Forum Activity for @nathina

Nathina
@nathina
12/17/20 04:11:49PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

Strumelia:

The string spacing is interesting. What string arrangement are you going to use?

I am going to set it up for the melody close, and then close for the middle, and equal distant for the bass. I think I remember that is how Maxwell normally set up his units.
Nathina
@nathina
12/17/20 04:09:34PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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


I fixed the tuning pegs. They are holding extremely well so there is no need for beads. The strings will be replaced to lighter gauge which is a trick I use to have pegs hold even better. Another thing, every time I have seen someone discuss peg "lube" they point to the insertion point, but there are two friction points on each tuner. The insertion and the exit. Both need to be prepped. 

On this instrument for some reason they were using a 0.32 on the bass string. Perhaps attempting to make a baritone dulc, but although the pegs will now hold it, they were not meant to be under that much tension. There are a few other tricks I was taught.


updated by @nathina: 12/17/20 04:10:09PM
Nathina
@nathina
12/17/20 03:26:12PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

This is the fully restored fret board and soundboard of the The John A Maxwell. Waiting for appropriate string set. Now onto repairing the case. Tuning has been checked and frets are good. Kept the lucite nut and bridge which was a trademark of his. I'll do a before and after on parts of the case when finished.


IMG_2666.JPG IMG_2666.JPG - 338KB
Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 08:03:27PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

nut to fret 26.5. It is coming back to fine shape. I am working on restoring it. Removing on dents and scratches, outlining sound holes, readjusting string.Currently working on the fret board removing any marks and polishing. It will be as new when I am finished. Maxwell #2645, 1974. I still have the wooden case to fix. The instrument is almost done. Just waiting for new shipment of strings.


updated by @nathina: 12/16/20 08:04:02PM
Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 06:30:50PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

Pictures of the back, not a scratch and really shines, and a finished sound hole with a minimal outline.


DSC00607.JPG DSC00607.JPG - 58KB
Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 02:39:44PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

I wonder if I could make one out of modeling clay? Actually the pegs after reconditioning are holding well and the variation is within 10 cents.

Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 12:38:33PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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


Dusty Turtle:

Nathina, a small number of luthiers used fine tuning beads on their dulcimers.  One was Keith Young.  Here is a discussion of someone replacing a missing one.  You can see that they require no serious modification of the instrument yet make those friction tuners a lot easier to use.  I think I remember a couple of other discussions here about fine tuners.  If I can dig them up I'll edit this comment and add the links.




Thanks. From what I see, the beads are hand made and specific to the instrument. So it requires, a selection of basically square or flat beads from the bead store to select the right one. 

Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 12:32:10PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

Strumelia:

Nathina:

I have seen the beads but I am not familiar with what they do. Where are they obtained, or are they just "beads"?



googling "dulcimer fine tuning beads" yields THIS .


 Are these any beads? Didn't find anything on specific type, wt, style of bead?
Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 12:20:00PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

Strumelia:

I agree, Ken. 
I think you meant "Peg Drops" and behind the bridge, not the nut...right?   ;)

Warning- biased opinion ahead!:
I'm a big advocate of keeping vintage/antique collector dulcimers in original configuration. There is not an unlimited supply of antique dulcimers, and some we think of as not terribly valuable today might be precious and rare 30 years from now. Whatever your personal preferences, it is true that any collectable dulcimer will be diminished in value if you remove its wooden pegs and replace with geared. Or add extra frets, etc. I usually just suggest that if one wants geared tuners (and most folks do..they are convenient!) one should just buy a more modern dulcimer that has them already rather than alter an antique.

I have seen the beads but I am not familiar with what they do. Where are they obtained, or are they just "beads"?

Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 12:17:17PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

Just finishing off the head.  Just need to polish. This is the peg paste I use.


IMG_2657.JPG IMG_2657.JPG - 459KB
Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 11:33:39AM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

There won't be unnecessary changes unless they have to be made to make the unit playable. Museum style restoration, fixes the finish, removes dents and scratches, may recolor or change the stain if necessary. He used lucite nuts and bridges which stay. It will be the same instrument, only will like it was just made (I hope). This will be for resale. I was thinking about making it into a baritone which seem popular at the present, but will leave it as it is, unless it won't sell. Although it it turns out as i hope, I might not want to part with it.


updated by @nathina: 12/16/20 11:35:42AM
Nathina
@nathina
12/16/20 11:25:24AM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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

IRENE:

very cool Nathina.   I know I love to see the "before and after" photos of all  kinds of job but especially musical instruments.   I got some PERFECTION PLANETARY PEGS for the next one I'm going to make.  you might like to research that in this site and elsewhere.   aloha, irene

That's what I am wondering. I have fixed the wooden pegs to hold well, but like all wooden pegs, minuscule movement changes the note drastically. For me it is not a problem, as the same happens with HDs but I am wondering if this would be a problem for someone else?

