Forum Activity for @steven-stroot

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
06/26/22 02:12:27PM
25 posts

String spacing help, please


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

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and the great information.  You guys always come through!

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
06/25/22 05:31:53PM
25 posts

String spacing help, please


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

I'm the new guy here.  I acquired a five string dulcimer as a restoration project.  It's missing the nut and bridge so I have no idea what the string spacing was originally.  I'm guessing it probably had two double strings and a single bass but can anyone recommend the proper spacing for the five strings?  The fret board is 1 1/2 inches (39 mm) wide.  Thanks for any help you can provide.


updated by @steven-stroot: 06/26/22 02:08:10PM
Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
05/28/22 04:09:28PM
25 posts

Four string spacing pros and cons?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Many thanks to you dulcimer veterans for sharing your knowledge!  Once again, you have given me helpful direction in my dulcimer journey.  I will heed your sage advice.

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
05/28/22 01:25:54AM
25 posts

Four string spacing pros and cons?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'm enjoying my three string dulcimer but am considering acquiring a four string instrument (can't have too many instruments!).  Most four strings have a double string but I've seen a few instruments in which all four strings are spaced equidistantly.  Should I stick with the standard double string arrangement or go the equidistant route?  Any input greatly appreciated. 

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
04/23/22 04:50:06PM
25 posts

Fret addition?


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

Wow!  Every forum submissison I enter becomes a gigantic learning experience for me.  I'm trying my best to follow your strumming discussion.  Thanks for expanding the topic... I need the instruction!   But, back to the original question about adding a fret:  I think I have the answer:  I'll just get another dulcimer that was built with the extra fret(s).  After all, aren't two dulcimers better than one?  Now, if I can just figure out a way to convince my wife that the banjo equation also applies to dulcimers...

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
04/22/22 11:48:00PM
25 posts

Fret addition?


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

I got my 3 string dulcimer and am enjoying the learning process.  (However, I'm finding that strumming in BOTH directions while fretting is like rubbing my stomach and patting my head at the same time.)  Anyway, I got an instrument that does not have a 6+ fret.  I'm starting to think that a 6+ fret would give me more playing options.  So, my question...  What do you think of me installing a 6+ fret?  I've never actually installed frets before but I have replaced some missing frets during a banjo restoration.  Any input greatly appreciated.

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
04/02/22 01:51:19AM
25 posts

What's the scoop on "scoops"?


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

Corvus:  Thanks for the additional input.  The variety of picking and strumming styles is one of the things that make dulcimers fascinating.  I've played the banjo for about 12 years and the dulcimer requires a whole different skill set.  I'm looking forward to the challenge!

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/31/22 05:47:17PM
25 posts

What's the scoop on "scoops"?


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

Wow, even more interesting dulcimer information to store in my memory banks!  Thanks again for the great instruction!

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/30/22 11:13:07PM
25 posts

What's the scoop on "scoops"?


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

Thanks everyone for your kind and valued input.  You're responses have all increased my knowledge of "dulcimology"!

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/30/22 01:04:01AM
25 posts

What's the scoop on "scoops"?


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


My previous question dealt with the arched or scalloped bottom surface of the fret board.  My thanks to those who responded.  My current inquiry is regarding the "scooped" area of the fret board where fret board material is removed between the last fret and the bridge, resulting in additional space between the strings and the fret board.  Is it to reduce mass and therefore increase the transmission of vibrations?  Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Also, thanks for the additional technical information concerning scalloped/arched fret boards.  The many variations in construction in pursuit of tone and volume is fascinating to me and I really appreciate you sharing your skill, experience and knowledge!


updated by @steven-stroot: 03/30/22 01:11:33AM
Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/29/22 07:06:14PM
25 posts

What's the scoop on "scoops"?


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

I'm the new guy with the steep learning curve.  I did a forum search for "fret board scoops" and found nothing.  So, my question... What is the purpose of the "scoop" in fret boards?  Are they necessary? 


updated by @steven-stroot: 03/29/22 07:08:00PM
Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/28/22 12:30:17AM
25 posts

Dulcimer design question


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

Thanks.  It appears dulcimer construction has a lot in common with banjo building...  You never know exactly what tone you'll be getting out of your choice of woods, design, hardware, strings and any number of other variables.  It's the combination of all the variables that determines tone.  In other words, it's like a box of chocolates.  Thanks again! 

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/27/22 05:53:51PM
25 posts

Dulcimer design question


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

Is there an advantage to fret boards that are scalloped on the bottom so they only contact the instrument's top at a few points?  

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/06/22 01:07:24AM
25 posts

Fret necessary?


