Forum Activity for @robert-schuler

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
01/24/19 09:23:45PM
252 posts

Top/Back Thickness and Sustain?


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

I use 1/8" . I tried. 3/16 on my first dulcimers but didn't sound as good. I would love to try 1/16 but then you get into bracing, which might restrain sustain. I think thinner wood would be better if only it were stable... Robert.

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
12/18/18 10:15:07AM
252 posts

McSpadden Friction peg replacement


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

What kind of pegs do you have?. Are they wood violin or metal type with screw in the end. The metal type can be replaced with new ones for under $30. Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
12/12/18 09:55:35PM
252 posts

Show Us Your Pets!


OFF TOPIC discussions

This is Fodderwing. She is an orphan who's mom was hit by a car. Not my pet but comes up to the back porch to visit  occasionally. She actually came over to greet a deer hunter who hunts my farm!. The guy was dumbfounded to see this deer following him around. To cute to shoot.... Robert


IMG_20181123_153640.jpg IMG_20181123_153640.jpg - 288KB
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
11/26/18 01:04:56PM
252 posts

Bowed Psalteries


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Don't be afraid to try alternative tunings. I have one model tuned to C minor. Another in diatonic on right side matching my dulcimers. With two bows I use left side lower notes as drone notes. Upper strings tuned to flats. And another in classic chromatic. Enjoy your psaltery.... Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
09/03/18 03:10:43PM
252 posts

Hammered Dulcimer Hammers


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I recently made a set 9" that I really enjoy. I upped the length from 8" . The longer hammers add a bit more bounce. Different woods, lengths, weights. There's no end to finding the prefect hammer. But its fun... Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
05/14/18 08:49:09PM
252 posts

Pick paranoia!


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

I make my picks from various plastic lids and containers. They fit my loose style of strumming. No matter which pick you choose always be sure they can't fit into the sound holes. I'm always amazed how easily a pick can fall into one.ūüėā...Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
05/01/18 09:44:10PM
252 posts

NDD - McSpadden 26 vsl (thumbs up)


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

Although there is no excuse for poor workmanship, dulcimers are unique among string instruments in that they have two popular fretting setups. Old time traditional dulcimers are fretted in Just intonation. This setup is ideal for 155 tuning like Daa but won't play in tune in ddaD. Equal tempered setups are like guitars etc. And will play in 158 like ddaD and don't sound as well in 155. Before you toss your dulcimer be sure you know which setup you have... Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
04/20/18 09:55:59AM
252 posts



It only takes $50 worth of wood to make the finest sounding dulcimer. The rest is care and craftsmanship. Dulcimer are the most grossly undervalued of all handmade stringed instruments.  BC dulcimer price reflects the true value if one were to build dulcimers as a business.

Most small builders like myself build as a labor of love for the dulcimer. I think I speak for other builders on this site when I say the compensation i get is seeing the joy people get from playing my dulcimers...Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
03/27/18 11:14:36AM
252 posts

NDD - McSpadden 26 vsl (thumbs up)


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

I build most of my dulcimers with 26" scale. I find it more practical in many ways. Easier fingering and chording are the two best advantages, especially for people with smaller hands. Also your much less likely to break strings.

Many of us play guitar and almost all guitars are universality between 24.75" to 25.5" so transition is easy. Longer scales like 28 to 30" are great for ND but string tension is much greater. 

Greater string tension limits a strings ability to vibrant, so a longer scale can actually sound poorer when tuned in D4.

I built a lot of dulcimers and there are many factors affecting tone and volume. First thing a builder learns is what they are and how to build them into a dulcimer. That's the fun part... Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
01/02/18 02:00:45PM
252 posts

Using boiled linseed oil (mahogany)


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

Just polish with a good furniture wax. Oil might gunk up over time... Robert

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
11/20/17 05:22:24PM
252 posts

Fretboard separation from soundboard...


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

   Hello CD, if the fingerboard pulled away from the soundboard then clamp as Ken said. If the soundboard pulled away from the fingerboard, then clamping would warp the fingerboard. If its the latter then add a shim between them. Its a common problem with all dulcimers over time where the soundboard pulls away a little bit from the fingerboard, usually on one side. If your dulcimer plays well as is, then you might want to leave well enough alone. Wood is very fluid over time its all a part of getting old I guess... Robert.

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
11/19/17 01:01:17AM
252 posts

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


OFF TOPIC discussions

  Tomato season ended here November 10th. Longest season in my memory. Got mobbed by customers looking for their last real tomato until next summer. Even the greens went. Ill spend all of January cleaning up. In the mean time I'm  sleeping late and learning new tunes... Robert.

