Forum Activity for @ken-longfield

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
10/15/19 11:48:22AM
609 posts

Moving to Southern Virginia


OFF TOPIC discussions

New Jersey's loss is Virginia's gain. Posted from someone who grew up in New Jersey, but moved to Pennsylvania 37 years ago. There were a lot of places I lived in between NJ and PA and one of them was Virginia.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/28/19 10:11:48PM
609 posts

Dulcimer Project (Reasonably) Complete!


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

My objection is that "scheitholt" refers only to a very small group of instruments in a rather narrow geographical region. Henry Mercer, it seems, discovered the illustration of the scheitholt in the Syntagma and applied the label to the instrument he had in front of him without further research. Within the Pennsylvania German communities where the instrument was found, the term "scheitholt" is unknown. People referred to instrument as a "zitter" or in modern language "zither." In Germany today most of these instruments are called hummels or hommels. When I speak of these instruments, I call them Pennsylvania German zitters. I think this is a more accurate label/description of what we find in the US.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/27/19 10:01:25PM
609 posts

Dulcimer Project (Reasonably) Complete!


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

That's Ken. It is the foibles of traveling. For some reason I wasn't getting the whole discussion on my phone. Now that I'm back on the computer I see those photos. The terminology being used is what confused me. I consider the fret board to be what was once the "scheitholt-on-a-box" feature of the mountain dulcimer. Truthfully, I would like to get away from the "scheitholt" terminology all together, but I realize I am fighting a losing battle there.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/26/19 10:21:06PM
609 posts

Dulcimer Project (Reasonably) Complete!


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

I am confused by this conversation. Is there any possibility of some photos?

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/24/19 02:34:13PM
609 posts

The Drifting Thread...


OFF TOPIC discussions

I was not sure where to post this, but here it is. Some of you may be familiar with the Kattywompus String Band in Monrovia, CA. They play every Friday night in front of the The Dollmaker store in Monrovia from about 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. I played with the band once when visiting our son in the Los Angeles area. Jennifer Ranger was the force behind the band which consists of her relatives. Jennifer taught music at the store where she sold dulcimers and other instruments. She was an excellent hammered dulcimer player. An advocate for the Monrovia community, Jennifer promoted acoustic music and the businesses in downtown Monrovia. Jennifer died yesterday and will be missed by many. I trust her energy and spirit will continue to be found in those who knew her and played music with her.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 09/24/19 10:11:21PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/23/19 11:13:55PM
609 posts

Online Advent Calendar


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

How about adding a 12 days of Christmas to the end of Advent.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song,'

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/22/19 09:08:21PM
609 posts

Dulcimer Project (Reasonably) Complete!


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

I have one of Randy's dulcimers and I can attest to the fact that the wood (toothpick) frets hold up under noter playing.

Ken
"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/22/19 03:58:10PM
609 posts

Online Advent Calendar


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Okay, Ariane. I am thinking of recording "O Lord, How Shall I Meet You." The tune is Wie Soll Ich Dich Empfangen in our Lutheran Hymnal.

I can record it in Garageband and then up it to Soundcloud.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/22/19 12:24:23AM
609 posts

Online Advent Calendar


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I would like to participate. Are you compiling a list of Advent hymns to avoid duplication or do we just choose what we want to play and email you the recording?

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/20/19 11:27:52PM
609 posts

Ukulele Tuners


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

The only problem I see with the ukulele tuners or banjo tuners is that the peg head wall is rather thin. I think you will need to use a shim of some sort to be able to affix the tuners properly.]

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/19/19 10:14:56PM
609 posts

Best Fix?


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

I, too, like your second option. Another, although I think it might require more work, would be to rout out a new channel for the saddle. It looks like you have plenty of material to work with. The saddle would have to be fairly tall.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/08/19 10:59:03AM
609 posts

How do I post in the Photos section of my page?


Site QUESTIONS ? How do I...?

Victoria, I am not sure what you were seeing when you tried to upload a photo. If you are on your page under your name and you click on the Photo box you see a page that says Create a Gallery. Click on the plus sign, name your gallery, and then choose a photo file. I find it easiest to have the photo file on my desktop and choose the file from there. I can't choose a file from my photo program. That just doesn't work for me. I am using a MacBook Pro, but I suspect it may work similarly with a Windows machine. Please ask more specific questions if this does not help you.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/01/19 09:01:53PM
609 posts

Play Music On The Porch Day 2019


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Thank you Ballad Gal. Here is a link in case you or anyone else is interested: 

Norulak Screen Printing

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song.

