Forum Activity for @ken-longfield

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/23/20 09:28:08AM
682 posts

No wonder everyone has more than one.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have several tuned DAA, a few more tuned DAd, and at least one tuned CGG. Those are the tuning I use most of the time, but I do retune for other tunings. I think I currently have 12 mountain dulcimers and four under construction; two of which I will keep. I also have four PA German zitters.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/22/20 01:18:49PM
682 posts

How to re-glue a bridge


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

Holly, from what I can see the photo, the bridge sits on top of the fret board. If you can tell where it belongs from glue spots on the fret board you can glue it back in to place with a little bit of wood glue. I use Titebond original. If there is no clear indication of where the bridge belongs you need to measure from the nut to the 7th fret, double that distance and place the bridge face at that spot. The face is the spot where the strings first contact the bridge on the fret side of the bridge. You may need to lightly sand off the old glue on both the bottom of the bridge and fret board to assure adhesion. It will be good to apply pressure to the bridge while glue dries; usually about a half hour, but it doesn't hurt to let it dry longer. Just make sure when you apply the pressure the bridge doesn't shift position. In my shop I would use a clamp to do this, but if you don't have a clamp, a heavy book or brick or any heavy weight will do. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/20/20 07:30:31PM
682 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

Very nice, Lisa.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/18/20 10:02:01PM
682 posts

Blue Lion Dulcimers why so Special?


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

Janita does a great job of working with inlay.  Robert does a great job of building. My Blue Lion has a shorter VSL than any of my other dulcimers which makes it great for chording. The craftsmanship is excellent. They use the best woods in building their instruments. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/18/20 12:55:57PM
682 posts

McSpadden v. Folkcraft?


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

Enjoy your new dulcimer. I'm sure you will have fun playing it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/16/20 01:16:21PM
682 posts

Bridge and Nut fix question


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

I am assuming the fix is the large cuts and not the "v' shaped cuts. The saw cuts appear to be too wide to provide a good fit for the strings. They do lower the action. Was there a "v" where the left side (in the photo) cut was made? If so, it looks to be a wider separation of the melody strings. Does this dulcimer have a zero fret? A wider shot of the head stock and first fret would be helpful also. As it looks now, I think you need a new nut made for this dulcimer. You need to determine whether you want a double melody string, four equidistant strings, or a combination of the two.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/16/20 01:00:32PM
682 posts

What Are You Working On?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Tune wise I work on the songs we choose for our weekly Zoom gathering over at The Traditional Mountain Dulcimore site. I currently have four mountain dulcimer builds in the works. Three are C.N. Prichard reproductions and one is a teardrop.  Prichard are walnut with butternut top, all curly maple, and all poplar. The teardrop is all poplar.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/15/20 08:37:50PM
682 posts

If this is true the Piezo goes on the bottom?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Both of my dulcimers which have built in pickups have the pickup under the saddle/bridge. They are cut in to a slot in the fret board. I'll see if I can get a good photo of this tomorrow and post it here. Here is the one I put in my Folkcraft dulcimer. https://www.folkcraft.com/products/baggs-dulcimer-pickup-2851700

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/15/20 08:26:29PM
682 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

Thanks, Jan. I will watch it if given that chance. I watched my initial echo cardiogram and the technician was very good at pointing out different parts of the heart and what was going on.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/15/20 02:17:51PM
682 posts

Dulcimer Dimensions


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

Perhaps when the dulcimers were made in "factory" style someone had the responsibility of measuring the instruments for a brochure and measured incorrectly. No one checked. They just accepted what he submitted. A spec list provides the maker the maker a description to put in advertising. Widths especially can change depending upon the outward pressure on molds. Now that you have a single builder doing all the work there should be a better consistency. Looks like he just gave the specs as previously noted without checking for himself.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/14/20 06:36:19AM
682 posts

The Positive Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I finally had a successful transesophageal echocardiogram yesterday. Next step is cathertrization and then on to open heart surgery. Moving along.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/10/20 10:19:33AM
682 posts

Type of dulcimer wall hanger


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Lisa and Nathina. I knew Jim was going to help for a while, but I didn't realize he had not left yet. That's good to know. Glad you were able to learn something about your dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/09/20 07:34:22PM
682 posts

