Forum Activity for @john-c-knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/30/23 05:57:28PM
342 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Several of the members here (including me) specialize in reproducing old dulcimers.  They are very different than the ones you see and hear today.  Some make replicas of certain historic builder's dulcimers, while others make replicas of other builders' work.  And some now make dulcimers inspired by the old ones, but with original twists to the designs.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/28/23 09:26:32PM
342 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Hi! Welcome to this musical crowd, ShootRJ!  We've got a lot happening on this site, as you can see!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/25/23 09:52:13AM
342 posts

Stanley Hicks / David Love dulcimer


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

I think it would be interesting if somebody (not me) made a chart linking known, historic dulcimer-building-family members.  There would be Glenns, Hicks, Presnells, Proffitts, Meltons, Russells, Mawhees, Graves, etc. included, with dozens more, I would guess.  Just a little project to pass the time away...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/16/23 01:36:37PM
342 posts

to get chromatic or not


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

robert schuler:

ErthLing, I built a chromatic dulcimer for a customer and was quite excited about the project because it gave me a chance to explore the possibilities before I shipped it. But after playing diatonic for 50 years I found the extra frets a distraction. But give it a try. A lot depends on the type of music you want to play... Robert.

And, Robert, you may have noticed your fretwire supply dwindling twice as fast as usual!  I've built just 2 chromatics and started getting anxious about having enough fretwire to finish the projects!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/12/23 04:33:26PM
342 posts

to get chromatic or not


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

I've always used "mean-tone", though "mean-tempered" may be OK, too?  Reminds me of a crusty old feller's disposition...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/12/23 09:33:45AM
342 posts

to get chromatic or not


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

Dwain, we'll welcome you to the fold of just-tempered and mean-tone dulcimer/dulcimore luthiers if and when you cross that bridge!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/28/22 09:29:52PM
342 posts

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


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

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!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/23/22 02:17:39PM
342 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I'm thankful for a warm, well-lighted home to live in, family and friends, a meaningful job, the dulcimer that has brought joy and peace to thousands of folks worldwide, and like Richard, this Christmas season, I'm thankful for Christ stepping down from Heaven's splendor to be born as a baby, to show us God's love and the gift of salvation.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/16/22 10:04:43PM
342 posts

"Perfect" Edd Presnell dulcimer?


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

This sounds like quite an opportunity, Curtis!  I've never heard of such a thing before, unless you count the dulcimers that John Jacob Niles commissioned  which had no frets per his request.  I personally think he ruined them by fretting them his way, but that's just me talkin'..


updated by @john-c-knopf: 12/16/22 10:05:24PM
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/16/22 09:59:59PM
342 posts

Looking to Upgrade/Add to my Dulcimer Collection


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

Thanks, Michael!  I derived my music box design from that very article.  That's the type of article I just eat-up and refer to over and over-- the history, the mystery and the revival of these old forms!  So many dulcimer folks these days have never seen or heard anything about these primitive dulcimers.  Including ME, several years ago!  I want to preserve them with my work.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/15/22 11:04:44PM
342 posts

Looking to Upgrade/Add to my Dulcimer Collection


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

I make old-fashioned TMB replicas, Michael.  You can see some of them on my Facebook page under "John Knopf".  They're patterned after ones made in middle Tennessee in the late 1800s.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/15/22 09:33:20PM
342 posts

Misplaced fret


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

Ah, now I see what you mean!  Yes, that looks "wonky", just looking at the close-up photo!  It would be tricky to repair, especially if you want it to look good when done.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/14/22 09:44:57PM
342 posts

Misplaced fret


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

I'm sorry, but I don't see a problem here.  Does it intonate correctly when you play at those places?  The fret pattern looks normal to me, just from looking at that photo.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/14/22 12:20:17PM
342 posts

Misplaced fret


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

Can we see a photo, please?  The spacing of a 6-1/2 fret should be approximately halfway between fret #6 and fret #7, but slightly closer to fret #7.  There is a formula that may be used to place it precisely in the right spot.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/07/22 09:20:03PM
342 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I don't remember this "Jeopardy!" episode, but I do recall the "Antiques Road Show" episode with the old Virginia dulcimore on it. The appraiser valued it way high, it seemed to me.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/11/22 01:48:29PM
342 posts

Feedback welcome


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

Lisa, the notches on the Blue Lion's nut look like they can accommodate either equidistant or doubled-melody setups.  If it has 5 or 6 notches, then you could string it either way.  I prefer doubled melody myself, which looks like:     I I     I      I  

If you want just three strings, leave off the second of the double melody strings.  If you can find somebody there to make a new nut and bridge for your Mize, you might be able to use that one to learn on.  Folkcraft Instruments sells Delrin nut and bridge multi-packs for 1-3/8 wide, 1/8" slotted fretboards (# 2851420).  Just something to try.  Best wishes!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/07/22 09:16:06PM
342 posts

Can you identify this dulcimer


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

I thought the same thing, Dusty!  Like the soundbox is inverted somehow.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/04/22 05:52:12PM
342 posts

Clemmer Peg head


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

Sounds like a Bill Davis kit to me.....we need images!

I agree with Dan.  Sounds like a Bill Davis dulcimer from Gatlinburg years ago.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/01/22 09:47:34PM
342 posts

what to clean a dulcimer with


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

Maybe try cigarette lighter fluid if it's an adhesive of some sort, or try just a little dish soap and water on a rag to start?  

