Forum Activity for @john-c-knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/23/19 12:01:22PM
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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
163 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

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/24/18 08:37:01AM
163 posts

Dulcimer info, made in Gatlinburg, TN


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

John, that would be Bill Davis of Davis Dulcimers, who was actively building in the 1960s and 1970s.  That is his trademark "violin" design, which was also used by Chet Hines of Ohio (he wrote a book about it) and has been perpetuated by Mike Clemmer in Townsend, TN.  The late Jean Schilling of Cosby, TN was married to Bill Davis at one point, and their photo appeared in a National Geographic magazine years ago.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/12/18 09:22:42PM
163 posts

Replacing the Nut on a Homer Ledford


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

Maybe try a heat gun/hair dryer to warm up the glue on the ends?  Sometimes that will soften the glue.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/05/18 08:41:26PM
163 posts

Dulcimer just followed me home


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

That's great that you could pick up that dulcimer "for a song".  McSpadden/Dulcimer Shoppe makes a nice kit, and I've assembled several of them.  Mine came out well each time. The plans are clear and the materials are good, unlike some other kits that I won't mention.  Congratulations, and enjoy the newest addition to your family!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/21/18 05:51:51PM
163 posts

Choose just ONE song for all eternity...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lisa, that's an IMPOSSIBLE question for me to answer.  I love so many songs and hymns!

"Next to the Word of God, MUSIC deserves the highest praise..."  (Martin Luther)

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/09/18 09:33:51PM
163 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Bob, I'd be greatly surprised if you don't sell those dulcimers.  They're works of art (and Bob)!

Have fun and make some connections.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/27/18 09:01:29AM
163 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That zitter-critter's lookin' right perty, Ken H.!  

As fer ME, gotta get back to puttin' a cherry 'n' maple Galax together.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/19/18 05:51:46PM
163 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I'm very happy to hear it!  

I stopped arguing with table saws after one took a small chunk of meat out of my right thumb 40 years ago. 

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/18/18 10:23:54PM
163 posts

rebuilding a MD


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sometimes the fiber washers are the culprit on that type of tuner.  There should be 2 to each tuner, and they tighten against the wood of the pegbox to hold the string in tune.  Try Ken's idea first -- it's easy and might do the trick.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/07/18 04:22:49PM
163 posts

Everything Dulcimer - Closing Down.


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Perhaps a member, or a group of members, can consider taking the reins of ED in the future?  Is this a possibility?

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/02/18 10:28:00PM
163 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

He might be right, Dan.  Close, anyway.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/30/18 09:25:48PM
163 posts

John Tignor dulcimer rework


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

Thanks, everybody.  

Dan, the existing holes were carefully tapered with a violin reamer, and the new pegs shaved to fit with a violin peg shaver. Ken, I think they are old banjo planetary tuners, as you said.                                                                                        Jim, the planetary tuners were installed slightly cockeyed, with large external-tooth lockwashers.  I'm quite sure that John Tignor originally equipped his dulcimers with the walnut pegs I reproduced here.  And whoever restrung this dulcimer put 3 wound steel strings on it.  When the correct strings were mounted, the action was very high throughout.  The string spacing is consistent with the old J. E. Thomas and Amburgey noter/drone dulcimers.  They put the drones close together, at the far side of the fretboard, so it would be easier to play the melody string alone.

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