marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

I wouldn't glue anything but I do think the nut is already glued.

After starting this thread, it was mention ( this question is probably best asked in the Builders Group,) so I posted it there also. Sorry if this has cause a problem but this set up has been nothing but confusing from the start & the members are about the only ones who can give me any advice. And still without knowing anything myself, there is - sent it back, get it fixed for about $100, or just play in the strum hollow - I wish I did know more about building an instrument, so I would at least know best way of dealing with this problem.

Yes, it's very confusing

Strumelia said:

I would strongly recommend against gluing a shim underneath the nut. Shims are usually considered to be temporary fixes, even if they are left in for many years. Personally, I prefer no glue at all under a nut even when it doesn't have a shim. String tension holds it in place nicely, and nuts are something that people change or adjust fairly frequently, so having it easily removable is convenient.

(Marg, you seem to have started several threads on the same subject in various locations- next time it would be less confusing if you only post one thread per subject or per question... thanks much!) Smile.gif

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
9 years ago
2,129 posts

I would strongly recommend against gluing a shim underneath the nut. Shims are usually considered to be temporary fixes, even if they are left in for many years. Personally, I prefer no glue at all under a nut even when it doesn't have a shim. String tension holds it in place nicely, and nuts are something that people change or adjust fairly frequently, so having it easily removable is convenient.

(Marg, you seem to have started several threads on the same subject in various locations- next time it would be less confusing if you only post one thread per subject or per question... thanks much!)




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

If I strum close to the strum hollow or right in front of it, there is no problem. But if I was to strum up the fretboard, I start getting lots of tangs. I took the string out of the slot cut into the bone at saddle & it didn't seem to make any difference. Ny other dulcimer I can play up the fret board with no problem. Is this a problem with high frets that only cause an issue when I play close to them?

Is there something that can be done for this or just don't strum anywhere but close to the strum hollow?

Would putting a slim under the nut help out with any of this, opposite end, maybe not raising the higher frets any higher?

John Shaw
John Shaw
@john-shaw
9 years ago
60 posts

Hello Marg - The shims that I put in 30-odd years ago have not been touched or replaced in all that time, and are still doin their job!

marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

"A bit of knowledge can help "

Yes, and all of you have been great.

thank you

m.

Skip
Skip
@skip
9 years ago
356 posts

I make them as needed. I have so much junk laying around I don't need to have a collection, plus I've even used shavings from a hand plane. Smile.gif

marg said:

Do you have some ready made or just when need one. Seems could have a few in different thickness, a collection of shims. Thanks for the info. on the 'glue', I have seen that mention in some areas & wondered about it. Never thought I would like to put glue on my dulcimer,

Linda W. Collins
Linda W. Collins
@linda-w-collins
9 years ago
25 posts

Marg,

I keep an old yogurt lid in my shoe box that also has strings, needle-nose pliers, instrument polish, fretboard oil, 0000 steel wool (for polishing frets), etc. My kit. I trim off a tiny piece of plastic and shape it on the spot as needed for any students' instruments with buzzing issues. The shim doesn't have to fit in the string groove - sometimes it goes perpendicular to the string. It will settle in as the string is tightened.

It can be surprising to have to deal with instrument issues, but they do arise. A bit of knowledge can help keep you playing. All things need upkeep!

marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

Do you have some ready made or just when need one. Seems could have a few in different thickness, a collection of shims. Thanks for the info. on the 'glue', I have seen that mention in some areas & wondered about it. Never thought I would like to put glue on my dulcimer,


Skip said:

Just about everything you may use can be cut with scissors. Hard business cards or the hard plastic bubble pack for thinner shims. Most of this stuff will curl a bit as it's cut, but that won't hurt anything. I don't think I would use glue.

Skip
Skip
@skip
9 years ago
356 posts

Just about everything you may use can be cut with scissors. Hard business cards or the hard plastic bubble pack for thinner shims. Most of this stuff will curl a bit as it's cut, but that won't hurt anything. I don't think I would use glue.

marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

The silver of plastic sounds like it would indeed need to be just a sliver to fit in the string groove. What about the idea of the drop of glue in the grove, not now since I think it's ok but is the glue last measure & try all the other ideas first?

m.

Linda W. Collins said:

Hi Marg,

If the twang sound is coming from only one string, a temporary (but long-lasting temporary) fix is to use a tiny sliver of plastic, cut from a food container lid, placed at/in the string groove in the bridge or nut, as needed. I have found this to help quite a bit - until the instrument can go to a well-trained luthier. [That is a very important person to locate!]

Good luck,

Linda

www.cabinhillmusic.com

marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

30 years ago, wow that's good to know since I have felt putting one in was somehow taking something away from the dulciborn. Since, it's new I didn't want to turn it into something less than new.

Over the years do you need to replace the wood or card, does it go down after awhile? I don't think I need to worry about 30 years but the slim is good till it's not - than just replace it?

Thanks,

m.

