Forum Activity for @bill-robison

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/18/22 07:08:18AM
26 posts

Locating Bridge and nut


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

Thanks to all who responded. I finally got things right. I was missing the .15" allowance for compensation. When I

took that into consideration and ran it on a fret calculator, I ended up with a 25.5" VSL, so from  the nut to octave is 12.75" but octave to bridge is + or - 12.9"

Bill R

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/17/22 05:24:43PM
26 posts

Locating Bridge and nut


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

There are 18 Dulcimer frets, no real marks showing the locations. I sketched it out in CAD and it appears to be 25 3/8 " VSL . When set up I tuned it to C, checked at first Octave, OK   Checked second Octave ,Very close but when I  note it at the first fret, it is Sharp. The original bridge and nuts were included, they were 1/4 to 3/8 wide and deeply notched, looks like they were an after an alteration

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/17/22 02:11:46PM
26 posts

Locating Bridge and nut


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


Situation, old hand made courting dulcimer with no bridge, bridge reference or nuts.  What is the most accurate way to determine  VSL? 

Thanks, Bill R

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
08/28/21 07:10:31AM
26 posts

COVID and Nursing Home Visits


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

 Our group in Central Indiana  was back to near normal before the latest virus version hit.  At first we were playing outside under an entry way but then later was given the OK to play inside as long as we had temperature checked and filled out a questionnaire and wore our masks. Now with the increase in covid again we are back outside when weather permits.  Of late we have had some high air temperatures so its a day by day situation. We are scheduled for two sessions in September, probably outside.

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
08/22/21 05:04:00PM
26 posts

Locating a Bridge on a new dulcimer


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

From what I have experienced the total distance could be 1/8 to 3/16 longer than what it computes  to be.  Set it where recommended , tune it then check the notes at the octave.  You may have to move the bridge one way or the other to get it right, then go back and  check the original open tuning to see if it is right.  You may have to angle the bridge slightly to get the true notes  at the octave.

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
08/21/21 09:57:43AM
26 posts

Why is it called a possum board?


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

Another thought on the possum board, Mother possums carry their young on their back as the board carries the dulcimer

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
05/21/21 02:28:58PM
26 posts

Bass dulcimer strings


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

Hi Ken, 

  I caught the Prime mark on the string Calculator, TY for the info

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
05/20/21 09:57:06PM
26 posts

Bass dulcimer strings


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

What  gage  strings are used for a bass dulcimer tuned DAD?

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
03/05/21 04:27:32PM
26 posts

delicate sound hole reinforcement


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

I have seen many sound hole designs on here and was wondering what you use for reinforcement under and around those intricate designs.

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
02/15/21 05:38:19PM
26 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I had my first covid shot two weeks ago.  I was  impressed by the professionalism of the volunteers and how organized they were! No after effects other than a VERY small tender spot for 3 or 4 hours. I go back Mar 4th. It is only about 5 miles from the house.  I got a Focusrite recording interface so will try some recording tomorrow since they probably will not have the roads clear. It will be a good day for that

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
02/15/21 04:39:30PM
26 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

Covid has had us inside for way to long!  Heavy snow now will require firing up the snow blower so at least I have reason to go outside.   Not so bad though electric start and heated handle grips. 

 Just a reminder that better times are coming, just be patient.


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Bill Robison
@bill-robison
02/09/21 07:32:31PM
26 posts

Bridge feet contact area


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


I have completed a "what if" all poplar hourglass instrument, 26.5 VSL and the fretboard "floats" it is only in contact with the top at the peghead and tail block, otherwise about 3/16" clearance full  length. The bridge rests directly on the top with no contact with fretboard. Right now the bridge feet each have about 1/2" x 5/8" bearing on the top.  A previous trial build has fretboard attached but stops short of the tail block. It is walnut with butternut top.  The two  builds have very similar volume and tone. I was thinking of decreasing the footprint of the bridge on the top to see if it changes anything.  Both instruments have bracing under the bridge area.    I am going to go to a size heavier strings also on the poplar instrument. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

'

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/09/21 11:47:55AM
26 posts

Hollow or solid fret boards


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

Has anyone made  a comparison of hollowed out fretboards compared to solid ones  as far as warping is concerned? ? I know solids are quieter and it seems the hollow  fretboard would be less prone to warpage than the solid one. Also the wood grain ,  and flat sawed or quarter sawn has a lot of influence on warping.

