Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
2 months ago
1,974 posts

What Dan said!   And yes, you do get more volume using a possum board.  Put your dulcimer on a wooden table and strum it.  Do it again, but first set the dulcimer on two pencils sitting on the table (one near each end of the instrument).  You will notice significantly more volume, depending on how hard you strum...

Dan
Dan
@dan
2 months ago
164 posts

 "possum board" is a regional term for a tapered board used to stretch animal hides while they dry. I don't know if anyone knows who, when, where or why it is called what it is. I was raised in what is now Louisville Metro, Kentucky and the coon hunters there called them possum board as do the folks in Anderson County Tennessee and the surrounding areas. 

Yes you will get a little more volume from an instrument if it is allowed to vibrate freely. (give your instrument a good strum and lift it off your lap) 

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 months ago
2,073 posts

By the way, I read something interesting a couple weeks ago. The word possum can refer to one of various possum species in parts of the world. But the precise name "opossum" refers specifically to the U.S.'s only native species of marsupial.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
2 months ago
2,073 posts

I'm sure you'll get many good responses here Homer!

But I'd also like to point out that a site search for the words "possum board" turns up some other cool results as well:
https://fotmd.com/search/results/all/1/25?jr_html_form_token=227cb384a33983011316aec8511948a1&search_string=possum+board




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Homer Ross
Homer Ross
@homer-ross
2 months ago
2 posts

What is the history concerning the term possum board? Where did it come from? Why is it called a possum board? Does it increase the volume and/or tone of the instrument?