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
10/29/17 01:55:08PM
252 posts



I like Walton brand of brass whistles. No tweaks, play great right out of the box. Too bad they don't make them is other keys besides D & C. For less than $15, you can't go wrong. I never played the $200 and up whistles but I'm sure it won't improve my playing anyway. Basically a whistle is a whistle,just a lot of fun on a low budget. 

The thing that really blows me away is when I learn a tune and find myself fingering away without ever thinking about where my fingers are suppose to go. Its almost like I'm standing beside myself listening to another player... Robert.

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
08/27/17 10:50:28PM
252 posts

Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Beautiful autumn weather here. Started day picking banjo before the real picking began. Picked corn for the market, then back to the banjo.
Girlfriend brought me a crumb cake, she went up the field to pick tomatoes all day. I sat on the porch eating cake, picking banjo and snoozing. Later another girlfriend came by with fresh brownies. She went up the field to load her car with vegies and cut flowers. I sat on the porch till midnight eating brownies playing my Galax, and fiddle... What a great day... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
08/23/17 08:40:55PM
252 posts

Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Salt Springs:

Are you smoking Sutliff Buttered Rum?

 

I like Sutliff but this was Low Country...
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
08/22/17 08:51:45PM
252 posts

Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I'll be spending the next three hours on my porch. 3 cups of coffee, one pipe of buttered rum tobacco, and a banjo... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
08/22/17 01:30:45PM
252 posts

Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Congratulations Lisa! I know how you feel. I have a back porch attached to my kitchen, that for 30 years used to store stuff not worthy of being in the home, but too good to toss. Last year I remodeled my home, except the porch. Finally cleaned it out. Still need new screens but otherwise I made it very livable.
I absolutely love sitting out there... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
07/31/17 08:57:42AM
252 posts

Tune You've Had The Most Fun Playing?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Saint Ann's Reel. I play it all over the place!... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
07/26/17 09:01:04AM
252 posts

Are you playing on your porch today? -Aug 26, 2017


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I play on my porch after dark, usually past midnight. Some nights I hate to quit, despite having to start work a 6 am. I'll be playing 8/26 God willing... Robert...
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
07/20/17 10:56:35AM
252 posts

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


OFF TOPIC discussions

After asparagus & strawberry season, we switched to high tunnel tomatoes. Been picking vineripes since late June. After three years my 150 ft long blackberry row is loaded with more fruit than I'll ever pick. I wish I had time to enjoy summer but field work takes the joy out of it.
Winter time is my fun time... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
06/20/17 05:07:29PM
252 posts

Looking for a pick


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I cut my own out of plastic lids and containers. Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
06/11/17 05:48:15PM
252 posts

Fixed Bridge and Intonation


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

Richard. I build my dulcimers with not movable but interchangeable bridges. One for 155 and 158 tuning.
Bad intonation can drive you crazy. New players may not have the "ear" for tuning and so its doesn't bother them. Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
06/11/17 12:55:14PM
252 posts

Fixed Bridge and Intonation


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

Apple creek dulcimers are DSO's. (Dulcimer shaped objects). You best remove the original bridge then reposition it until you get intonation, assuming the frets are accurate to start with. Fixed bridges are often pre set to work in one tuning with one type of string set.. Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
06/08/17 10:52:09PM
252 posts

Chromatic fret spacing on drone strings


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

Go on you tube and look for Jos Tilley. Scroll his channel and you will see many fine examples of European style zithers. Most have the type of fretboard your looking for. This guy is a fabulous zither player.. Robert
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
05/21/17 10:41:08PM
252 posts



Can't believe it's two weeks since I last posted here. I like the low D and seems like everyone else does too. But you need big hands or as in my case a lot of stretching to play it. Piper grip is a must. Susato whistles have a valve version to ease the pain. I would love to get a G & low A someday.
Hohner Marine band harmonica's in G is tuned low and "just intonated" too!. So that fills the need for now... Robert
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
05/07/17 07:20:26AM
252 posts



Down by the salley garden is a great whistle tune for beginner's. In the evening I like to sit on the porch and serenade the frogs with my Tony Dixon low D. The frogs do stop and listen, at least that's what it seems. It's good to have an appreciative audience... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
04/26/17 03:03:38PM
252 posts

6 String guages and tuning


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

N9LO:

My scale length is 28".  It is for my "Ugly Stick" I just made.  It is called "Ugly Stick" because I built an "Ugly Amp" to go with it.


