Forum Activity for @kevin63

Kevin63
@kevin63
10/24/20 02:35:04PM
14 posts

Bill Davis 1960’s Hourglass Dulcimer


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


Hello everyone,

I recently purchased a beautiful Bill Davis 1960’s hourglass four string dulcimer including the original felt bag. 

I would like to replace the strings -does anyone have any recommendations on the diameter of the strings I should use and also the manufacturer of strings that you would recommend?

Thank you for your replies.

Kevin 


EFEB64D1-6FD6-4C51-8ED1-9A39CB55CB9B.jpeg EFEB64D1-6FD6-4C51-8ED1-9A39CB55CB9B.jpeg - 399KB
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/24/20 12:47:36PM
14 posts

Early 1970’s dulcimer unknown maker


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


Hello everyone,

I came across this unique dulcimer that looks to be handmade in the 1970’s. Does anyone have any idea who the maker might be? Also what style is this dulcimer? It appears to have a European design. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you for your replies. 

Kevin 


7FDA8092-C6EC-4F54-A21E-924442D4F7CE.jpeg 7FDA8092-C6EC-4F54-A21E-924442D4F7CE.jpeg - 1.4MB

updated by @kevin63: 10/24/20 12:50:20PM
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/17/20 03:32:40AM
14 posts

Early CapriTaurus Dulcimer


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

Thank you Dusty for your wisdom and advice. I’m loving playing this instrument!
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/17/20 03:22:51AM
14 posts

Photo size uploading issues from phone


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Thank you so much....I figured it out and sent myself an email like you said and I resized the photos automatically to medium size and it uploaded just fine. Have a nice weekend.
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/17/20 12:37:12AM
14 posts

Early CapriTaurus Dulcimer


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


Hello everyone,

I recently purchased a beautiful early CapriTaurus dulcimer. See photos.

Howard Rugg the craftsman who made this dulcimer said he guesses its from 1969-71 when he just opened his shop in Felton, CA. He said it was made before guitar machine tuners. It is mahogany plywood body, solid wood fingerboard and tailpiece with violin tuners. 

He said he and his brother designed this dulcimer and his brother made the jigs. Howard assembled, trimmed, sanded, and finished them. The crew would polish, string up and ship them. He also said the plywood sounds great! Also, that this dulcimer is a very early model. 

Inside the sound hole you can see an ink stamp and not a paper label. It reads CapriTaurus Dulcimer made in Felton, California. It has round sound holes verses hearts. 

Any thoughts or suggestions playing this type of dulcimer?  

What are some different tunings that would sound nice?

Any other thoughts or knowledge about this dulcimer or CapriTaurus maker?

Thank you for your replies.

Kevin 


D2B742CE-1AD4-480F-990A-877AEE2F2FAD.jpeg D2B742CE-1AD4-480F-990A-877AEE2F2FAD.jpeg - 2.2MB

updated by @kevin63: 10/17/20 09:32:57AM
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/16/20 05:55:47PM
14 posts

Photo size uploading issues from phone


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?


Hello:

I’m trying to upload photos taken with my iPhone 10. I keep getting an error message that says my photos are too large, maximum is 2.0. I’m not sure how to reduce the size of my photos. Any suggestions using an iPhone to take photos.

Thank you for your reply. 

Kevin 


updated by @kevin63: 10/16/20 05:56:21PM
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/13/20 03:54:19AM
14 posts

A W Jeffreys Jr.


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

Hi Dave,
By chance, do you happen to have an A.W. Jeffrey’s dulcimer you’d like to sell?
Thank you for your reply.
Kevin
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/13/20 03:50:10AM
14 posts

A W Jeffreys Jr.


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

David Bennett:

     Just by chance several weeks ago, before my friend sent me the link to this dulcimer sale, I had started gathering information on A.W. Jeffreys for my Today In Mountain Dulcimer History posts but never completed it.  This got me jump started. In fact today I traded several emails with Jeffreys' daughter, Jan. I'm still tweaking this but this is what I have so far:

     A.W. (Alois Waldo) Jeffreys, Jr. was born in 1923 in South Hill, Virginia to a tobacco farmer/auctioneer.  

     A.W. Jeffreys was a Naval pilot during WWII. In 1946 he was in the naval pilot's group that was the fore-runner to today's Blue Angels, then known as the Flight Exhibition Team.

     After his Naval career he was a clinical psychologist. He was Chief Psychologist at Western State Hospital at Staunton, Virginia for 33 years. 

