Buzzing String

Bee Lick Farm
@bee-lick-farm
10 months ago
37 posts

That's one of the beautiful things about a floating bridge; easy to replace.

Especially when you have the original to use as a template.

You have a good point though, Jergen.

I've used a tiny sliver, carved off with a knife as a little shim, glue it in and refile the slot. On dark wood especially, the glue layer can be undetectable. Lots of ways to skin a cat, eh?

I really liked Strumelia's suggestion of using a fatter string. Darn clever, that girl is clapper

Jergen
@jergen
10 months ago
1 posts

It doesnt have to be a new bridge, a little piece of plastic cut from some old guitar bridge and a little secondary glue could fix the original bridge.

( Carefull with secondary glue, less is better )

Bee Lick Farm
@bee-lick-farm
10 months ago
37 posts

Very nicely done. "Feet" are usually more stable than a large flat area. Think furniture on carpet: pointy feet where weight is concentrated into small areas is more stable than something that is flat on the bottom, especially when setting on carpet.

Glad you got it sorted, looks great and if sounds great and makes you smile, then Heck yeah!

 

> It's a funny thing how we come across so many wonderful people like those I have met here.

Agreed. This is absolutely the best, most friendly, knowledgeable, talented, and just all around wonderful online community that I have ever encountered. Truly a pleasure and privilege to be a part of. 

> It would be awesome to have some type of "Dulcimer Gathering" where folks from this forum and others could actually get together. I am sure it would be a awesome event.

Well... many of these good folks have met in person at Dulcimer gatherings. I haven't had that pleasure yet myself, but certainly look forward to it. Not sure where you're located, but me being here in Kentucky, I will have some good opportunities.

There's the Kentucky Music Week http://www.kentuckymusicweek.com/ in Bardstown KY (voted as "The Most Beautiful Small Town in America" in 2012)

And there's: Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming http://artisancenter.net/homecoming/

If you read articles or look into the workshops, teachers and performers for these events you will recognize many of the names from here at FOTMD. Builders, vendors, performers, teachers, etc.

All around the country there are events and festivals. That's how we can get together and jam or chat, or swap stuff around.

Hope to shake your hand and meet in person some day at one of these events. I'll be looking forward to it.

 - Tony

 

 

Bob
@bob
10 months ago
129 posts

Tony, you are one extremely cool guy. sun  your advice seems really solid and you gained lots of wisdom from life experiences.

It's a funny thing how we come across so many wonderful people like those I have met here.

It would be awesome to have some type of "Dulcimer Gathering" where folks from this forum and others could actually get together. I am sure it would be a awesome event.

Oh, and about the buzzing string... I made a completely new bridge yesterday. It certainly wasn't a quick job (probably two hours), and lots of fitting and filing. I wasn't satisfied last night and thought about options and came upon one.... made the final modification to it this morning, modifying the flat base to a sightly arched one, so it has two "feet" to stand on new. And wow, it sounds great.

bridge  3.jpg
bridge 3.jpg  •  267KB

Bee Lick Farm
@bee-lick-farm
10 months ago
37 posts

Sometimes I look back at things I've made or done... and especially if it's been a few years...

...and I think, "Wow, I did that?". Sometimes I can't imagine where I got the time or the drive to do it...

But at the time I was doing it, I was all about it and it got done.

I'm thinking stuff like a dry-fit rock wall that I built for a crossing and 24" culvert pipe into one of my fields across a little creek. That rock wall is about 4 feet tall, 3 feet thick, and 24 feet long and will still be standing long after I am dead and gone. It looks great but it's hard to imagine that I did that with my own hands. Same with furniture or dulcimers, or whatever. I don't remember the labor, but still feel the love.

Sometimes I look at stuff as it were the first time I'd ever seen it, and can't believe that I actually did it. With my own hands. Like this little farm and all the stuff on it... sometimes it just blows me away.

Dreams are great... It's the fun part of building anything, and generally more fun than the reality or function of what we build.

But I'll give you a tip... you'll have a very hard time making a decent living doing woodwork, of just about any kind. Keep it as a hobby, especially if you really love doing it. My experience has been that if you really love doing something and then turn it into an occupation... it becomes a JOB. It's one thing to do something you love to do, and it's another thing to do something because it's your job and you Have to do it. I've ruined some very fun hobbies in my life by starting a business in it... it's just not the same thing after that transition.

Keep on Dreamin' though Brother, and keep on buildin' those fine Dulcimers. Do it for the love of doing it, and if you happen to make a few bucks on the side, that's cool too. Just buy more and nicer tools... so you can do more of what you love to do.

THAT, my friend, is how to become successful and satisfied at something.

And it aint all about getting rich either, it's about being Happy thumbsup

Bob
@bob
10 months ago
129 posts

Tony- wonderful thoughts and suggestions! I certainly appreciate your words of encouragement and sage advice!

There is a sense of satisfaction in creating a dulcimer (or anything meaningful); the un-logged hours of quiet work at the bench, crafting and shaping the wood, and finally see it all coming together, (along with the accompanying frustrations of periodic mistakes along the way), and at the end wonder if I should have done this or tried that differently, but just accept the thing as it is an going with it, making a conscious note for the next one. (wow that was a longggg sentence!)

It is fun, and presents a challenge to put it away until I do the things that 'have to be done'. It would be amazing if I could just quit my day job and focus on making dulcimers and other wood work projects for a living. I doubt that would happen but hey its a dream...

Thanks again and wow you got me thinking about real stuff!

Bee Lick Farm
@bee-lick-farm
10 months ago
37 posts

The coolest thing is, that you made the instrument yourself... so you're not afraid to work on it. And crafting a new bridge is a pretty minor little task. And I would imagine that this instrument isn't something you plan to sell, so YOU are going to be the one playing it. In that case, set it up, action height and whatever, just the way YOU want it. There is only one thing more enjoyable than playing a dulcimer; and that is playing a dulcimer that YOU made yourself. THAT is a very cool thing.