Type of dulcimer wall hanger


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Jim Woods sold McSpadden and The Dulcimer Shoppe. The new owner's name is Tim, but I can't recall his surname. Anyone you talk with at McSpadden will be more than happy to help though.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/08/20 09:32:14AM
682 posts

Dulcimer Dimensions


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

I am puzzled by the 29.25 inch VSL. Your tape measure clearly shows it as 28.25 inch. Maybe David (the builder) is measuring the whole distance of the fret board. I wouldn't worry about it too much. 28.25 is a nice length for noter/drone style playing.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/08/20 09:13:33AM
682 posts

I’ve got my new dulcimer


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

Enjoy your new dulcimer. You should have fun playing it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/07/20 05:08:28PM
682 posts

Turning your acoustic into an electric amplified.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


The hole for the end pin jack is about 3/8th inch if I recall correctly. The hole for the pickup wire goes through the area under the bridge, so it goes through the fret board and the sound board. I think that was maybe a 3/64th inch hole. It just has to be big enough for the wires to go through. Once the pickup wires go into the cavity of the dulcimer you need to find a way to pull them out of the end pin jack hole and then solder them to the pickup. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 11/07/20 05:09:24PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/07/20 03:14:24PM
682 posts

Turning your acoustic into an electric amplified.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, you need two pull out the old bridge, drill a hole for the wire to pass through in to the body of the dulcimer. You also need to drill a hole through the tail piece in to the body of the dulcimer for the output jack. It requires some soldering of the wires from the pickup to the output jack. The output jack becomes the strap button.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song"

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/07/20 01:30:15PM
682 posts

Turning your acoustic into an electric amplified.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Yes, they go under the bridge/saddle of the dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
11/07/20 10:54:57AM
682 posts

Turning your acoustic into an electric amplified.


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I, too, will be interested in your reaction to these pickups. I started out with the Schaller Oyster and also tried the Dean Markley Artist pickup. Both created too much ambient noise as I handled the dulcimer. I switched to under saddle piezo pickups and have been happy with them.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10/27/20 03:04:17PM
682 posts

Wanted: Jethro Amburgey Dulcimer


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

That's wonderful news. It should make both of you very happy.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10/25/20 08:54:46AM
682 posts

Bill Davis 1960’s Hourglass Dulcimer


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

Another option is to take it to music store and have them measure the diameter of the strings on the dulcimer using a micrometer. You can then purchase the same gauge strings.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10/17/20 07:06:56PM
682 posts

Early CapriTaurus Dulcimer


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

You have a nice instrument. Enjoy your dulcimer. I think it is a real treasure.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10/10/20 12:05:59PM
682 posts

Dulcimer repair question


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

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."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10/07/20 10:31:41AM
682 posts

Dulcimer repair question


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

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."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10/06/20 09:55:17PM
682 posts

Dulcimer repair question


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

Mike, without a photo to see exactly what is going on with the dulcimers, I'm giving advice blindly.You could pull out all the string anchors and fill the holes with some type of wood. If it is a small hole, you might be able to use a round tooth pick. for slightly larger holes you might find a dowel that fits. Once glued in you can put in either small brads or nails. Not knowing how thick the end block is, it could be that the anchors don't go far enough in to the block not to bend. Another option is to use small #2 brass screws of 1/2" to 3/4".

I hope this helps with your problem. If not, feel free to ask again.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/16/20 07:35:00PM
682 posts

Anyone bidding"


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Sure, Dusty, I'll send you 3 bucks as soon as I find a few herds of deer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/16/20 05:49:37PM
682 posts

Anyone bidding"


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


I'm curious to know if anyone here is planning to bid on this dulcimer. 

http://www.cmt.com/news/1824963/take-this-swarovski-crystal-studded-four-string-dulcimer-off-dolly-partons-hands/

It should be a nice addition to anyone's dulcimer collection.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


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updated by @ken-longfield: 09/16/20 07:45:35PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/13/20 05:22:40PM
682 posts

Does anyone know what kind of pick this is?