     According to his daughter Jeffreys became interested in dulcimers after observing local folk playing them in the mountains of Virginia where he lived. He made his first dulcimer in 1956.

     About 1960 he started the Appalachian Dulcimer Company in Staunton, it was a family business. His wife ran the business side and she and the kids, Jay and Jan, helped A.W. with various aspects of the business and building dulcimers.

     Jeffreys built both 3 string and 4 string instruments, but preferred 3 strings, in walnut, cherry or butternut with either heart or diamond shaped sound holes. With each dulcimer came an instruction book, which he wrote, a cloth bag, a hand cut pick, and an optional LP record made by his friend, Paul Clayton.

     In the mid-1970s A.W. and his wife took over all the work when Jay and Jan left home. The business wound down sometime in the late 1980's. It is estimated that over 3000 dulcimers were made. Sometime in the 1980's Jeffreys donated much of his dulcimer collection to the Smithsonian Institute.

     Jan told me her dad played the dulcimer very little as he was more of a vocalist. But the song she remembers the most was "Go tell Aunt Rhody".

     A.W. Jeffreys died 29 January 1992.

Kevin63
@kevin63
10/10/20 12:37:19PM
14 posts

Dulcimer repair question


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

Thank you Ken for your reply and expert knowledge. It’s so interesting to read everyone’s thoughts and opinions. You taught me a lot. Thank you!
Kevin63
@kevin63
10/10/20 12:35:10PM
14 posts

Dulcimer repair question


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

Ken Longfield:

When I replace my strings do they include the chenille wrap on the loop ends that looks like fly fishing wrap?

No, if you buy dulcimer string sets. I am not aware of any manufacturers who offer this.

Why did they wrap the loop end with chenille?

This is a feature of some banjo strings. The chenille was added to prevent overtones and the string rattling on the banjo tailpiece which is made of metal. Dulcimer players would buy banjo strings in the proper gauges to put on their dulcimers because they were loop end strings. This was before dulcimer string sets became readily available. Under tension dulcimer strings can eat in to the end of the fret board depending upon how they are attached and chenille my help prevent this.

If by chance you say new strings do not include chenille loop ends since that was done in the 70’s, then why not wrap them any more?

Banjos still have metal tailpieces. Again, I am not aware of dulcimer string sets that come with chenille wrap.

Do new steel strings stretch like ukulele strings after they’re installed?

No, steel string stretch, but not as much as nylon ukulele strings. After steel strings are brought up to the proper pitch, they will stretch a little and need to be tightened. Like other materials, steel is subject to expanding when hot and shrinking when cold, so changes in temperature will require tuning. So will changes in humidity as that effects the wood of the dulcimer.

You can purchase strings for you dulcimer from The Dulcimer Shoppe in Mountain View, Arkansas. They offer sets for DAA or DAd tunings.

I hope this helps you.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Kevin63
@kevin63
10/10/20 10:38:07AM
14 posts

Dulcimer repair question


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

In reading this thread brings up a few questions for me. I’m fairly new to the dulcimer as well.

- When I replace my strings do they include the chenille wrap on the loop ends that looks like fly fishing wrap?

- Why did they wrap the loop end with chenille?

- If by chance you say new strings do not include chenille loop ends since that was done in the 70’s, then why not wrap them any more?

- Do new steel strings stretch like ukulele strings after they’re installed?

Lastly, my dulcimer is circa 1976 made by The Dulcimer Shoppe in Mountain View Arkansas. See photos.

Thank you for your reply.
Kevin
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Kevin63
@kevin63
10/10/20 10:15:22AM
14 posts

Dulcimer repair question


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

Ken Longfield:

It looks like string tension has pulled the pins toward the saddle. One reason this could happen is the pins are too short to take the pressure of a tightened string. Ken's suggestion to use at least 1" brads is one solution. Another reason this could have occurred is that the wood is not very hard. And yet another is too much pressure on the pins from over tuning. Two other solutions for this problem are to use screws instead of brads or to move the brads from their current position to the end of the dulcimer. The latter might cause the strings to imbed themselves in the end of the fret board as they pass over the top of the dulcimer.


The saddle in the second photo shows quite a bit of damage and needs to be replaced. In replacing it you need to measure its size; length, width, height. If you can't find the exact size for replacement you will need to purchase something a little larger and sand it down. Two places to look for parts for dulcimers are www.folkcraft.com  and https://mcspaddendulcimers.com .  You may have to search the sites to find what you want.


Ken


"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."