Forum Activity for @john-c-knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
09/03/20 05:45:07PM
220 posts

Want to get a fretting printout for a 24" VSL


Dulcimer Resources:TABS/Books/websites/DVDs

Patty, have him go to StewMac.com, and on the home page, at the bottom, there is a link to a Fret Calculator (free).  Have him click on that, and it will take him to a page that he can fill out with pertinent numbers, and it will automatically calculate dulcimer fret spacings for him.  He might need to use the guitar template for all of those extra frets.  The output is in inches or millimeters, and will have to be measured out on the fretboard or paper.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/31/20 01:57:36PM
220 posts

Magnetic pickup vs Piezo vs Mic pointed at dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Something useful might be found on the CBGitty website.  They have 3- and 4-pole pickups and flat humbuckers as well.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/19/20 05:35:00PM
220 posts

Dr. George Orthey, Mountain dulcimer and Autoharp maker


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

This is sad news.  Dr. George Orthey was also a colonel in the US Army, and a veterinarian, too.  He lived quite a distinguished life.  The dulcimer world has lost another fine craftsman and enthusiast.  May God comfort George's family at this time of grief.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/07/20 10:20:31PM
220 posts

Dulcimer sales in 2020


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

...including a very LARGE project, wouldn't you say, Dan?

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/17/20 09:52:55PM
220 posts

A Samuel F. Russell dulcimore replica


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

I finished my Sam Russell dulcimore replica exactly 81 years after Mr.Russell finished his prototype!  You can see photos of his in L. Allen Smith's Catalogue, on page 52 (D15).  It's made of black walnut, with a rosewood nut and bridge, birch accents, full-width staple frets set in a mean-tone scale, and Perfection pegs.  It was quite a project!


SamRussell 003.JPG SamRussell 003.JPG - 231KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/14/20 02:51:08PM
220 posts

Ed Thomas replica by John Knopf


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

Greg, I'm so glad you love the dulcimore!  You play it well.  If I were you, I'd try both in-strums and out-strums to vary the sound.  I find that songs sound slightly different when you change-up the strum directions.  Beautiful recordings!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/07/20 09:38:45PM
220 posts

Size of Soundbox and Loudness


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

Nate, I just wanted to increase the size of everything on that dulcimore by 3 times, to see what would happen.  I guess some tweaking is still in order?  The string material, for one thing.  Right now it's music wire, but maybe weed-whipper line might work better.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/05/20 07:57:32PM
220 posts

Unknown maker


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

Dan is right-- there are many dulcimers that were made by novices that were never signed, for whatever reason.  This looks to be one of them.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
07/02/20 08:27:35AM
220 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

So sorry for you, Irene, at the loss of your beloved husband of so many years.  It's good that 5 of your daughters were there at such a trying time for you all.  May God comfort you and your family, and give you clarity of thought in the days to come.  I know myself about the sense of numbness and unreality that sets in at such a time.  It's not easy, but it will get better in time.  Aloha.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/30/20 04:22:14PM
220 posts

Size of Soundbox and Loudness


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

Nate, look at a mariachi guitarra quintet.  They have all sizes of guitar soundboards.  The largest is pretty BIG.

But then, a dulcimer is not a guitar.  "Uncle Eddie", the world's largest (and longest) dulcimer is not particularly loud for its size and soundbox volume.  Usually taller sides equal more bass response, and maybe more loudness too.  I think overall loudness is derived from several factors working together, such as wood thickness, bracing, design, string gauges and tension, etc.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/04/20 05:53:13PM
220 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'm constructing a mean-tone walnut hourglass Thomas replica for a guy in Yorkshire.  The body's assembled, but needs trimming and pegs, nut, bridge, frets, strings, etc.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/29/20 03:21:06PM
220 posts

Carved headstock and end piece.Maker?


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

Is it coming or going?  Never seen the like of it.  Sorry I can't help you!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/28/20 09:00:08AM
220 posts

Please tell me your very favorite love song...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lois, I always thought that "Old Joe Clark" had the most verses, but so many of those folk-song verses are portable!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/26/20 05:56:52PM
220 posts

Best kit?


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

Welcome to the forum, Steve!

