StudentofRhythm
StudentofRhythm
@studentofrhythm
one month ago
18 posts

Ken Hulme:


Aspen is 'waaay too soft for a dulcimer; nearly as soft as Balsa!   I made a blanket chest from aspen once -- worst wood choice I ever made!  



Laugh Ok, I'll consider myself duly advised!

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
1,890 posts

Aspen is 'waaay too soft for a dulcimer; nearly as soft as Balsa!   I made a blanket chest from aspen once -- worst wood choice I ever made!  

StudentofRhythm
StudentofRhythm
@studentofrhythm
one month ago
18 posts

Ken Hulme:

Notyhing wrong with cottonwood as a dulcimer wood.  Poplar (particularly Yellow Poplar) in particular was very popular among the traditional dulcemore builders.  Light in weight, works easily, can have great grain structure or poor grain can be painted/stained over... 

That's good to know.  I come from a drumming background and there's a lot of lore there about desirable woods and their sonic properties, with maple seeming to reign supreme.  But I tend to form attachments to certain kinds of trees and find meaning in using their wood.  Out here cottonwoods grow in river bottoms and I have a lot of fond memories of rambling around river bottoms, so the cottonwood actually means a lot to me.  Not that I wouldn't love to get - or make - one out of cherry or walnut.

For that matter, I wonder about the suitability of aspen...

Now I'm off to look up more forum posts about woods.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
1,890 posts

Notyhing wrong with cottonwood as a dulcimer wood.  Poplar (particularly Yellow Poplar) in particular was very popular among the traditional dulcemore builders.  Light in weight, works easily, can have great grain structure or poor grain can be painted/stained over... 

StudentofRhythm
StudentofRhythm
@studentofrhythm
2 months ago
18 posts

Robin Thompson:

I know nothing about Mr. Burton yet I love the wood!  Osage Orange wood?  

Apparently it's cottonwood, with natural worm holes.  Seems pretty unusual (for all that the wood's so cheap).  I'm curious to hear how it sounds.  I've made several walking sticks out of worm-tunneled branches, including a mountain mahogany shillelagh, but that's another story.

StudentofRhythm
StudentofRhythm
@studentofrhythm
2 months ago
18 posts

Ken Hulme:

If the instrument seems very muted to you, you could -- with some careful and judicious work with a fine toothed jewelers saw -- open up those holes.

Now that you've really got DAd -- Dulcimer Acquisition disease -- when you're ready, we can talk you through making your own dulcimer similar to that teardrop -- from less than $100 worth of materials and simple hand tools.  I've attached a picture of a simple conversion one of my students made using the fretboard from the cardboard dulcimer he started with...

That sounds like fun.  Something to keep as a goal to prepare for.

Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
2 months ago
1,249 posts

I know nothing about Mr. Burton yet I love the wood!  Osage Orange wood?  

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 months ago
1,890 posts

If the instrument seems very muted to you, you could -- with some careful and judicious work with a fine toothed jewelers saw -- open up those holes.

Now that you've really got DAd -- Dulcimer Acquisition disease -- when you're ready, we can talk you through making your own dulcimer similar to that teardrop -- from less than $100 worth of materials and simple hand tools.  I've attached a picture of a simple conversion one of my students made using the fretboard from the cardboard dulcimer he started with...


updated by @ken-hulme: 12/09/21 07:16:05AM
StudentofRhythm
StudentofRhythm
@studentofrhythm
2 months ago
18 posts

Good to know, thanks.  I won an auction for this on ebay so when it gets here I'll be able to inspect and photograph it up close. Not surprised about the hole size: they did look quite small to me.

I recognize the risks in buying this, but at least at last I'll have an actual wooden dulcimer at a fraction of what I expected to have to spend.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 months ago
1,890 posts

Nope.  Never heard of him.  Looks like a simple kit build.  Needs more sound hole area to get the best sound from it -- there are complex formulas to calculate the optimum area, but it's roughly 4-5 square inches for most dulcimers... 

Close up photos of construction details and scroll head would be nice.  

StudentofRhythm
StudentofRhythm
@studentofrhythm
2 months ago
18 posts

Anybody heard of him?  Located in Robbins, NC, built this instrument:

sl1600.jpg

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s-l1600 (1).jpg  •  269KB


updated by @studentofrhythm: 12/09/21 09:12:58PM