Forum Activity for @john-c-knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/22/20 12:04:02PM
204 posts

Take a guess on who made this dulcimer


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

That is definitely from Folkcraft Instruments, however I'm not sure if it was assembled at the factory, or if somebody just assembled a kit.  It would seem likely that if it was a factory-made dulcimer, it would have labeling in or on it.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/04/20 07:15:46PM
204 posts

Can you help me ID this song?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

It's a very lovely melody, but I haven't heard it before.  Maybe it's something from Turlough O'Carolan's pen?  Could be...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/30/20 09:52:39PM
204 posts

My Husband Has Become Interested...


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

Angelina, there have been different ideas posted online regarding the same issue with guitars and their cases.  You might like to look some of them up? Some like to set it in the sun and wind (maybe not this time of year), wiping down with first a rag soaked in tomato juice, then a rag soaked in baking soda and water, then a dry rag.    When our funeral home caught fire eight years ago, the remediation company subjected all of its belongings to an ozone treatment.  I haven't smelled any smoke since.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/21/20 04:40:40PM
204 posts

My Husband Has Become Interested...


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

Richard Stolze was an employee at McSpadden/The Dulcimer Shoppe for many years.  It should be a high-quality dulcimer.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/13/20 08:35:22AM
204 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Welcome to the group, Rain Dog!  This is a great resource for dulcimer new-bies.  Ask a lot of questions if you like.  One of us (at least) should be able to help you out.  Have a good day!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/07/20 03:28:59PM
204 posts



Phroedrick, you can look on eBay or Amazon for them, available in several wood species.  I've seen ebony, rosewood, maple and others.  Any local violin repair shop should have some.  They are remarkably inexpensive, at least to me, if bought online.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/18/19 05:59:48PM
204 posts

You know your dulcimer has a hold on you when...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

That's right!  You know, table saws are bad for damaging your fingers or hands.  The tips of my thumb and forefinger on my right hand went through "an aggressive change" over a year ago due to my table saw.  Things healed very nicely, thank God, but the sensitivity is gone somewhat.  It's harder to pick up small objects now, but I'm thankful that the injuries weren't much worse.

You'll be fine after a while, I'm sure.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
12/07/19 09:44:14AM
204 posts

Black Friday Dulcimaster Sale!


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

This beauty is still for sale to some fortunate buyer!  And I'm sorry I got the last date wrong... it's through Saturday the SEVENTH of December.  Also known as (Remember) Pearl Harbor Day.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/29/19 02:14:34PM
204 posts

Black Friday Dulcimaster Sale!


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

Handmade cherry 3-pickup solid-body electric dulcimer. Regular price is $895, now just $760, plus shipping

(that’s over 15% off)! Sale through Saturday Dec. 8, 2019  Email for more info: knopfjc1@juno.com

See and hear Sam Edelston play this at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=taaQo8ILJ5w


Dulcimaster.jpg Dulcimaster.jpg - 233KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/28/19 04:25:12PM
204 posts

Thanksgiving Menu


OFF TOPIC discussions

John C. Knopf:

I'm not sure what we're having, but I asked Grandpa what he'll be having, and he said:

"We're havin' fried chicken, so crisp and hot, with taters and gravy-- make sure you take a lot!  There's green beans and fatback, and biscuits with butter, and cold, cold milk, straight from the udder!  And fer dessert, just get you some pie, there's sweet tater, 'n' apple, and yer favorite shoo-fly!" 

All I could say was Yummmm-Yumm!

Well.....I thought it was funny....

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/27/19 03:02:44PM
204 posts

Thanksgiving Menu


OFF TOPIC discussions

I'm not sure what we're having, but I asked Grandpa what he'll be having, and he said:

"We're havin' fried chicken, so crisp and hot, with taters and gravy-- make sure you take a lot!  There's green beans and fatback, and biscuits with butter, and cold, cold milk, straight from the udder!  And fer dessert, just get you some pie, there's sweet tater, 'n' apple, and yer favorite shoo-fly!" 

All I could say was Yummmm-Yumm!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/13/19 10:37:04PM
204 posts

Have you met other FOTMD's in real life and become friends?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I've met many WONDERFUL folks from FOTMD in Berea, KY or in Hindman, KY the past few years.  (I can't remember any of them as being awful or unfriendly!)  I think particularly of those special friends in Hindman who started and ran the dulcimer project there, as well as my fellow luthiers who are attempting to raise high the banner of traditional dulcimore building and playing.  

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/02/19 09:53:18PM
204 posts

Sneak peek at a walnut Thomas with Possum Board


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

Thank you so much, friends!  I had a wonderful day.  Even squeezed in a great prime rib lunch in Ann Arbor!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
11/02/19 05:43:41PM
204 posts

Sneak peek at a walnut Thomas with Possum Board


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

Here is what's happening in the shop on my birthday.  Found the time to make some sawdust today!