I vote for the McSpadden "Sweet Song" hourglass dulcimer kits, as I have assembled several with great results.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/19/20 08:33:52AM
220 posts

Please tell me your very favorite love song...


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

"The Cheeseburger Song" by Mr. Lunt (Love Songs with Mr. Lunt).  Gotta be a VeggieTales fan...

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/07/20 09:13:10AM
220 posts

Thomas reproductions (Messenger/Knopf/other?)


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

Hi, Magictime!  This is John Knopf.  You asked if the bouts on my Thomas dulcimores are the same width, and they are NOT.       My cheap camera distorts images, sometimes badly.  I've noticed that myself. The upper bouts are narrower by nearly an inch.  I think Kevin used a different Thomas dulcimore for measurements in making his reproduction.  As you may know, Uncle Ed didn't make any two of his dulcimores alike, but there are many similarities.  So - - Kevin makes a great replica of Thomas dulcimore "A", and I make great replicas of Thomas dulcimore "B".  The sound is very similar.  I hope this clears things up for you.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/04/20 08:34:48AM
220 posts

Is the strumhollow redundant?


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

My belief is that strum hollows are not necessary.  I think many new builders (in the 60's and 70's) followed the Kentucky tradition of Ed Thomas.  They saw many photos of these dulcimers, to the exclusion of older Virginia dulcimers, and just thought that was "the way they were supposed to be built".  I certainly didn't see any examples back then of dulcimers without strum hollows.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/08/20 10:49:45AM
220 posts

Whatever happened to singing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

All this discussion reminds me of a dear sweet older gentleman who attended my church for many years.  He did not have a singing voice at all, but he sang right out with every hymn we sang.  It's called making a joyful NOISE unto the Lord!  I so admired his efforts and his heart.  His wife sang very sweetly.

There's a a song sung by the Dixie Melody Boys called "Antioch Church Choir".  About Uncle Jesse who "couldn't sing a lick, don'tcha know".  The song pretty much says it all.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
04/06/20 11:59:07AM
220 posts

FUNNY songs you sing & play on your dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

"I'm My Own Grandpa" gets everybody cogitatin' and laughin', too!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/26/20 10:00:11PM
220 posts

"Generations": Will Singleton replica dulcimore


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

To answer the question, I really don't know if this will be at Berea.  If I sell it soon, it won't be, and if Berea doesn't happen, it might not be.  I plan to go to Berea one way or another, and if it's unsold then, I 'll bring it along.  Thanks for the interest!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/26/20 04:57:41PM
220 posts

"Generations": Will Singleton replica dulcimore


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Folks, here's something to get your mind off the (         ) today.  This is "Generations", it's name was taken from Psalm 90:1.  A poplar replica with ebony pegs.  Will Singleton, Jean Ritchie's uncle, made some 90 years ago.Singleton Generations 3262020 020.JPG   Singleton Generations 3262020 016.JPGSingleton Generations 3262020 018.JPGSingleton Generations 3262020 019.JPG

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/25/20 08:39:54AM
220 posts

Dulcimer String Anchor Pins


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

You could easily hammer in 3 or 4 metal brads or brass-plated escutcheon pins between the slot and the present wooden peg.  You could just leave the wooden peg where it is.  Put masking tape on that area of the wood, draw a straight line and measure for the pin locations.  Then tap dents in at those 3 or 4 points, pull off the tape and carefully hammer them down to about 1/16" of the surface.  If you have a tiny drill bit, you can pre-drill the holes to keep the wood from possible splits.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/17/20 05:43:17PM
220 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks for your post, DoC!  Sorry things are gloomy across The Pond.  Things are somewhat gloomy here as well, what with the pesky COVID virus preparation shutting things down and generally making a nuisance of itself.  We need to rise above it, and dulcimers sure help re-focus us on nicer things!  I'm confident that you'll make the McSpadden modifications with no trouble at all.  Best wishes for a successful outcome.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/22/20 12:04:02PM
220 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
220 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
220 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
220 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
220 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
220 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
220 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
11/13/19 10:37:04PM
220 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
220 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
220 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 - 84KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
10/23/19 09:33:42PM
220 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?

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