John Shaw said:

Hello Marg. If your bridge saddle and nut are not glued into place it's very straightforward to put a thin shim of card or wood under them, as Bobby says, and check how the instrument behaves then. My experience is that you don't necessarily have to regard this just as a temporary fix. My two favourite dulcimers have shims of wood or card under both the bridge and nut that I put in over 30 years ago!

marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

Hope not problems to hamper the playing of the dulciborn. But, yes, I'm sure it has several issues & my playing is one of them. It has such an interesting tone, but was not set up so I could play as I unpacked it. Like getting a Christmas present with no batteries for it. I will say, I have learn some about the instrument since I have had a few problems, where I may not have if it would have come set up correct to start.

m.

joe sanguinette said:

the suggestion that a good luthier should examine the instrument is a good one. you could have one or

more of a number of problems.

marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

Thanks, sounds like I need to start saving old credit cards. The thing was, this bone was just made for me to replace the one that came with the instrument. Besides credit cards, maybe need to start a collection of bones.

How do you cut the credit card? sounds like an art project.

thanks,

m

Bobby Ratliff said:

As Dusty said, you can shim it to prevent making a new one. A simple solution is to try a piece of credit card stock underneath the saddle or nut, whichever was lowered for you. It may be a little high at first, but it will compress over time. If it ain't high enough, it may need two. You should consider a shim a temporary fix, and get a new nut or saddle made. However, I have played my instruments with papers shims for several months or a couple years before finally breaking down and making a new nut or saddle the correct height.

marg
@marg
9 years ago
592 posts

Thanks Dusty, I don't have a luthier here, I took it to a guitar shop & repair. They lowered the action so when i went back today we did put a little shim underneath the pick up, than the pick up back in than the bone. I think we are ok for now and the problem of the low action having a problem was because the fretwork or fretboard did raise some in the middle. Otherwise the height would have been great. Too bad the repair person didn't notice this before he sanded just a bit more off the bone. I was not wanting to address so many issues on a new dulcimer (dulciborn) so the shim was a good fix. Would be nice if we didn't need to adjust so many things & just working on learning to play our instruments.

As always, thanks,

m

Dusty Turtle said:

Marg, this question is probably best asked in the Builders Group, but as we wait for the experts to chime in, my first question would be who adjusted the dulcimer in the past? Does it have a zero fret? Remember that the action can be adjusted at either end of the string, and that the lower the action the more accurate and even the fretwork has to be. Unfortunately, one reason for very high action, I think, is that some luthiers are simply too lazy to be precise with their frets.

It is possible to raise the bridge (or more accurately the saddle) slightly by adding a little shim underneath it, so if the action just has to be raised a little bit, that might be an option. I had that done to a baritone dulcimer I used to own and the slight buzz that had so bothered me went away. But the height of the nut might also need adjusting, so have a luthier examine the whole instrument.

I took a dulcimer to a good luthier recently. He made a few measurements and was able to tell me that the nut was the right height but the bridge was a little low. He made a new bone bridge in less than an hour while I waited at a nearby cafe. A good luthier should not merely do what you request (lower or raise the action) but examine the instrument and tell you how it ought to be set up given your preferences.

Linda W. Collins
Linda W. Collins
@linda-w-collins
9 years ago
25 posts

Hi Marg,

If the twang sound is coming from only one string, a temporary (but long-lasting temporary) fix is to use a tiny sliver of plastic, cut from a food container lid, placed at/in the string groove in the bridge or nut, as needed. I have found this to help quite a bit - until the instrument can go to a well-trained luthier. [That is a very important person to locate!]

Good luck,

Linda

www.cabinhillmusic.com

John Shaw
John Shaw
@john-shaw
9 years ago
60 posts

Hello Marg. If your bridge saddle and nut are not glued into place it's very straightforward to put a thin shim of card or wood under them, as Bobby says, and check how the instrument behaves then. My experience is that you don't necessarily have to regard this just as a temporary fix. My two favourite dulcimers have shims of wood or card under both the bridge and nut that I put in over 30 years ago!

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

the suggestion that a good luthier should examine the instrument is a good one. you could have one or

more of a number of problems.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
9 years ago
1,631 posts

Marg, this question is probably best asked in the Builders Group, but as we wait for the experts to chime in, my first question would be who adjusted the dulcimer in the past? Does it have a zero fret? Remember that the action can be adjusted at either end of the string, and that the lower the action the more accurate and even the fretwork has to be. Unfortunately, one reason for very high action, I think, is that some luthiers are simply too lazy to be precise with their frets.

It is possible to raise the bridge (or more accurately the saddle) slightly by adding a little shim underneath it, so if the action just has to be raised a little bit, that might be an option. I had that done to a baritone dulcimer I used to own and the slight buzz that had so bothered me went away. But the height of the nut might also need adjusting, so have a luthier examine the whole instrument.

I took a dulcimer to a good luthier recently. He made a few measurements and was able to tell me that the nut was the right height but the bridge was a little low. He made a new bone bridge in less than an hour while I waited at a nearby cafe. A good luthier should not merely do what you request (lower or raise the action) but examine the instrument and tell you how it ought to be set up given your preferences.




--
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
9 years ago
592 posts

How hard is it to find the right action. My new dulcimer came to me, way to high. It has been adjusted but after several tries it is now too low with trang trang more than a buzz.

How hard is it to adjust it again, raising it a bit without making a new bone?


updated by @marg: 02/17/19 06:52:04PM