Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 weeks ago
1,864 posts

I agree with Dusty -- position dots are not necessary on the dulcimer because the wide and narrow fret intervals of the diatonic fret layout are their own indicators...

Each builder has his/her own finish preference -- some like rub-on or brush-on urethane, others have a spray booth for varnish, lacquer or urethane.  Many of us prefer the more satin look of an oil finish --  Tung oil, True Oil, and boiled Linseed Oil are favorites. 

Frankly a "machine made" fretboard is as accurate as it gets for fret placement. 

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
2 weeks ago
1,496 posts

For what it's worth, @art-s, position dots are not really necessary on a diatonic fretboard.  The pattern of fat and skinny frets tells you everything you need to know. It's very different than a guitar or mandolin where all the frets look the same.

The Folkcraft kits are very good.  Even their cardboard kits make pretty darn good dulcimers.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Art S
Art S
@art-s
2 weeks ago
11 posts

Thanks Ken. I heard back from them. 27" vsl is correct. They include a 6½, but not a 13½. I asked about position dots. The kit fretboard does not have them and they can't add them, as the fretboard is "machine made". However, they offered to swap out the kit fretboard for their "design your own" fretboard for a reasonable fee and l will have the freedom to add the inlays and extra frets.

It probably won't make much difference, but I feel better about having the fretboard handmade rather than by a machine.

My "good builder" has a few fiddles under his belt, so we should have fun.

One more thing. What did you finish yours with? Again, I'm sure my friend has a varnish he likes for his fiddles, but that may not work on the dulcimer. 

Almost time to go log in to QuaranTune5. 

Thanks again.

Art

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 weeks ago
815 posts

I've built several Folkcraft kits, but not since the move to Indiana. It looks like the kits now come pre-fretted with a 6 1/2 fret. The vsl is probably 27 inches which was pretty much the standard vsl on Folkcraft dulcimers at one time. The hourglass kit should have about the same dimensions as an FSH model. They are very nice kits and make a good dulcimer depending upon the skill of the builder.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Art S
Art S
@art-s
2 weeks ago
11 posts

I am interested in reading opinions on the Folkcraft kit. I am waiting for a response from the company for details. Things like vsl, 6½ frets, depth etc.

Has anyone built one?