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I wish I could help you, but I can't. The shape is the Fender 355 shape which is also made by D'Andrea. I am not aware of anyone selling a white triangular pick which has red dots imbedded in it. I can't tell from the photo, but the picks looks to be a thick one. I have some white picks in that shape from Folkcraft when it was in Connecticut, but not with the red dots. I don't think those dots where there when the pick was manufactured.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/31/20 11:50:29AM
682 posts

Magnetic pickup vs Piezo vs Mic pointed at dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have two dulcimers with built in piezo under saddle pickups. I think both do a very good job of reproducing the acoustic sound of the instruments. I used stick-on piezo pickups for a long time, but they not only amplified the sound of the strings, but also amplified pick noise and any touching of the dulcimer. Using a microphone can be tricky in that you need to find the proper placement for it. One reason I stopped using a microphone is a sound tech at a festival I was playing at insisted that the mic be suspended over the dulcimer. Well, when the mic slipped out of the holder and fell on top of the dulcimer, that was it for me. I went to direct plug-in.

As to magnetic pickups, I have no experience with them on a dulcimer. I know Folkcraft is now offering them on some models. I am not aware of anyone selling magnetic pickups for dulcimers, but maybe you do.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/28/20 09:43:59AM
682 posts

Are there fretless dulcimers?


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

I'll second Strumelia's post. Randy Adams is a national dulcimer treasure and I'm happy to own an instrument he made which uses toothpicks for frets.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/28/20 09:41:40AM
682 posts

Choice of Wood: Pertinent or Purism?


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

People tend to forget that for a good long time McSpadden dulcimers were made from laminated wood. It was used primarily in the back and sides. The reason the David Schnaufer model was discontinued is that the laminated cherry wood that he specified for the back and sides was no longer available. An advantage of laminated wood is that it is more stable than solid wood. A disadvantage is that it can be heavier than the same amount of solid wood depending upon variations in thickness.

I sometimes build a dulcimer with a spruce or cedar top, not for reasons of sound, but because I like the contrast in the woods; a light top and and a dark bottom.

Over the years I've made some very nice sounding instruments for low quality wood and some real clunkers from very nice wood. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/21/20 05:10:51PM
682 posts

Double fretboard & 6 guitar strings


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

Marg, I can't tell from the photos. Are all six guitar strings the same gauge (thickness)? I am guess that the tuners for those strings have the tuning knobs below the peg head. It looks to me like there are two sets of three strings down the center. I am puzzled as to why the two dulcimer fret boards face in the same direction. Are both tuned the same? Is one equal string spacing and the other with a double melody string? I am having trouble understanding the purpose of this design.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/20/20 06:01:47PM
682 posts

Dr. George Orthey, Mountain dulcimer and Autoharp maker


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

And that's not all Leo, 200 hammered dulcimers, one guitar, and various other instruments.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/19/20 05:02:17PM
682 posts

Dr. George Orthey, Mountain dulcimer and Autoharp maker


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions


It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of my friend, Dr. George Orthey. During his lifetime he built over 1,500 dulcimers and 1,500 autoharps. An article about George appeared in Dulcimer Players News, Vol. 13, No. 1, Winter, 1987.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/17/20 11:51:21AM
682 posts

How is the COVID-19 coronavirus affecting you?


OFF TOPIC discussions

I hope the rolling black outs don't cause your AC to go out or do you have a back up generator. Our son and his family live way south of you in Van Nuys and they've been having this heat as well. Stay cool inside and play dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/10/20 08:00:28PM
682 posts

Truss Rods?


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

Guitars and banjos need truss rods to stabilize the neck because of the pressure from the strings. On most dulcimers the strings are not anchored to the neck but to the peg head and the tail piece With a fret board spanning the length of the sound box, it acts as a truss rod preventing the dulcimer from warping by pulling up at either end. I have a dulcimer I built 46 years ago which has a cantilevered fret board. To keep the fret board from warping, I made it out of three pieces of wood glued together. It is still flat. Unless there is pressure from the strings or the wood used for construction was not well seasoned you should not have any warping on a mountain dulcimer. 

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/19/20 11:33:40AM
682 posts

video Mr. Wilson at Mountain Dulcimer Museum in Hindman


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thanks Robin. Randy is a very patient teacher whether with children or adults.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

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