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/04/21 07:46:17PM
26 posts

"Floating" Fretboards


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

Thank you all for the response on floating fretboard.  I am going to attempt one

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/04/21 10:17:55AM
26 posts

"Floating" Fretboards


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

Ken,

 I realize the fretboard is glued to top somewhere, I was thinking along the lines of gluing the fretboard only at the head and tail blocks and making the top a braced single unit  with just a fraction of clearance between it and the fretboard  and setting the bridge on the top instead of on the fretboard

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/04/21 06:43:35AM
26 posts

"Floating" Fretboards


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


I know there are builders who "float" their fretboards. I am sure there are discussions on methods and pros and cons for this.  Have  any builders made a comparison of floating versus glued to top? Thanks 

Bill R

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
11/26/20 07:09:21AM
26 posts

Curved back dulcimers


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

Thanks Dan, the soak and heat  process was in my mind.  Did you notice any advantages to the curved back other than looks?

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
11/24/20 12:51:02PM
26 posts

Curved back dulcimers


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


I have noticed several builders are making their dulcimers with a curved back.  Of course bracing would be needed but when you speak of the curve, how much deflection are you working toward? I can see where the curve should reflect a little more sound to the top and if the top were isolated from the fretboard you might get a little more volume. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated

 Bill R

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
05/25/18 08:15:40AM
26 posts

Strings!


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

I used stewmacs nut and bridge files to cut  the grooves, and yes  it is only on the open string note. 

Thanks for the suggestion, I will give it a try

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
05/24/18 06:16:02PM
26 posts

Strings!


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

I have built several dulcimers from 16" to 30" VSL.  The latest one has 30" VSL, Lower bout  is 8 1/2", upper bout is 7"  and is 2 " thick. Sides and back are walnut and top is ambrosia maple.

I started out with 12,12,16,24 strings and the melody and bass sounded fine, smooth and mellow, but the middle string has an odd twang . I used Struthers string gage and it recommended 9,9,12 and 18. after switching, I used 10,10,12,20. the middle string still has that strange twang. My instruments all have zero fret but could the problem still be in the nut that keeps the strings in position? the bridge was originally ebony but I changed that to bone . Still get that off sound. Action is very low as I dish the fretboard slightly  midway to allow a lower bridge, could it be too low? No buzzing

 

I appreciate any thoughts

Bill Robison

 

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
05/03/18 09:10:49AM
26 posts

Group sync


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!

Thanks for the suggestions, We had a practice Tuesday with 14 players and the four guitars were side by side, with the 10 dulcimer players in a tight circle inside. Even with the new songs we tried, it worked very well

Bill R

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
04/29/18 11:03:29AM
26 posts

Group sync


Playing and jamming difficulties...HELP ME!


 I belong to 3 central Indiana dulcimer groups and we often play together at local events. 

The problem arises when we have more than  6 or 8 players. Some players are advanced others relative beginners.

Usually we have at least 1 or 2 guitar players but still have problems with group sync in the larger group. Do you pick some one to lead and everyone follow them? One side of the group will end  up a note or two behind or ahead of the other side . We don't use electronics so it is difficult, especially outside to keep everyone together. Other that very frequent practice, does anyone have suggestions?  We play together weekly with portions of each group involved 

Bill Robison


updated by @bill-robison: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM
Bill Robison
@bill-robison
01/24/17 09:56:59AM
26 posts

I've Just Bought a BANJO !!!!


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I just got a Deering Goodtime 5 string banjo, how do I tune or capo to play along with dulcimers in DAD?

It has spikes for capo on 5th string.

Any help would be appreciated

Bill Robison
@bill-robison
02/01/16 08:47:18PM
26 posts

Thinking About Buying a Ban Jammer


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

I have built 4 "banjammers" or as I call mine, banjo-dulcimer. A practice drum head in 6 or 8" diameter  either set on a dulcimer shaped 1/2" thick board or suspended in a round based dulcimer body. Yes they are loud and alone they are fine. In a group sometimes I put a 1" wide piece of sponge rubber under the head before putting tension on it. then usually rest  pinkie and ring fingers on the head to further mute it. The dulcimer group s that I jam with seem to welcome the addition. The only complaint I have is that above the 11th fret it loses a  little ring and clarity

Bill Robison


banjo dulci.jpg banjo dulci.jpg - 191KB