Help! New (old) Dulcimer w/ loose tuner knob

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
one month ago
944 posts

Well, Marlie, I don't have any pegs or screws in my spare parts box. I'm sorry I can't help you that way. Here is a link to new pegs like you have on your dulcimer: https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-hardware/tuning-machines/ukulele-tuning-machines/grover-champion-dulcimeruke-friction-pegs/  You might be able to find the cheaper elsewhere by doing an internet search.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
one month ago
944 posts

Marlie, following up on John's post, are you able to turn the screw in the tuner that is giving you trouble? If so, tightening the screw will increase the tension on the tuner and prevent it from turning on its own when brought up to pitch (when the string is in tune). If you can't turn the screw you will need to find someone who can remove it for and then replace the tuner. The tuner appears to be one used on ukuleles. Dulcimer makers used both ukulele and banjo tuners. I will look in my spare tuner box the next time I'm in my workshop (tomorrow) and see if I have one that matches the one in the photo. If I have have one, I can send it to you and you or someone you know who is handy with a screw driver can put it on you dulcimer for you. No charge for the tuner or mailing it to you if I have one.

I could probably send you a screw from an old tuner too.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 12/29/22 08:51:40PM
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
one month ago
342 posts

Hello, Marlie!

It seems you have a very common type of inexpensive tuner on your dulcimer.  These are called friction or "Grover" pegs, and are used quite a bit on dulcimers.  They work on the theory of squeezing against their mounting holes.  The smaller the string gauge, the less they have to grip the hole.  As you get to the wound bass string, more tension is required to stay put, thus more gripping action is needed. Usually all one needs to do is to tighten down the end screw until the peg grips well enough to stay where you put it.

I would take the damaged screw to the local hardware or home center near you, and show them what you have.  Maybe somebody there could find another similar one for you.  Or a guitar repair shop (such as Guitar Center) might be able to find a similar one that would work for you. The main thing is to be sure to reassemble the peg properly, with the little fiber washer in there that gets squeezed when you tighten the screw down.  I hope these ideas will work for you. Good luck!

Marlie123
Marlie123
@marlie123
one month ago
1 posts

Hello.  Looking for some advice if you have time to help a fella out.

I received a Dulcimer from my Mom for Christmas. I'm not sure who made it though, it doesn't say the maker on the inside or out.

I discovered, as I attempted to tune it - specifically the Bass String - once I let go of of the knob, the tuning peg slowly starts to unwind just a little bit.  It doesn't seem to want to stay put.  

After a couple of failed attempts, I then tried to use a screwdriver to unscrew the screw entirely to dive deeper into this problem - and then managed to, unfortunately, damage the screw. 

I am not certain if original problem was with the screw, or maybe the nut that holds it in place.  ??

I was able to take the string off in its entirety so i could play it - (the other strings sound great!) and I have ordered new strings online but need some guidance on what you think I should do before putting them on - and where I might source a new screw!

Thank you! 

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updated by @marlie123: 12/28/22 08:04:48PM