Forum Activity for @john-c-knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/11/19 02:10:46PM
176 posts

Any Advice on the McSpadden Sweet Song Kit?


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

Yes, Dave, I've made several of this very kit over the years.  They are very easy to put together if you take your time and follow directions.  The resulting dulcimer is a fine looking and sounding instrument.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/31/19 10:07:58PM
176 posts

Dulcimer maker gathering?


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

Irene, I usually buy my thinwood from several sources, depending on what I need.  I've resawn my own stock in the past, but am not very good at it, so I let others do it for me.  I use a lumberyard in Toledo, one in Charlotte, MI, and I mail-order wood from one in Wisconsin and one in Kentucky.  There is a sawmill in Alaska that supplies beautiful quarter-sawn spruce, as well.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/22/19 09:47:02PM
176 posts

"Angel" Will Singleton Replica


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

You really did seem to enjoy yourself, Irene!  What a hoot!  We had an intensive 3-day dulcimer learning gig.  I won't forget how my legs complained over all that walking! They still hurt, but I'm glad I went.  None of the group were what you would call "spring chickens", able to walk anywhere and everywhere.  I'm glad you like the Singleton.  It's leaving me this weekend...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/22/19 03:24:30PM
176 posts

"Angel" Will Singleton Replica


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

Yes, here is a photo of the original in Lexington, Kentucky.  The folksinger John Jacob Niles altered the fret pattern, but I used the normal diatonic pattern for my replica.


singleton_dulcimer.jpg singleton_dulcimer.jpg - 79KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/22/19 02:10:52PM
176 posts

"Angel" Will Singleton Replica


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

Here's a new Uncle Will Singleton dulcimer replica I built for a player in Toronto.  Its name is "Angel", taken from Psalm 34:7.  Singleton was the local dulcimer builder in Viper, KY and was related to Jean Ritchie.  The poplar body really rings out when played.  The red heart and diamond are cherry inlays in the fretboard.

 


Singleton Angel 005.JPG Singleton Angel 005.JPG - 237KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/28/19 01:13:10PM
176 posts

Preferred String Tension


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Greg,

You remember that Jean Ritchie used to play in the key of C a lot of the time?

Me too.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/10/19 05:03:32PM
176 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

A good job on a beautiful dulcimer!  Here's to many more!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/03/19 09:36:26PM
176 posts

looking for a new trad instrument


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

Steven Berger:

Wow, Dan! That 24 carat gold and diamond dulcimer is just what I'm in the market for! joyjoy

The shipping charge alone would kill the deal...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/03/19 06:04:24PM
176 posts

looking for a new trad instrument


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

And I (John Knopf) have a black walnut J. E. Thomas hourglass dulcimer with hand-carved pegs and homemade strings. Upside-down heart soundholes and staple frets. Sounds great!  It's ready to go now, and it's $350 plus shipping.  You can see my website by clicking on my ad below, when it shows up on the left-hand side.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/23/19 09:53:45PM
176 posts

Tiny mahogany dulcimer thingy just made


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

Here is the outworking of some brainstorming I've had recently.  You know how an idea gets in your head and won't go away peacefully? Well, this lil' guy is less than 12" long, but can be played-- SORT OF.  It's my version of a true "pocket dulcimer".  Just thought you might like to see it!


035.JPG 035.JPG - 122KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/21/19 09:33:59PM
176 posts

Slight bow in back of dulcimer.


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

So, full steam ahead!  Congratulations on building your first dulcimer.  You'll get lots of ideas for future ones now.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/21/19 11:57:59AM
176 posts

Slight bow in back of dulcimer.


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

Joolsy,

You could try sanding the back flat if the bow is minor, or you could glue 3 feet on the back like they did in the old days.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/23/19 12:01:22PM
176 posts

Anyone heard of "Music Crafts" of California dulcimers?


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

All I found was this old listing on Reverb:

https://reverb.com/item/6939411-music-crafts-mountain-music-dulcimer-4 string-vintage

It probably looks like yours.  No date given, but the same labeling.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/16/19 12:00:00AM
176 posts

To hollow or not to hollow that is the question?


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

Hollowing the fretboard saves weight and adds more cubic inches of soundbox, and usually yields a little more sound.

All things being equal, it's a good idea to hollow it out.  Another question is whether or not to cut holes in the top under the fretboard.  I like to cut them out, but doing that may not make it sound much different.  Best wishes on your repairs!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/10/19 02:43:01PM
176 posts

Buying in Europe


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

I agree with Ken.  Robin Clark should be able to help you, friend.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/10/19 02:41:06PM
176 posts

Tiny brass dulcimer.


OFF TOPIC discussions

The shape reminds me of the Black Mountain hourglass dulcimer-- wide and a little shortened.  Pretty!