Nathina
@nathina
12/15/20 09:10:55PM
189 posts

Just received a John A Maxwell


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


Just received a John A Maxwell that I am refurbishing. So far peg holes are round and tapered. Strings are being replaced and laid properly. Never sure why somebody has to use the entire string length on the pegs. Pegs will be refinished. All dings fixed. And the action will be adjusted, way too high. Will be fixing its wooden case. By the time I am finished it will be museum quality refinishing and ready to go. Frets are now placed properly. This is a fat hour glass version 4 str. Ball Strings to be replaced This is walnut on walnut I think. Added strap buttons. I will post pics when finished.

I am wondering if I shouldn't change the pegs to starite tuners. What do you think? I seems that very few understand violin peg tuning.


updated by @nathina: 12/15/20 09:12:15PM
Nathina
@nathina
12/13/20 05:58:46PM
189 posts

Music theory/Mode question


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Here is Bflat Major and Bflat Minor. If you F string is more towards the F# then it is minor. Otherwise if it is F, then major.


Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 3.56.57 PM.png Screen Shot 2020-12-13 at 3.56.57 PM.png - 69KB
Nathina
@nathina
12/13/20 11:12:10AM
189 posts

Information on Jim Good Appreciated.


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

This is a pre fire 1983 one of his. I will see when it comes. He changed his style after the fire. Before the fire he used tuning pegs, after he went to mechanical. Once it comes I will get in touch. I also have information about his fire in 1983.

Nathina
@nathina
12/12/20 10:02:57PM
189 posts

Information on Jim Good Appreciated.


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

Dusty Turtle:

Sorry, Nathina, I have no idea. You might contact him directly.  Luthiers are usually delighted to hear their old builds are still out there being played.

I will once I have it. At this point I don't know whether it is paint or inlay, as pre 1983 he was known for a lot of inlay apparently. Guess I'll wait and see.

Nathina
@nathina
12/12/20 08:34:02PM
189 posts

Information on Jim Good Appreciated.


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


Dusty Turtle:

Jim's been making dulcimers under the Mastertone name for probably several decades.  Every one I've ever seen had 5 strings.  I've never played one, but Jim has a good reputation.

Do you know who he contracts with to do the painting, prior to the final "shellac". I will post the one I got when it comes. This might be an older one, having peg tuners, built 1980. This is a pre 1983 fire model, before he changed to mechanical tuners.


updated by @nathina: 12/12/20 08:44:50PM
Nathina
@nathina
12/12/20 08:31:45PM
189 posts

Information on Jim Good Appreciated.


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

I seem to have gone on a buying spree for christmas. A few to fix, and some to sell I hope, to pay for what I bought. This time of year with COVID is just terrible.

Nathina
@nathina
12/12/20 08:23:17PM
189 posts

Information on Jim Good Appreciated.


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

I have seen Jim Good mentioned as a dulcimer maker on the site. What can anyone tell me about his dulcimers, and who does the paintings? I just bought an older one and it will eventually arrive. It looks great, how it plays?

Nathina
@nathina
12/12/20 11:58:34AM
189 posts

Action is too low


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

Ken Hulme:

The dime sits alongside the 1st fret.  The nickel sets on top of the 7th fret.  The strings should just touch the coins.

Right, I agree. Now to adjust the action the nut is to adjust the first fret, the bridge for the 7th, or is there something else?
Nathina
@nathina
12/12/20 11:26:26AM
189 posts

Action is too low


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

Hopefully not to add confusion to the action, after reading a thread earlier, the dime should fit under the 1st fret space. According to Ken, not on the fret, and the nickel should fit under the 7th fret space. Adjusting the action for the 1st fret space would be at the nut, for the 7th would be at the bridge. Is this correct? Does the string just touch the dime or the nickel?

There was obviously some discourse on that thread that made it unclear.

Thanks.

Nathina
@nathina
12/11/20 12:42:15PM
189 posts

information on Arthur West and Henry C Dessler


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

Looking for info on two dulcimer makers. 1 is Author West, 2 Henry C Desler. I have looked through some archives and books and haven't beenbable to find anything about them or quality of build.

Nathina
@nathina
12/10/20 06:16:36PM
189 posts

John Tignor dulcimer rework


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

Anyone have a pic of the front of the dulcimer from neck to base for John T Tignor

Nathina
@nathina
12/09/20 09:40:38PM
189 posts

Can anyone tell me about John Maxwell Dulcimers.


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

Ken Longfield:

I have a question for you Nathina. Have you been to the Musical Instrument Museum? There is a nice display of dulcimers and their predecessors there. My wife and I visited there in 2018.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Several times, but not since COVID. I tried to donate a ukelin to them but they made it too much of a hassle. I probably will go again if they stay open.
Nathina
@nathina
12/09/20 07:45:28PM
189 posts

Can anyone tell me about John Maxwell Dulcimers.


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


I think I have traced the movement which started bigtime to 1978. By the 80's "everyone" (not everyone) wanted DAd. Music also started changing becoming harder to find DAa tabs. I guess they somehow would pin the 2nd string at the third fret? Not sure how they would pin it, especially if they were noting.


updated by @nathina: 12/09/20 08:02:21PM
Nathina
@nathina
12/09/20 07:22:49PM
189 posts

Can anyone tell me about John Maxwell Dulcimers.