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
09/01/19 10:01:03AM
609 posts

Play Music On The Porch Day 2019


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Lisa, the pick is a new collar stay. It was never in a shirt. A local store had boxes of them for $3 for about 30 stays and collar extenders. The noter is the handle of a foam brush. I just cut off the foam when it was too hard to accept more paint.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/31/19 04:34:30PM
609 posts

Play Music On The Porch Day 2019


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Here is my Play Music on the Porch Day Photo. I have one with me playing guitar as well.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

 


IMG_3924.JPG IMG_3924.JPG - 113KB
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/31/19 12:51:23PM
609 posts

Dulcimer Maker ID


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

That's wonderful. What a great find. Enjoy.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/29/19 08:05:38PM
609 posts

Dulcimer Maker ID


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

Chet wrote a book on dulcimer building and provided the pattern that is the shape of that dulcimer. It is possible it was made by someone using Chet's book.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/27/19 09:23:54PM
609 posts

Play Music On The Porch Day 2019


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I've invited folks to stop by anytime between 2 and 5 p.m. to play a tune fr two or more. I expect some group playing, some solos, and other combinations.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/20/19 08:35:22PM
609 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Watco is good. I just finished a guitar neck with Birchwood Casey's Tru-oil gun stock finish. It is easy to apply and makes a really great finish. I have nothing against oil. I just don't like to get my fingers messy. HaHa.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/20/19 09:21:35AM
609 posts

Dulcimer Queries


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

I'm coming late to the party. I can't tell from the photos, but it looks like your fret board is unfitted. This gives you some latitude in VSL. Like KenH, I would add an end piece to the body and fret board and anchor the strings to it. I've used #2 three quarter inch (or half inch) round head wood screws as anchors for loop end strings. They work very well. Adding the end piece and strings in this way will keep the fret board from bowing up.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/19/19 04:21:17PM
609 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

A finish I like to use is a satin finish lacquer. I use a rattle-can spray (Deft), but I think any spray can lacquer would work well. The instrument in my hands in my avatar has a sprayed satin lacquer finish.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/19 09:49:53PM
609 posts

Tailpiece help please


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

Yeah, I've never experienced that before, but it is a cheap import a friend picked up at the thrift store. I adjusted the action and put on new strings.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/19 08:20:00PM
609 posts

Tailpiece help please


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

John, I sprayed a little silcone along both side edges, but it is still holding on there. In fact, I have to put on leather work gloves and push from the bridge side of the tailpiece to tail end of the mandolin to get it off. It's not going to slide off. I can assure you of that.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/19 07:56:35PM
609 posts

Tailpiece help please


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

You pull the top piece off. Pull it away by pulling toward the bent end which is where it attached to the instrument. You may need to turn it over and spray a little lubricant along the edges to help it out. It is meant to be tight so it does not fall off the instrument. That type of tail piece is typical of mandolins. If you need me to, I can run down to my shop and photograph one on a mandolin that I've had in for some work. I'll pull it off and show you what it looks. Let me know quickly as I'll be away Saturday and Sunday.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 08/16/19 07:58:45PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/19 04:58:53PM
609 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

The work to do doesn't seem too bad. I'd try to clean the top, back, and sides before doing any sanding. Of course I would take all the strings off before doing this. Make sure you keep a list of the gauges of all the strings in order: from high to low or low to high whichever youosr prefer. After clean up you can decide whether you need to sand the finish and refinish the instrument. You will need to see if the bridge and need any work. Although it is hard for me to see, I would probably add a brass rod all the edge of Kantele just under the top edge along the side to keep the strings from eating into the top. Keep us posted on your progress.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/19 09:57:40AM
609 posts

Bass string gauges


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Assuming a standard size guitar with around a 25" VSL, the bass "E" string is anywhere from 0.046 to 0.056. The Blue Lion bass dulcimer I play in our dulcimer group has a 27.5 inch VSL. The string gauges are 0,024, 0.028, 0.032, 0.052. All of them are bronze wound. In a set of medium guitar strings, the 4th string (D) is usually around 0.035. If you use that as your "melody" string, you can size the middle and bass appropriately.

Hope this helps.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/16/19 09:32:27AM
609 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thanks, Ken, for that explanation of the string anchor photo. I must have been tired last night as I looked at it. I could not figure out why there would be vertical grain wood in the "nut" by the anchor pins. Now I see that is the top and the strings anchor on the side of the instrument. Duh. I just couldn't see that when I first looked at it.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
08/15/19 08:57:40PM
609 posts

Kantele?