 


Ugly Stick.JPG


Nice creation, If I were you, I would take advantage of the low cost and build many variations. There are many fret, scale options and tunings you could try out at very little cost. As for strings, I always start with the lightest and seriously spend time playing before jumping to heavier gauges... Good luck... Robert...
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
04/09/17 09:47:33PM
252 posts

What's your Favorite Finger Board length?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I use 26" on my dedicated DAdd models. I think this is the most versatile scale for chord players. I have a few 25.5 which are my second favorite. For noter drone I use longer scales with 27" being my favorite. My just intonation models are 27". My baritone models are 30".
Since so many folks play in D tuning the shorter scale means less string breaking. Try tuning a 30" to D4 and you'll see what I mean... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
03/20/17 09:54:46AM
252 posts

Fret Material


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

I used evo gold on three banjos. Really good stuff. After three years there is hardly a scratch on frets. What I don't like about EG is it comes from a coil. It is very hard to flatten the radius. On flat fingerboards it will popup in middle sometimes. If I could get it in straight lengths I would use it exclusively. Re fretting can cost you as much as you paid for the dulcimer. At least by EBay standards. And it puts a lot of stress on the instrument. Frets have to be really worn to need replacement. I think for most folks its easier to live with worn frets. I use Stewart MacDonald nickel silver wire. Its very good and easy to use. And it comes is straight lengths.. Robert.
updated by @robert-schuler: 03/20/17 09:56:25AM
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
03/15/17 08:24:32PM
252 posts



Lisa enjoy the class, I wish I could be there. I like my generation Bb. Its great for those C minor tunes.
Today I picked up my alto recorder and played it the first time in months. I was beside myself when I got the fingering down on the first try. Playing Whiskey before Breakfast... Have fun, enjoy the snow, we got only rain... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
03/10/17 08:47:36AM
252 posts

Just intonation and limitations


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Bob... JI scale was determined by ear. Its the sound the fretted note has when played against the drones. There is a sweet harmony that you can hear and feel,that doesn't exist with fretting the ET scale. I'm not sure what will happen using electronic tuner, you might end up with ET instead.
I've sold a few JI dulcimers but most folks reject them because they don't include the 6.5 fret...Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
03/09/17 10:17:54AM
252 posts

Just intonation and limitations


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

For Daa tuning there is nothing better than JI. If you play a lot in 155 tuning I recommend getting a dedicated JI dulcimer and use it for all 155 playing. You will never go back to EQ 155 again.

Bob... somewhere on this site is the formula for making a JI ruler. I'm sure someone will post the link. I made a 27" and 30" ruler from it, and both worked out really well... Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
03/06/17 08:47:59PM
252 posts

Recommendations for new strings and new a bridge?


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

I string my 26 and 27" scale dulcimers with DAddario J64 string set...Robert...
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
02/05/17 08:56:55AM
252 posts



I've built fully chromatic dulcimers for folks who wanted to go all the way. You might do the same. You can even string them reverse and play them like a guitar... But be sure to keep a true diatonic model nearby. I played with extra frets and it's just not for me.. It just ain't fitten... Robert...
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
01/19/17 09:14:21PM
252 posts

Rest in Peace Alan Jabbour


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Strange coincidence. But I've been playing Over the Waterfall, for the last week. A Henry Reed tune popularized by Alan. I hope there will always be young people coming along as Alan did in the sixties. To keep the music alive .. Robert.
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
11/25/16 10:01:17AM
252 posts

Remember Our Friend Oliver Ogden.


OFF TOPIC discussions

A truely nice man.... Robert...

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
11/07/16 03:47:22PM
252 posts

why holes in fretboard?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I use two holes in my tempered scale dulcimers and three in my Galax style dulcimers. My fingerboards are hollow and holes greatly improve tone. And most of all they look really cool... Robert.

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
11/01/16 12:08:49PM
252 posts

Let's talk about "Floating Bridges"


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

There is probably a mark or faint indentation  somewhere where the bridge sat. Hey it could be worse. Imagine a fiddle where the bridge and bridge post falls away. Resetting intonation is real easy don't worry... Robert.

robert schuler
@robert-schuler
10/30/16 02:36:10PM
252 posts

Sewers?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I got a sewing machine to make bags for my dulcimers. Found that pant legs from old blue jeans make great gig bags. Robert...

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