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

I will call him. I can fix the tuners without any "real" modification. Recommend that I don't add 6.5 unless he demands it and fix the case. I will also remove any dents to invisibility so it will be pristine. A good cleaning, maybe new strings and bring it back to new. I can also match the patina. I will post it when it is done. I should also ask him the number to see what time this might have been made. Wish there was a time line somewhere. Wonder if there are any archives?

Nathina
@nathina
12/09/20 06:09:14PM
189 posts

Can anyone tell me about John Maxwell Dulcimers.


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

If the pegs are in good condition I will clean and adjust them. There are a couple of items that are available to enlarge the peg body itself without loosing anything to the wood. Do you know when a 6.5 fret became the defacto or when eveyone decided to go from 1-5-5 to 1-3-8 (DAa toDAd)

Nathina
@nathina
12/09/20 05:35:18PM
189 posts

Can anyone tell me about John Maxwell Dulcimers.


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

I did read all the links here. I can ask the owner for a number.  From what he tells me there is no 6 1/2 which would make the dulcimer around 1970ish. Did he use solids or veneer? His tuners were wooden pegs. So I will probably have to redo that for her. Should I upgrade it for him for a 6.5, or leave it pre / 1970s. This has a wooden custom box, that accompanies it, which I can fix easily. I am trying to find some pics of his obviously upgrade pre 70's. Revels I believe has his new ones or those within the last few years of manufacturer. Hope people don't mind me asking difficult questions?

Nathina
@nathina
12/09/20 05:17:29PM
189 posts

Can anyone tell me about John Maxwell Dulcimers.


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


He stopped building in the late 1970s. That is about all I know. He built about 3000 dulc, and was from Cookeville TN. Cannot really find any pictures re his builds or prices? Did he ever add 6.5 fret and if so when did he start. Thanks. I believe he added a sound hole into the 4th fret.

Nathina
@nathina
12/05/20 07:51:31PM
189 posts

My voyage to the lute guitar (and mountain dulcimer as well)


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Nice Dulcimer. The rosette on the lute is lovely. I guess when you are talking about being a simpler to play lute you are comparing it to the Irish lute?


Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 5.50.38 PM.png Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 5.50.38 PM.png - 618KB
Nathina
@nathina
12/05/20 05:20:50PM
189 posts

Ewing vs Gardener


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

Dusty Turtle:

Nathina, it's really hard to comment on dulcimers without seeing and hearing them.  And what one person thinks of as bright or mellow might not be what your ears here.  I would suggest listening to dulcimer music posted here and on YouTube and Soundcloud.  Most of us indicate the dulcimer we are playing and the tuning we use, and if we don't, ask.  Then you can hear for yourself which luthiers make instruments that appeal to you. 

For what it's worth, I have never played or even seen a Gardener, but I own two Ewing dulcimers.  However, neither is a full-size instrument. One is an octave dulcimer and one a 3/4-size instrument that Ron calls a "baritone dulcimette."  I love both of them for their balanced and clear tone and the responsiveness of the fretboard.  Ron's dulcimers are of very high quality and his baritones in particular enjoy a fine reputation.

Thanks, You are actually giving me the information I am seeking.
Nathina
@nathina
12/05/20 01:12:03PM
189 posts

Ewing vs Gardener


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

I was hoping for a comparison in tones etc. Some are better for strumming, others are louder as Dusty says, some are more mellow even with the same woods. Some are specifically designed for noters having flatter frets. Even potato chips can have differences. Lays original, light not too greasy, Ruffles, more solid not very light etc.

Nathina
@nathina
12/03/20 07:25:09PM
189 posts

Ewing vs Gardener


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


Is this a Tie or is one more recommended than the other? Both are good but which of the older instruments were better?

Here is a comparison I haven't seen between Ewing hourglass and a Gardener tear drop.Both are set for 4 stings. The older Gardener is probably Cherry top and I need to see the back pics yet,  the Ewing is Walnut. Both are older instruments. Both are good builders. The Ewing in old enough to come with a wooden case. There are no "abalone" inserts on ewing, the gardener has them. The ewing fret board is undercut at the strum hollow. The gardener is has no signature scallops under the fret board, probably dating it maybe it is 1991. 


updated by @nathina: 12/03/20 09:23:04PM
Nathina
@nathina
12/02/20 11:40:26AM
189 posts

Does anyone recognize this dulcimer?


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


Currently still investigating, working with the seller, to try to figure out what he really has or if he even has it. Still have reached no conclusion. May be a simple mistake on his part. Asking for more pics, and will continue to speak with him. He is finally coming out of his shell. Don't want to not help a vet, if he needs the help, but obviously don't want to buy a copy. Thanks everyone.

Update, the has gone missing. How strange. Oh well.


updated by @nathina: 12/02/20 11:20:54PM
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