It's likely just sitting on TOP of the wood, not IN it.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/14/22 09:29:23AM
342 posts

Do I keep it and fix it up or play it as is


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

If I had it, I would unscrew the tuners, give the body a good cleaning-- steel wool, maybe a coat of Deft semigloss spray lacquer, and paste wax (or Pledge!).  Replace the tuners, either with the same type as what you have, or even upgrade a bit. Check the fretboard for flatness, put new strings on and go at it!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/06/22 08:43:36AM
342 posts

Seagull Merlin spruce- stain? Lacquer under soundhole?


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

Perhaps a light coat or two of spray lacquer, such as Deft Semi-Gloss.  It dries quickly, too.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/27/22 03:24:16PM
342 posts

Holiday


OFF TOPIC discussions

Sounds like a fun time, Ken!  May God protect you and yours from the hurricane in the area.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/24/22 09:36:51AM
342 posts

Holiday


OFF TOPIC discussions

Welcome home, weary traveller!  Glad to hear you're back in one piece, and that you (mostly) enjoyed your time there on The Islands.  Hope the hurricane skips your area.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/23/22 05:41:42PM
342 posts

Fret that won’t stay put


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

That's the way to do it, Molly!   But if you have more money than most of us here, StewMac sells a fret tang crimping tool that puts slight crimps into the tang to make it wider, for just $111.39, plus tax.  Such a deal!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/24/22 09:17:55AM
342 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Teddy, it's a great time for you!  That dulcimer will probably smell like fresh wood and lacquer-- the "new dulcimer smell", not unlike the "new car smell" that everybody knows.  

At least you won't have to wait an hour after delivery for the box to warm up, like you do in deepest winter!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/22/22 09:41:28PM
342 posts

David Schnaufer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

"PLUCK" is an amazing and unusual book.  I obtained a copy and read through it with much interest and wonder.  So many people, so many events being interwoven for David's entire life.  Quite extraordinary.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/01/22 06:01:36PM
342 posts

Wanted: Solid Body Electric Dulcimer


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

Sorry, folks --- I meant "modeled after the Fender Stratocaster guitar!"  Whole 'nother animal!  Sorry!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/30/22 05:48:44PM
342 posts

Ionian tuning question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lisa, that's the very secret of success in dulcimer-building!   Spend lots on tools, equipment and lumber, and you'll get a guaranteed meager return!  It's the (modern) American way!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/29/22 08:42:55AM
342 posts

Kentucky Flood and Dulcimer History


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This is horrifying news!  Several states are dealing with floods right now.  Hindman, home of the James E. Thomas dulcimer,  has been especially hard-hit.  Troublesome Creek often floods, but not like this.  Doug Naselroad, who runs Troublesome Creek Musical Instruments, the dulcimer museum and the downtown luthier shop has massive flooding problems right now.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/12/22 08:23:30AM
342 posts

Finding a tuning Peg


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

Jim, I have an old John Maxwell dulcimer that was missing a peg when I bought it. I fashioned a new one of maple that looked similar to the original.  His pegs were distinctive.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/28/22 08:25:20AM
342 posts

Wanted: Solid Body Electric Dulcimer


FOR SALE:instruments/music items/CDs/Wanted to Buy...

Yes, I've made some solid-bodied electrics, modeled after the Fender Telecaster guitar.  Something different in the dulcimer world.  I don't have any now, but I could make another.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/27/22 03:33:37PM
342 posts

Wire cutter recommendations for dulcimer strings


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You can use just about any wire cutters with steel strings.  Harbor Freight Tools sells them, as do dollar stores, admittedly not the best quality, but serviceable for a while.  Don't tell anyone, but in a pinch you can use nail clippers too, if you don't care to use them on your nails again!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/25/22 05:17:37PM
342 posts

Mystery dulcimer, perhaps from the 70's


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

I haven't seen that sort of dulcimer before either.  There are nice ones offered on Shop Goodwill Online from time to time.  

I like to buy old dulcimer kits and put them together, whenever I see a good one on there.  Hope you enjoy it!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/24/22 09:29:08PM
342 posts

Left handed playing


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I too am a leftie who has had no trouble at all learning and playing in the usual manner.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/13/22 03:41:39PM
342 posts

Warren May Hourdrop Question


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

Usually going up or down a string gauge doesn't cause big problems on a dulcimer.  An .024" will give a little more bass sound than a .022".  It should be fine.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/13/22 08:40:11AM
342 posts

Warren May Hourdrop Question


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

You can't go wrong with a Warren May dulcimer unless it has been damaged.  He makes a world-class product.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/02/22 04:38:36PM
342 posts

Tull66


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Cardboard dulcimers sound much better than one would expect.  I sometimes wonder why I build from wood when cardboard sounds so wonderful.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/30/22 04:57:34PM
342 posts

Naomi Judd Passes Away


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

So sorry to see this.  Naomi gave us some memorable music along with her daughter.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/30/22 01:53:56PM
342 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Teddy, we're fortunate to be communicating with you at all!  What a horrible experience you've been through!  So glad that you haven't succumbed to those serious infections and complications.  

Monkeying around with a new dulcimer should be fun for you.  It's really a forgiving instrument, and you get nice sounds out of it most of the time.  Best wishes, and let us know if you need help.

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