As far as action height, when you craft the new bridge, slot it slightly higher than you think it should be... play it awhile... and then bring it down in small increments until you get it just right for YOU. If you're playing with a noter, you may want the action a little higher than you would for chording. The beautiful thing is, this is Your instrument, You built it... you can indeed set it up however you want.

You do very beautiful work, you really do. And you're not really a novice at this, even though it's been a while, you do know how to build. You're starting in on a new project, good stuff man. Here's an idea for you to ponder... I've got this one dulcimer that I built basically from scraps and stuff most folks wouldn't bother using... it's my beater dulcimer. I can strap it to my 4-wheeler and haul it around the farm with me while doing chores, in case you know... I wanna take a Jam break. Well, this ol' beater dulcimer has turned out to be a lot of fun.

First, it aint purty, so I don't worry about its looks. Second, I'm not afraid to rip it apart and do modifications to it. I've replaced the back 3 times, I've added frets to it, I've changed the nut and the bridge several times; experimenting with materials and heights. I've set it up with various string combinations and tested a few different tuning machines on it. Basically it has become this ever evolving Frankenstein dulcimer. It has a really nice redwood top and maple fretboard... and plays pretty well. My point is... I have really enjoyed having this beater instrument to rip apart and experiment with, and play... and drag around with me. 

With your skills and some scrap materials or just stuff that's "not so special"... make yourself an experimental model. Nothing fancy, just a basic instrument to rip apart and do stuff to. I have had more fun with that thing, and learned more from it than any other dulcimer ever.

Food for thought. And most of all... HAVE FUN!!!!

 - Tony

Bob
@bob
10 months ago
129 posts

John Gribble:

When you start filing one fret, you end up filing them all. Then you re-shape them. Then you polish them. And then polish them some more. And some more after that. 

My point is, don't go down that path unless you know exactly what the problem is, know what you're doing, and have the tools to do it. A slightly higher bridge might be the appropriate fix.

John Gribble:

When you start filing one fret, you end up filing them all. Then you re-shape them. Then you polish them. And then polish them some more. And some more after that. 

My point is, don't go down that path unless you know exactly what the problem is, know what you're doing, and have the tools to do it. A slightly higher bridge might be the appropriate fix.

Hi John-  yes, I am going to go with a slightly higher bridge. No need to make a small problem worse!

John Gribble
@john-gribble
10 months ago
72 posts

When you start filing one fret, you end up filing them all. Then you re-shape them. Then you polish them. And then polish them some more. And some more after that. 

My point is, don't go down that path unless you know exactly what the problem is, know what you're doing, and have the tools to do it. A slightly higher bridge might be the appropriate fix.

Bob
@bob
10 months ago
129 posts

Wow- so many great suggestions, thank each of you friends for our thoughts and ideas,

Bee-lick-farm, I just boxed the dulcimer for shipment to you, should arrive soon time (hahah, just kidding) 

To answer some questions- the buzz happens just on a few frets, namely on the 4th, 6th and 8th frets. 

I just noticed it when I have begun to finger-pluck (When strumming it wasn't obvious)

The thought of permanently changing the frets by filing them down seems kind-of drastic. Also, putting a bit of paper under the string to raise it wasn't a very good 'quick fix"...

Regarding the action, I was of the thought that the smallest action (vibrating strings as close down to the finger board as possible) was the best, but I kike to know that some people like a bit higher string. 

Gladly, the fix of a higher bridge isn't hard since it is a floating bridge. Making a new one wouldn't be hard. 

Thanks again everyone for your thoughts and taking the time and interest to help me out!


updated by @bob: 12/19/16 07:00:14AM
joe sanguinette
@joe-sanguinette
10 months ago
95 posts

ken is right.  you may cause buzzing on another fret if you file it.  installing  larger strings or....raising the action may be a better idea

Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
10 months ago
1,530 posts

LAST thing to do is file a fret.   Where/when is the buzz???  Open string?  Fretted at a specific fret or series of frets, but not all?  We need to know the answer before we can suggest a fix.

Strumelia
@strumelia
10 months ago
1,838 posts

One cheap, quick, and easy possible fix to try out before filing frets or doing permanent changes... try simply putting on a melody string that is one gauge heavier than what you have on now- it'll be a bit tighter and thus may not swing/vibrate as much to accidentally touch the fret when strummed.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Bee Lick Farm
@bee-lick-farm
10 months ago
37 posts

Clearly it is a defective unit. Please ship it to me for further investigation angel

If it's just one offending fret... make sure it's seated down, may be able to press or tap it down if that's the case. Or file and dress it.

If the action is good other than that one fret, I'd hate to see you raise it just because of one offending member. But then again, you're the one playing it... if you don't mind a bit higher action, raise it up. Honestly, I've gotten to where I prefer a little bit higher action.

I used to think getting the action down as low as possible was important. Now, I sort of prefer it to be up just a bit higher. Especially on an instrument meant for noter/droner play.

Other than a buzz, does it feel comfortable when playing? I mean if your fingertips detect it as higher when playing, it'll bug you until you set it right.

Something to check also, is what I call "backsplash" for lack of knowing the correct term... Fret the string and strike/pluck the string on the nut side of your pressed finger. I've caught a buzz there, oddly enough on the backside of a fretted string.

 - Tony

Bob
@bob
10 months ago
129 posts

So, I have a slight buzz on my melody string and I can think of two options- would like your suggestions:

1) Raise the bridge (or fill in the notch)

2) File the affecting fret

Thanks!