Forum Activity for @john-c-knopf

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/23/23 04:00:27PM
388 posts

Poplar J. E. Thomas replica dulcimer for sale.


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

I have this poplar Thomas dulcimer reproduction for sale now.  I built it in the winter of 2019.  The price is $440 plus shipping.  Remember that this is for noter/drone playing only-- you note the first string only, and the other 2 strings drone the accompaniment.  It has walnut carved tuning pegs, just so you know.


Long Tom poplar hourglass 010.JPG Long Tom poplar hourglass 010.JPG - 160KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/13/23 09:08:48PM
388 posts

Healthy Living- healthy eating, exercise, weight loss, veggie gardening, etc.


OFF TOPIC discussions

I'm a cobbler gobbler!  When I can find one, that is...  Best is blueberry or peach, but I'll settle for whatever you've got!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
08/12/23 06:37:44PM
388 posts

Frank Bond Dulcimer


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

Yes, you're correct, you'll need those slots filled with frets.  Frank didn't put any "extra" frets in on this dulcimer.  If you can measure the size of the fret-wire on this, you may be able to have the missing frets added back in.  You could also just replace ALL of the frets at the same time, practically guaranteeing an accurate fretting job.  That's an attractive dulcimer you have!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/30/23 11:28:48PM
388 posts

Dulcimer Players News demise


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Put mine in some spanakopita, a quiche, or veggie lasagna, or just cook it with a lil' ham or bacon!  Yum - o!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
06/30/23 09:46:58PM
388 posts

Dulcimer Players News demise


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

So, Strumelia, are you, by reason of consuming so much spinach, now able to repeatedly punch big galoots into submission, bust loose from being tied to a chair by heavy ropes, and generally wreak havoc, trying to make the world a more just and equitable place?  There was a feller in the Saturday cartoons a long time ago that answers that description.  The carnage was always preceded by the playing of a jaunty hornpipe.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/13/23 10:17:07PM
388 posts

New Thomas-style dulcimer with milk-paint finish


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

Don't be lickin' them dulcimores, Dusty!  That's a bad habit to get into.  (Don't ask me how I know).

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/13/23 09:18:21PM
388 posts

New Thomas-style dulcimer with milk-paint finish


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

Thank you all!  I had secretly wondered if that was the type of paint Ed would have used, but never tried it until now.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/13/23 06:40:17PM
388 posts

New Thomas-style dulcimer with milk-paint finish


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

My customer wanted me to paint one of my poplar J. E. Thomas dulcimers with milk-paint, so here is the result. Two coats of black paint still don't obscure the wood grain underneath.  Otherwise, it looks a lot like my other black dulcimers.  I'm not sure what type of paint Uncle Ed used to paint some of his dulcimers.


May Thomas dulcimore 001.JPG May Thomas dulcimore 001.JPG - 374KB
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/02/23 12:53:01PM
388 posts

Help with ID of recent thrift shop purchase


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

Mr. Templin died at age 65, and his obituary described him as a "folk instrument builder".  He was buried from Usrey Funeral Home, Pell City, AL.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/02/23 11:23:16AM
388 posts

Help with ID of recent thrift shop purchase


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

Looks like this dulcimer had a floating bridge, which is missing.  This type of bridge can be a challenge to deal with, but if you need help, one of us can walk you through the procedure.  You are truly fortunate to have found this beauty!  Best wishes.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/01/23 10:18:17PM
388 posts

Help with ID of recent thrift shop purchase


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

Randal, that's an eye-popping dulcimer you bought!  Such beautiful wood, graceful lines, and walnut shell soundholes, to boot.  If it sounds half as good as it looks, your $3.99 was WELL invested!  Works out to about a 99% discount, or so!  I don't recognize the design or the builder, but obviously he or she has a lot of talent.  Good for you!   PS:  Look for labels inside the soundholes if you can.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
05/01/23 03:57:57PM
388 posts

Darcyhorse Dulcimers


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

Michael, it's an encouragement to small-time luthiers to hear from our satisfied customers from time to time!  I know Terry appreciated that phone call.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/28/23 08:52:58AM
388 posts

Change out friction pegs?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

You are forgiven, my son.... go forth and dulcimorize!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/27/23 05:53:52PM
388 posts

Change out friction pegs?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Ken, that looks like the wrench I made for you, to go with the pegs I made at the same time.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/27/23 08:47:13AM
388 posts

Change out friction pegs?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Nate, the "pencil sharpeners" you speak of are called violin peg shapers and used to be very expensive, as Ken said.  They're typically used along with tapered reamers, which also were very expensive.  Used together, they make the forming of pegs and their accompanying mounting holes easy to deal with.  

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/24/23 08:29:43AM
388 posts

Change out friction pegs?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, the manufacturers offer different sizes.  Just select ones that are the proper size.  I know of three manufacturers-- Knilling (Perfection pegs), Wittner (Finetune pegs), and Pegheds, which are made in South Carolina!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/23/23 10:05:03PM
388 posts

Change out friction pegs?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have had good results using Perfection geared violin pegs by Knilling.  The tuning action is very smooth for those suffering from arthritis or other hand conditions.  Any violin repairperson should be able to install them in a dulcimer.  They look amazingly like wooden violin pegs.  They are available from several online dealers.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/22/23 10:35:50AM
388 posts

How Old is This Dulcimer Kit/Stuff?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

The Revels Music site shows a good contrast between the different McSpadden kits.  The earlier ones had what McSpadden termed a "leprechaun scroll" on the end of the peghead and used Grover banjo-type pegs, while the newer models had a flat, two-piece guitar-style peghead with Gotoh-type machine tuners.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/21/23 01:24:33PM
388 posts

How Old is This Dulcimer Kit/Stuff?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Nate, you have a treasure from the 1970's or so!  This is a wonderful McSpadden/The Dulcimer Shoppe kit.  If you can dis-assemble the joints carefully, and reassemble it per the directions, you'll have a dandy dulcimer.  If the glue used was Elmer's glue, or other wood glue, you might be able to warm the joints with a hair dryer or heat gun and pry them apart slowly with a knife.  Anyway, yes, this was a good-quality kit originally.  It's all as old as it looks, too!

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
03/11/23 05:50:44PM
388 posts

Benefits of longer VSL?


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

Nate, listen to I. D. Stamper's long dulcimer for a possibility:

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
02/26/23 02:18:23PM
388 posts

Strings turned iridescent?


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

It sounds like what happens to new chrome car exhaust parts when first subjected to very high temperatures.

John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
01/30/23 05:57:28PM
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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
388 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.

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