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

That answers my question.  Once again, you've come through for me.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
03/05/22 09:57:14PM
25 posts

Fret necessary?


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

When looking for an instrument to purchase, is it important to have the 6 1/2 fret?


updated by @steven-stroot: 03/06/22 02:46:07PM
Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/20/22 04:17:02PM
25 posts

DQOTD


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

Thanks everyone for sharing your sage knowledge and advice.  I like the idea of a larger instrument producing a more mellow sound.  The trade-off is (I'm guessing) that the fret spacing will also be larger - which may be a problem for my small hands.  But in any case, I'm happy to learn I won't have to pay for "bling" to get that beautiful dulcimer "ring"! 

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/19/22 11:44:36PM
25 posts

DQOTD


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


DQOTD: Dumb Question of the Day

Forgive me for monopolizing your time and trying your patience but I'm facing a steep dulcimer learning curve.  Question:  Hourglass shapes, scroll peg heads and beautiful woods are, to me, aesthetically pleasing.  But do these features actually make a difference in the performance of the instrument or are they just eye candy?  

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/18/22 12:25:29PM
25 posts

Bridge placement


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

Thanks again to everyone for your welcoming comments and kind assistance!  Ken, based on your numbering of the frets, I have a 6 1/2 fret.  So, do I double the distance to the 6 1/2 fret to determine the location of the bridge?  Also, thanks for the helpful woodworking tips.      (I seem to be using "thanks" a lot on this site!)

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/18/22 02:35:22AM
25 posts

Bridge placement


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

This doesn't really represent what I started with.  On one side the glue failed and the side "blew out", leaving a gap of about 1/4"between the side and the bottom.  I clamped and re-glued the side to the bottom and you can see I've sanded the side.  The dark area along the top/side glue joint is the remnants of the squeeze-out.  Also, the glue job on the fret board failed and about 1/2 of the fret board was loose from the top.  So, I also glued and clamped the fret board to the top.  The previous owner stained about 1/2 of the peg head a redwood color.  I've tried to darken the peg head and obscure the line where the red stain ended and the unstained wood began.  Maybe it's more work than it's worth to repair this instrument but it's a fun challenge.  In any case, I just have to re-stain the repaired side, apply a clear finish and re-install the tuners before stringing it up.  But which fret do I use to calculate the bridge position?


Dulcimer - 1.JPG Dulcimer - 1.JPG - 140KB
Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/18/22 12:41:31AM
25 posts

Bridge placement


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

Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge of "dulcimology".  I'll try to attach a photo to you so you can see what I have.  But, give me a little time... 

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/17/22 12:47:20AM
25 posts

Bridge placement


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

Sorry, my tech skills are non-existent so it would take me a week to figure out how to send a photo.  The instrument is 3 strings, teardrop shape, looks like maple bottom, spruce top with two sound holes on either side of the fret board, mahogany (I think) sides.  Peg head is just an extension of the fret board.  Three guitar style tuners along one side of the peg head with the tuner shafts traversing three holes (3/4"?) drilled in line with the fret board, no nut, outside strings are guided by small brass nails just above the brass zero fret, strings secured to three brass nails at the end of the fret board.  

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/16/22 03:13:52PM
25 posts

convertible dulcimer?


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


You guys were so helpful with my last query, I hope you don't mind if I burden you with another question:

I see dulcimers advertised as "right handed" and "left handed".  Could a left handed dulcimer be converted to a right handed dulcimer by simply flipping over the nut and bridge?

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/16/22 12:44:58AM
25 posts

Bridge placement


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

I have no idea which kit it is.  It came partially assembled with poor workmanship and some minor damage.  It's three strings and appears to be a very low-end instrument.  But, it's keeping me off the street and out of trouble for the time being.  Stay tuned for my next basic question...

Oh, and THANK YOU for your kind responses!!!!

 

Steven Stroot
@steven-stroot
02/15/22 12:57:23AM
25 posts

Bridge placement


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


Hi!  New member here.  First, thank you to Richard Streib and Ken Longfield who sent me welcoming messages before I even realized I'd been accepted as a member.  I think I'm going to like it here. 

I've always loved the sound of the dulcimer (but who doesn't?) and recently had the opportunity to acquire a kit that someone started, made some mistakes and gave up.  I've resolved to salvage the instrument and try to make music.  But, I'm wondering where to place the bridge.  I read an old FOTMD forum thread and it said to measure to the middle of the seventh fret and double that distance.  Is that correct?

Also, I understand that dulcimers are tuned to either DAD or DAA.  Is one preferred over the other?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.