Forum Activity for @ken-hulme

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
04/14/21 11:42:55AM
1,812 posts

2021 Berea Traditional Dulcimore Gathering Details


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Complete details, including costs, housing, and the schedule of activities are now listed under Events at the top of the FOTMD page.

Looking forward to seeing interested folks in a wonderful setting once again!

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
04/08/21 12:32:44PM
1,812 posts

How Many Dulcimers Do You Own?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ten, plus one in process:

Jacob Gross fretted zither -- replica of one in the Mercer Museum
Large Burnsville NC holly leaf
Small Burnsville NC holly leaf
Til Holloway hourglass  -- out on loan
Harry Wicker KY hourglass
Ozark Walking Stick coffin shape
Korean Honda hourglass -- out on loan
John Knopf JE Thomas replica hourglass 
Bobby Ratliff Hogfiddle elliptical
Bobby Ratliff Cumberland Travel model elliptical -- in transit from Virginia

In process:
Buckeye Pattern Ohio pre-revival two-bout

Plus three Anglo-Saxon Lyres, a Bowed Psaltery and 4 Mirlitons

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
04/07/21 10:38:42PM
1,812 posts

Indoor House Plants


OFF TOPIC discussions

We don't use pots much for plants except some orchids out by the pool and to start things like papaya seedlings and rooting  pineapple tops.  We've got bromeliads growing all over the yard.  Air plants on the trunks and branches of almost everything.  Night Blooming Cereus climbing the trunks of the laurel oak and mahogany tree in the front yard and mango tree alongside the house.  The neighbor across the street has a 20 ft tall Schefflera that blooms once or twice a year.    Most places Geraniums are annuals... here they're perrenials!

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/31/21 07:21:01AM
1,812 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

March started like a lamb... going out like a Lion.  The good thing is we've both been doubled jabbed.  Lots of other not so good stuff happening though...

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/27/21 10:06:03AM
1,812 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I've been double jabbed, and still only unmask outdoors and not around crowds outdoors at a park or farmer's market.


updated by @ken-hulme: 03/27/21 10:08:20AM
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/26/21 06:54:25AM
1,812 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

We both got our second jabs more than two weeks ago.  Both through the VA.  Sally was 'first wave' as a health care worker, I was 3rd wave as a partially compromised veteran over 70.  Feeling much better about things in general.  But we will not stop mask wearing for probably another year.  We already had lots of quantitative evidence that traveling -- flying in particular -- while masked reduces contracted illness, and for the past 10 years have always flown and entrained that way.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/25/21 06:24:56PM
1,812 posts

Nylon strings on a steel string dulcimer


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

This subject comes up every few months.  You can Search here for other responses to the question.   

Here's my take:   Nylon strings seldom work well on a conventional dulcimer, as the instruments are build too heavily to respond well to the more subtle vibrations of nylon strings.  Bridge intonation position is a factor of string length relative to diameter, not string composition.  You can leave it where it is or ignore it entirely.  Action height may need to be raised as nylon strings will not be as taut.  Nut/Bridge slots may not be suitable -- too small for the larger diameters of nylon strings.   Do nothing until you actually put nylon strings on the instrument and try them for awhile.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/25/21 07:55:28AM
1,812 posts

What's fer dinner?


OFF TOPIC discussions

Lisa:  

Ten Minute Marmalade

3 Oranges, or 1 Lemon +1 Lime +1 Orange,  or 1 Ruby Red Grapefruit or equivalent citrus fruit of any kind
1+ cups Sugar (not Brown - affects the taste, or Confectioner's)
Microwave safe glass bowl (not plastic -- trust me)
Food Processor
Pint Screw-Top Jar

  • Chop the fruit into finger tip sized chunks, and put in in the Food processor -- skin, pith, seeds -- everything.
  • Take the fruit for a spin until it sort looks like marmalade -- small pieces of skin in the puree
  • Measure the fruit into a microwave safe glass bowl. 
  • Cup for cup,  add the same amount of sugar, and stir to combine.
    If it seems too thick/dry add a bit of water.  Too tart add more sugar.  Too sweet add some pureed lemon.
  • Microwave on High for 5 minutes.  Taste.  Change sweet/tart if need be.  Microwave an additional 5 minutes.
  • Ladle into a pint screw-top jar.  Let it cool on the counter, to room temp, before lidding and refrigerating.
  • Will last in the fridge 6 months or until you finish it, whichever comes first!
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/23/21 10:32:26PM
1,812 posts

What's fer dinner?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I made Eggplant Za'atar -- cubed eggplant, onion and tomato simmered together with the traditional Middle Eastern spice blend called za'atar, served with brown rice.

--and for dessert, a dish of Icelandic Skyr yogurt with a big dollop of still-warm-from-the-making Cara Cara Orange Marmalade


updated by @ken-hulme: 03/23/21 10:36:17PM
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/15/21 06:53:53AM
1,812 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

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. 