 

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/07/19 08:40:32AM
176 posts

No Strum hollow


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

It seems to me that the strum hollow was "invented" by either Charles Prichard in Huntington, WV or by Ed Thomas in Bath, KY, long after dulcimers were being built, as Ken said.  If you look at old Virginia dulcimers, for example, you'll see many scratch marks on their flat fretboards, where the strum hollow would normally be.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/02/19 09:46:11AM
176 posts

Shipping in the cold


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

Matt, I mention the following to my customers who buy one of my dulcimers in the wintertime:

I tell them to bring the box into their house, but NOT TO OPEN IT for an hour or so!  I know it's agony to be so close to enjoying a new instrument, but it will be worth it.  There is a real danger of thermal shock occurring if a cold wooden instrument is suddenly subjected to warm temperatures.  I don't know of any breakages so far, but I've experienced the heartbreak of seeing the fine lacquer finish of a Warren May poplar dulcimer CRAZE in front of my eyes when I took it out of its cold box too soon.  It looked like the surface of old china, with fine cracks all over it.   It's difficult to repair the finish.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/26/19 10:52:00PM
176 posts

Partial Frets


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

With much patience and care  --  far more than I have.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/25/19 08:44:03AM
176 posts

Top/Back Thickness and Sustain?


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

My usual top and bottom thickness is about 1/8", but I try to go thinner than that if I can.  As you might have read on this site, or elsewhere, you can get get good sound out of a Tennessee music box even when the top and bottom panels are over 3/8" thick.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/13/19 09:26:55PM
176 posts

NOTICE: Forum/Group consolidations


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Thanks Lisa for all you do to improve the experience for us.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/07/19 09:19:39PM
176 posts

Narrow waisted hourglass shape


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

It's mostly aesthetics, Lisa.  Some like the look of a wasp-waisted dulcimer more than other body styles.   Uncle Ed Thomas of Bath, Kentucky and C. N. Prichard of Huntington, West Virginia popularized the shape over a hundred years ago.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/02/19 09:33:28PM
176 posts

Sad News


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I don't know what to say to this news.  

To me, Mike was the embodiment of the old-time Kentucky dulcimer spirit.  A quiet and knowledgeable man who wanted to help others understand dulcimer history and mountain music.  He did his part to perpetuate the best of tradition.

Rest in peace, friend, and may God bless your family left behind.  Too sad...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/20/18 08:34:07AM
176 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Thank you for this remembrance of the young girl who just wanted to be Mary in the Christmas program.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/16/18 09:22:54PM
176 posts

McSpadden Friction peg replacement


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

Just bear in mind that if you alter McSpadden's design and you want to sell the dulcimer later, the modification may affect the value of the dulcimer.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/09/18 10:10:40AM
176 posts

The Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

It may be that the biblical translators were just thinking of this term generically.  The two words of which the word "dulcimer" is composed are dulce (sweet) and melos (melody), thus indicating some kind of a musical instrument that makes a sweet sound or melody.  Just a suggestion.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/29/18 05:58:26PM
176 posts

John Jacob Niles's dulcimers and playing


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Some were pretty strange looking.  He seemed to enjoy monkeying with fretting patterns on dulcimers.  I had to ignore the fretting pattern on a Nathan Hicks dulcimer he glommed onto in order to reproduce a Hicks dulcimer for our "Banjimer".  I'm not sure what the original Hicks pegs looked like either, since J.J.Niles threw some violin-family pegs in the mix.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/21/18 09:37:13PM
176 posts

2 newly made instruments from musicmakerz


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

That's a great kit-- makes a great dulcimer.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/15/18 10:07:46PM
176 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I just saw that Roy Clark passed away.  What an amazingly gifted musician he was!  He could play anything with strings on it... including a Hee Haw "Plickitt".

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/10/18 10:45:19PM
176 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Ken, I too have been through Moriarity, NM.  The things I remember are the locally-famous Mexican restaurant, El Comedor de Anayas, and that incredible neon Rotosphere out front.  I expect both of them are gone now, alas.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/10/18 09:24:38PM
176 posts

Richard and Denise Wilson Dulcimer on ShopGoodwill.Com


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

The Wilsons are somewhat legendary in Michigan, having built dulcimers and exhibited them at festivals.  As I understand it, Richard built the dulcimers and Denise provided the inlay work, and maybe the soundholes.  They do (did?) excellent work.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/10/18 02:59:23PM
176 posts

Richard and Denise Wilson Dulcimer on ShopGoodwill.Com


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

I just found this listed on shopgoodwill.com!  A very pretty, high-quality dulcimer with beautiful heart and flying geese soundholes.  Flying geese inlay on the back.  Item #58634975.

 

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/01/18 09:26:24PM
176 posts

chatroom sidebar - adjusting the chat pane window size.


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

How can I close the new Chatroom sidebar that started showing up on my display?  Can it be minimized or turned off?

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/29/18 09:54:54PM
176 posts

Capritaurus Dulcimer listed on Goodwill auction


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Looks like somebody's gonna get a great deal tomorrow!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/26/18 09:43:56PM
176 posts



Yes, Don, a Keith Young dulcimer is valuable and collectible.  Keith is no longer with us, but he did excellent work.  I expect he used lacquer on his dulcimers, but I can't be sure of it.  Lacquer is a fairly common finish to use on dulcimers.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/29/18 04:45:43PM
176 posts

need a case for a 43" mountain dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I also thought of gun cases.  They're durable and long, and might work very well.  The only possible problem might be taking them onto aircraft.  After all, what would YOU think was in that case?  nod

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