001.JPG 001.JPG - 201KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/23/19 09:33:42PM
204 posts

Sears and Roebuck dulcimers


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

I think some of these dulcimers were branded Oscar Schmidt, weren't they?

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/15/19 05:49:46PM
204 posts

Moving to Southern Virginia


OFF TOPIC discussions

Bob, I've been thinking in that direction myself, lately.  

Looks like a wonderful area of the country, with nice folks who actually know what a dulcimer is!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/21/19 04:53:29PM
204 posts

Do not adjust your set!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

See something a little different here?  I've noticed that when I play the scale, I get "od-it-al-los-af-im-er-od..."  Oh-- everything's BACKWARDS.  This is a left-handed poplar Thomas dulcimore that was requested by a customer of mine.


Left hand Thomas 004.JPG Left hand Thomas 004.JPG - 237KB

updated by @john-c-knopf: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/18/19 08:26:33AM
204 posts



Looks almost like a DSO to me.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/09/19 11:02:16PM
204 posts

Removing a fretboard


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

Ken's right-- I'll sometimes use a Harbor Freight Tools heat gun to soften some Titebond glue enough to reposition something.  It works quite well.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/09/19 09:31:25PM
204 posts

Walnut Thomas with possum board


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

UPDATE:  He just received it a couple hours ago, and he loves it!  Sentiments to brighten a poor luthier's heart!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/09/19 05:48:53PM
204 posts

Removing a fretboard


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

Molly, I can't see what you're dealing with, but in most cases you should be able to surface the topside of the fretboard level, then either refinish it and install frets, or glue a 1/8" thick fingerboard over the fretboard and cut your fret slots in that.

The trick is getting the fretboard flat.  You could use a belt sander with a coarse grit belt, or a hand plane, or if you feel really lucky, run it through a power planer, a little cut at a time.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/09/19 08:44:19AM
204 posts

Walnut Thomas with possum board


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

Thank you all for the comments.  The new owner should have it in a couple of days now.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/31/19 10:28:22PM
204 posts

Walnut Thomas with possum board


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

Just completed, another walnut Thomas dulcimore with a matching possum board.


012.JPG 012.JPG - 234KB

updated by @john-c-knopf: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/16/19 04:13:48PM
204 posts

Tailpiece help please


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

James,

That looks like a mandolin tailpiece to me.  If so, the pointed decorative end should lift up to reveal the string ends.  In other words, there should be a hinge on the other end of the tailpiece.  If it's tight, maybe dab a little WD-40 on it from a Q-tip.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/10/19 08:37:15AM
204 posts

Dulcimer Queries


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

Howie Mitchell's "floating bridge" design has been largely discredited.  This design tends to allow the bridge end of the fretboard to bow up.  Some folks just glue a filler piece of wood in the gap to solidify things.  The sound doesn't suffer much from the modification.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/17/19 04:15:44PM
204 posts

Old 6 string dulcimer


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

I would guess that it's an assembled church dulcimer kit from Hughes Dulcimer Company out of Denver.  These were made of luan plywood ("Philippine mahogany"), and were of simple design.  If you remade the nut and bridge, you could get the 3 courses of two strings that we're talking about.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/16/19 10:28:39AM
204 posts

Old 6 string dulcimer


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

That seems unusual for a dulcimer.  Usually if a dulcimer has six strings, they are arranged in 3 pairs on the fretboard.  Each string pair (or "course") have a distance of about 1/8" between them, so they can be played as one string.

Tuning is generally in the DAA or CGG range (Ionian or Major mode) if it's a conventional length dulcimer.  Each pair is tuned alike.  Do you have any photos of it?

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/15/19 09:58:05PM
204 posts

Bone nut and saddle


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

If I were you, I'd start with a prepared bone blank from any of a number of online sources, such as eBay, C.B.Gitty, and the like.  The dust that is generated is smelly and dangerous to breathe, so use a mask or respirator when you sand or cut bone. Same goes for mother-of-pearl (MOP).

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/15/19 11:46:00AM
204 posts

Newby


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

Welcome, Steve!  This is THE PLACE to ask questions about dulcimer history, and design and building of the same.

I'll try to help you, along with many others here who have a lot of experience in the field.  If you look through some of the previous posts, you should find answers to questions.  Have fun!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/11/19 02:10:46PM
204 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
05/22/19 09:47:02PM
204 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
204 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
204 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

updated by @john-c-knopf: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/28/19 01:13:10PM
204 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
204 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
03/23/19 09:53:45PM
204 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

updated by @john-c-knopf: 10/27/19 12:02:25PM
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