folkcraft cardboard dulcimer kit. who has put one together recently?

Ruth Lawrence
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
7 years ago
41 posts
Update: ended up filing off 1/8th of the height of the bridge and the action is good now. Then when I was putting on the last string, it broke! Wagh! Tomorrow I'll be able to get a replacement, but it has a nice sound even with only 2 strings.
Ruth Lawrence
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
7 years ago
41 posts
Thanks for all the help. So now that I know which is nut and bridge, I'm in a better mood to finish making the dulcimer. Yes, I do intend to let Folkcraft know about the instructions.Re the string winding. I see now I didn't allow enough slack in the first place to wind onto the peg. Yes, it's been that long since I've changed a string!
Cynthia Wigington
Cynthia Wigington
@cynthia-wigington
7 years ago
74 posts

Hi Ruth, the bridge is the high one. It was my post, but I had put part of a song on it that is under copyright and had to remove it.

I still don't have mine set up right, but I can tell you what I did wrong: I sanded from the bottom. Now I would sand from the top instead. OK? Sorry that came down when you needed it!

Regarding strings, I had never put any on a dulcimer before, I just left some slack and yes that action is going to be high. You can still see that video on youtube under my name to see how high the action is, under my name Folkcraft Cardboard Kit dulcimer. Don't dare post actual link.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
7 years ago
723 posts

Ruth, you have been given good advice. I have no experience building the Folkcraft kit, but have made or helped make dozens of Backyard Instruments cardboard dulcimers. I am sticking my neck out here, but I think Folkcraft would appreciate knowing what problems people have with instructions. I know I would like to know. That way they can improve the instructions. For example, the instructions should say the shorter piece (5/16 ths) is the nut and the taller piece (7/16 ths) is the bridge and the side with the two slots closer together should be toward the player. On your comment on winding the strings, I was not clear on what you meant by "excess." That should be the slack in the string and not the part of the string that does not wind around the post which is what I would call the excess. That part gets cut off.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song.

Frank Ross
Frank Ross
@frank-ross
7 years ago
34 posts

the extra slots are for different string configurations - 3 string, 4 string with double melody, 4 string equidistant ....) the shorter piece is probably the nut and the higher the bridge - try them that way but don't glue them - also the edges with the closer double slots usually goes toward the player - hopes this helps some.

Patty from Virginia
Patty from Virginia
@patty-from-virginia
7 years ago
230 posts

Ruth, I put together a Backyard Music cardboard kit. I do believe the higher piece is the bridge...was on mine. Do what John Henry says. He gave me advice on my "build" and I've been very pleased with the resultsSmile.gif

John Henry
John Henry
@john-henry
7 years ago
257 posts

Hello Ruth ! Never having seen/handled a cardboard dulcimer I am guessing the 7/16" high piece is the bridge, this coupled with your description of a 'high action' suggests to me that you may indeed have nut and bridge at the 'wrong ends'. As for your string problem, try reducing the amount that you are attempting to wind on by 1/2" or so, and try to keep 'tension' on that part of the string you are winding on.

JohnH

(OK all you expert builders, I did say that I had never seen one, lol)

Ruth Lawrence
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
7 years ago
41 posts
And this question: instructions say this:

"Pull all of the string snug through the hole in the winding post, and then pull it back three inches. Now turn the handle on the machine head so that the 3 inches of slack is wound around the winding post."

I am having trouble visualizing what this means. I put a string on and wound it, but it didn't wind properly in such a way that the excess went onto the peg.The action also seemed mighty high. So I maybe put nut/bridge wrong way round.
Ruth Lawrence
Ruth Lawrence
@ruth-lawrence
7 years ago
41 posts
I swore there was a post about one of these. Anyway I am almost done putting a kit together. Except the instructions are wrong for the nut and bridge pieces. They describe a nut / bridge with 6 slots, meaning a 6 string instrument I suppose.What I need to know is which piece is the nut and which is the bridge. One is 7/16ths high, the other is 5/16ths high.
updated by @ruth-lawrence: 06/11/15 07:42:13AM