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/10/21 07:07:31AM
1,812 posts

Indoor House Plants


OFF TOPIC discussions

One of the things I love about living here in SW Florida is that what Northerners keep as house plants down here are yard plants.  We have a Schefflera across the street that is 20+ feet tall, 75 ft tall ficus, and air plants bigger than basketballs among other good "indoor" plants.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/08/21 07:31:46AM
1,812 posts

Mountain Dulcimer Club - Somerset, Pa


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Dulcimer Crossing has this list of Pennsylvania dulcimer clubs Dulcimer Clubs in PA (dulcimercrossing.com)   but shows nothing in Somerset.  There is a Mountain Craft festival there where various dulcimer players of both kinds have performed.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/08/21 07:19:11AM
1,812 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


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
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/05/21 05:05:16PM
1,812 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

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.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/05/21 05:02:13PM
1,812 posts

delicate sound hole reinforcement


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

In addition to the things Ken mentions, some builders use card stock or heavy paper, even thin goatskin; basically anything that doesn't have grain like wood -- or if it does, you run the grain at right angles to the wood grain.  I've also seen builders saturate the wood with glue on the underside of the top to harden it up


updated by @ken-hulme: 03/05/21 05:03:18PM
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/05/21 02:22:13PM
1,812 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

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.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/05/21 12:26:16PM
1,812 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

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.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/05/21 09:36:38AM
1,812 posts

Feedback on new instrument


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

If the cracks really bother you, wick a drop or two of slo-set Superglue into them...

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/05/21 09:33:03AM
1,812 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

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.  

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/05/21 06:56:08AM
1,812 posts

Show us your sound holes!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

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
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
03/04/21 04:47:31PM
1,812 posts

Feedback on new instrument


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

Those look like good quality tuners, whether original or not.  It's true Bob like his wooden tuning pegs, but that doesn't mean he didn't fit these pegs to that instrument.  I would certainly go ahead and use them.  If they have trouble holding tune, there is a tiny screw in the end of each knob which can be tightened say 1/8 of a turn at a time with a small screwdriver to tighten things up.   

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/27/21 08:50:40AM
1,812 posts

Researching a dulcimer I think it is a Bob Lazenby


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Dewey -- If you join  the Beginners Group as Strumelia suggests  (you have to join the Group to see more than a question or two, and to create posts), one of the first things you'll see there is an essay I wrote years ago for beginners like yourself called I Just Got A Dulcimer, Now What?  which is an illustrated glossary of terms -- so we all speak the same jargon -- like nut versus upper bridge and fretboard versus neck (dulcimers don't have a neck).  It also has answers to many beginner questions about the tuning, playing, care and feeding of your new acquisition. 

With your 28-5/16" VSL compared to the Roosebeck's 25.5", you should be alright in using them.  The String Choice Calculator suggests .009, .012 and .019 wound for strings where the Roosebeck set has .012, .014 and .022 strings.  The calculator usually presents "light" gauges and we often suggest going up one or two gauges from the calculation.     

However, I recommend buying at least one more complete set of strings (just to have extras around should you break one during tuning).  You can probably find single strings at a local acoustic music shop.  I would suggest buying .011. .014 and .021 wound strings.  While you're at the store, I also suggest picking up a tube of Peg Dope, a liquid used to help wooden tuning pegs hold their tuning.  Not something you use very often, but worth having should you need it; and head-and-shoulders better than any home remedy.

When you get strings and are ready to tune, start a new post over in the Beginners Group, and we'll talk you through the process.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/26/21 10:23:10PM
1,812 posts

Researching a dulcimer I think it is a Bob Lazenby


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Beautiful instrument.  I'll let others speak to the wood.
The 5 strings are arranged as two pairs and a single.  The pair closest to you are the Melody strings.  The outer pair are the Bass drones, and the single is the Middle Drone.

Since the dulcimer is a vintage design without the 6+ fret common these days, I would suggest you learn to play either Melody-Drone or Noter & Drone style, where you pick out the tune on the Melody strings, and the others drone along as accompaniment.  Trying to play chords without the 6+ fret you may find challenging.

Tuning
Those Roosebeck strings have 1 wound bass string and 4 plain steel strings.  The two thinnest -- .012s will go on the melody string pair.  The wound bass string will go on the outer side of the Bass string pair.  The other two will go 1 as the Middle Drone, the other as the inner Bass string.   

However, those strings may not be appropriate for your dulcimer.  The gauge of the string depends on both the open note you want to tune to and the VSL -- the distance between the nut and the bridge.    The Roosebeck 5-string dulcimer has a 25.5" VSL, if your dulcimer's VSL is much longer -- say 27+ inches, the Roosebeck strings may break if you try to use them.