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

I am somewhat familiar with the Kantele as well as the Kalevala having graduated from Suomi (Finland) college.  I, too, would like to see a photos of the whole instrument front and back. Some things to consider are whether the tuners work smoothly. After 20 years some may be stuck in place or no longer hold when tuned to pitch. These are easily resolved problems. Make sure all the joints are secure. If not, you will need to glue them. Do you know who made your Kantele? If it has a finish on it, you can test to see what type of finish it is. If it is lacquer you should be able to put a new coat or two over it. It could be shellac. Or it could be some type of varnish. You may need to sand it down to bare wood, but I would avoid that if I could as I don't like sanding. If you like to sand, go for it. It looked like some of the dents could be raised using moisture and a hot iron. Looking back at your photos, I do not understand what is happening in the first photo with the string anchors. What are the strings going over in the photo? Also, if you want to you can replace the tuning pins with shiny new ones.

Just a few thoughts. I hope some of them are helpful.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/22/19 08:36:19PM
609 posts

Richard and Denise Wilson dulcimer - needs a bridge


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

At one time I had one of their dulcimers, but I couldn't find a photo of it in my files. If I recall correctly it had a triangular shaped bridge and was made of walnut or rosewood. I'll try and do some more searching to see if can find a photo.

Okay, I was wrong. From the photos I found on the internet the bridge was rectangular or square in profile rather than triangular. It looks like the bridge matched the wood of the fretboard.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."


updated by @ken-longfield: 07/22/19 08:46:21PM
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/17/19 07:05:49PM
609 posts

Old 6 string dulcimer


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

I agree, John. Looks like a Hughes Church dulcimer. If it came in to my shop I would recommend a new nut and bridge.

Ken

"The dulcimer sins a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/15/19 09:53:05PM
609 posts

Newby


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

Along with others, I am happy to answer any questions you have about building dulcimers, etc. I started building in 1974 but only as a hobby. I've sold a few over the years, Right now I'm more in to making reproductions of old dulcimers and Pennsylvania German zitters.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/15/19 09:48:51PM
609 posts

Bone nut and saddle


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

I purchase bone for guitar nuts and saddles from Stewart-MacDonald. Dan's eBay source looks good too. A lot depends on the size of bone you need for the dulcimer nut and bridge and how much you are will to work it down. Some folks don't like the odor created when cutting, filing, and sawing bone. If you really want to start from scratch you can probably get a beef bone from the butcher at the grocery store. You'll need to boil the meat off and then let it dry. To get a nice white color you will need to bleach it as well. Then you will have to cut it to size and shape it. Have fun however you choose to tackle this project.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

 

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/15/19 09:42:27PM
609 posts

Cajun accordion


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Sounds like a nice birthday present. I'm sure it can drown out a dulcimer, but please don't do that. Enjoy your accordion.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/14/19 08:05:31PM
609 posts

Ebony versus Micarta Fretboard on McSpadden Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

I have a Martin guitar with a Richlite fretboard. I think it is a little faster than the ebony fretboard I have on my other Martin. Taylor is involved with planting ebony trees. They have their own plantation of ebony and (I think) subcontract the harvesting and processing of the ebony.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/14/19 10:13:24AM
609 posts

Wooden Drums


Adventures with 'other' instruments...

Thanks for sharing your, and your brothers, work. I like the way you painted them.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/13/19 09:00:19AM
609 posts

Ebony versus Micarta Fretboard on McSpadden Dulcimer


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Micarta has been around for a long time. It was developed by George Westinghouse around 1910. You see it used in knife handles because it comes in a great variety of colors and textures. Micarta has been used to make dulcimer nuts and bridges for years. As natural materials become scarce, I think we need to open ourselves to using other materials for instrument making. I was skeptical of doing this for a long time until I purchased a Martin guitar made of HPL (high pressure laminates). That turned me in to a believer. I would not hesitate to use Micarta for a fret board.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/11/19 04:20:54PM
609 posts

Introduce Yourself!


General mountain dulcimer or music discussions

Welcome back! Glad you are beginning to play music again. Keep at the dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
07/10/19 09:35:23PM
609 posts

Solved The Problem Of Finding An Inexpensive Gig Bag


OFF TOPIC discussions

I agree with the others. That's a great way to protect you dulcimer.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

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