Thanks to everyone once again, I always appreciate the honest feedback when I ask random questions.
I'm a much more a collector who enjoys making "noise" on my dulcimers, than an actual good player, you all blow me away.
Like a lot of "old-time" makers, and some other makers who, like himself, began making in the tradition-revival transition period, Homer made dulcimers that are a lot closer to JI than to ET. They are usually meant to be tuned 1-5-5 (eg. DAA) - bass to treble, and sound beautifully sweet in this tuning when played melody/drone style.
He usually included the metal fine tuners you mention. (These are manufactured for violins.)
Could be either, but regardless, all dulcimers are tuned the same way.
First you tune the home fret on your melody string to the key you want.
Second you tune the bass string to the same note, but an octave lower.
Third you tune the middle string a fifth above the bass.
Custom scale? Hmmm, what would you say it more closely is similar too, JI, or T, would you have to tune it differently? I'm always looking for older harder to find dulcimers that are more unique, and for whatever reason I find I'm becoming more of a fan of wood friction tuners as opposed to the geared ones.
Those metal things look like fine tuners similar to what you would see on a violin. They are used to fine tune the strings after you get the pitch set with the tuning pegs.
Can someone tell me if his dulcimers are in just intonation or equal temperament?
Also, has anyone seen the metal whatever they are called at the base for the strings> All the photos I have seen don't have these and I've never seen them on a dulcimer before. Thanks folks.