If you tell us the distance from the inside edge of the nut to the inside edge of the bridge, we can use a string calculator to see if they will work.  If not, you'll have to buy five single strings or a dulciemr set of 4 strings plus a single to make up your own set.

All that aside.  Two good tunings would be DdAAA  or DdAdd, where d is an octave higher in pitch than D and the As are 5 notes higher in pitch than the D  ---  D..E..G..G..A   If you want to tune a bit lower, then  CcGGG or CcGcc would be good choices.  

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/23/21 05:15:04PM
1,812 posts

Strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Well,  I just tested 8 dulcimers of various VSLs and tunings, and I can say YES -- at the very end of the sustain, the needle wiggles a little to either side of 'spot on', usually less than 10 cents worth.  I suspect it's an artifact of the volume of the sustain falling off as much as anything.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/21/21 11:11:33PM
1,812 posts

What's fer dinner?


OFF TOPIC discussions


I make soup at least once a week.  Often something involving Butternut Squash.  A week or so back it was Butternut & Cremini Mushroom; fabulous.    Then I made a Creamy Cauliflower soup with no cream that was outstanding.

Although I document many of the dishes I make, in my Fooding Around With

The Kilted Cook blog, I have almost stopped writing about soups -- they're so boring to photograph!


updated by @ken-hulme: 02/21/21 11:14:08PM
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/16/21 07:24:20AM
1,812 posts

Choosing Your String Gauge


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

Traildad --  exactly right -- string gauges calculators give you as usable string gauges 

String gauges are  like many, many things "dulcimer", there is no such things as "the one and only" answer.    You've seen several times now that there are no hard and fast rules, no "best", no absolutes. 

Each of us approaches the dulcimer differently, with clusters of people in several different (sometimes wildly different) groups.

The proper answer to most questions is usually "Whatever works for you."

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/12/21 10:47:18PM
1,812 posts

Choosing Your String Gauge


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

How do I choose strings for my instruments?  VSL, the open tuning I want to use, and years of experimenting and experience.  That's what the builder of your second dulcimer used -- his experience with various gauges of strings to produce a sound which he likes.  If you are not experienced in such things, the recommendation of the builder is always a good place to start.

You asked "Now I’m wondering if there is more to choosing string gauges than running the string gauge calculator."   Yes. Of course.  But that's the part which comes from experimenting and experience and deciding what sound YOU like to hear.  Not me. Not Chuck, or Mary, or Jim.  What YOU like to hear.  

All  my existing dulcimers are strung the way I like them, I don't experiment much any more -- I know what I like.  When I finish a new dulcimer, I start with a string calculator, of course.  My personal preference is the Strothers calculator, which is known to be noticeably light in its recommendations.  So I step up at least two gauges -- 10s become 12s, 12s become 14s etc.  My preference for bass strings is plain steel not wound for a more traditional sound.  

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/11/21 04:09:32PM
1,812 posts

Non-Metal Fret Material


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

I/ve built a couple "scheitholt" type instruments with split bamboo frets.  Softer sound than metal frets, and quieter too.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/07/21 10:46:29PM
1,812 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Welcome home, old friend!

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/03/21 10:35:39PM
1,812 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sure ocean-daughter, ask away. Best to do it in another thread, not this one.  If you Join the Dulcimer Building Group, I have a thread there called Sawn-Frame Dulcemore which details how I started the construction.  You have to Join to be able to read and write comments on the threads.  You can ask questions there if you like.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/02/21 07:46:18AM
1,812 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

Hi Mary:

I'm about 400 miles south of you in Fort Myers.  Our county sucks at getting out the vaccine(s).  I'm trying to get it through our local VA, and even they haven't gotten to all the high-risk and vets 75 and up yet.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/01/21 07:08:20AM
1,812 posts

Tell us about your VERY FIRST dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Welcome ocean-daughter.  Bud & Donna were my intro to the dulcimer too; over 40 years ago.  I too built a kit and have gone from there.  Sounds like you're having a nice dulcimer, journey, 

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
02/01/21 07:04:34AM
1,812 posts

How to get adhesive residue off a fretboard?


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

One of those white  "kitchen erasers" should remove the residue easily.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
01/28/21 06:55:46AM
1,812 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Kusani -- make sure that your two shapes have the same interior volume (cubic inches), even though that means they will be different sizes.  That's the only way to ensure that any tone differences you get will come from the shape not the volume. We KNOW that interior volume differences cause differences in tone -- large volumes = more bari-bass response

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
01/26/21 07:21:55PM
1,812 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thing to watch out with Sniff.numachi is that most often their tab is listed "backwards" by modern standards -- they list DAA for example as AAD, which gets lots of new players in trouble...   Try www.Contemplator.com for those kinds of tunes.

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
01/26/21 07:04:40AM
1,812 posts

Any body have an idea what this is ?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Didn't Robin Clark up in Wales do some trapezoid dulcimers?

 /