettes, John. I've found my "blossom" designs to be popular.

227_forums.jpg?width=721

John D Hedrick
John D Hedrick
@john-d-hedrick
7 years ago
3 posts
Some great ideas for sound holes and rosettes. Here is a photo of what I have been using lately
Peter W.
Peter W.
@peter-w
8 years ago
47 posts

So now I can contribute something to this interesting thread as well... Grin.gif

These are the soundholes of my modified Cedar Creek kit dulcimer. I drilled them myself yesterday. A simple, timeless design made with three wood drills of 6, 12 and 18 mm (about 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 inches).

226_forums.jpg

Peter W.
Peter W.
@peter-w
8 years ago
47 posts

Hi Robert,

the "diamond" pattern on those psalteries look great!

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