marg
@marg
2 months ago
615 posts

"Greenbriar", I think was the name of the dulcimer shop.

Yes, the one you saw posted looks to be the same. This one,  was a custom one made back in '89 for someone. Bob Lazenby, joined FOTMD a few years ago but after his welcome - nothing ever was posted. With your help and everyone here (I read the post from about 8 yrs ago on adding a fret or not, to one of Bob's dulcimers), maybe all the information I will find out but its a beautiful dulcimer and plays so nicely.

It just needs a few fixes (like one of the end pins is missing - trying to decide wood filler & another pin or all new something) but soon, I hope to be strumming and let it's voice ring.

thank you all


updated by @marg: 02/27/24 09:14:00AM
Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
@ron-gibson
2 months ago
9 posts

@marg actually Birdseye is not bad for bodies. I've probably made around 30 or 40 with Birdseye. It sounds great with a cedar top. I was in the store in Pigeon Forge a couple of times when I was a teenager. But I don't know a great deal about the dulcimers. You could probably find out a lot just by searching here for the builder or Pigeon River dulcimers. The "Greenbriar" thing is a little confusing to me, so I hope I have the right dulcimer. But being in a tourist area Pigeon River sold a lot of dulcimers. There is one on Reverb that looks a lot like yours - although yours appears to be a higher end model than one posted there.
https://reverb.com/item/3678282-pigeon-river-stringed-instrument-dulcimer-1990-natural

marg
@marg
2 months ago
615 posts

Thanks Ron for you reply and the images of the 2 different woods.

  Someone I play dulcimer with thought it was Birdseye, I was just going on that. It's a Greenbrian Pigeon River dulcimer by Bob Lazenby.

  You're probably correct, you would know and  your 2 photos  - this dulcimer doesn't look like the eyes in your photo but maybe more like the Leopard Wood grain. It didn't sound like the Birdseye made a good tonewood, so good it's not that. If it's Leopard Wood, hopefully that is a better wood for dulcimers. Are you familiar with Bob's Greenbrian dulcimers? I can't find out much information on them. 

  I love listening to your dulcimer samples on your web page. I tell many of the new players to check your site out. I have one of your capos but not one of your dulcimer's, as of yet. Thank you very much for your reply & steering me away from thinking - Birdseye

Ron Gibson
Ron Gibson
@ron-gibson
2 months ago
9 posts

@marg can I ask how you determined that it was Birdseye Maple? It's always hard to tell wood species from pictures, but the back and sides look a lot like quartersawm oak. That dulcimer was made in Pigeon Forge TN and they use a lot of Chestnut Oak down there. Birdseye Maple generally has little eye shaped firgures - hence the name. Of course, there is a great deal of variation in any wood. The top appears to be either spruce or western red cedar. Here's a typical Birdseye figure:

Another wood it reminded me of is Leopard Wood. Picture attached.


Leopard Wood.jpg
Leopard Wood.jpg  •  832KB


updated by @ron-gibson: 02/26/24 10:47:11PM
marg
@marg
2 months ago
615 posts

John,

It is a lovely looking instrument with the Birdseye maple,  nicely done

Ken,

Thanks for the information. 

Ambrosia maple vs Birdseye maple - both maple but a good bit different - interesting.

( Flat sawn wood is not particularly recommended for instrument building as it makes the wood more difficult to bend without splitting. - After the finished applied, it is fairly stable.)      Hope so

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
2 months ago
388 posts

Here are 2 photos.  Not very good quality, but you can see what I mean.

birds.jpg
birds.jpg  •  75KB

birdse.jpg
birdse.jpg  •  34KB

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
2 months ago
388 posts

I once made an hourglass dulcimer completely out of birdseye maple.  It looked wonderful, was somewhat heavy, had an OK tone.  The wood behaved like plain hard maple when fashioning the dulcimer.  I sold it to my younger brother.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 months ago
1,076 posts

Well, Birdseye maple is hard maple (acer saccharum). According to the Wood Database, the Birdseye figure comes from poor growing conditions where the tree attempts to get more sunlight by creating more buds. The buds looks like eyes when the wood is cut; especially when flat sawn. Flat sawn wood is not particularly recommended for instrument building as it makes the wood more difficult to bend without splitting. My guess is that once the wood is bent and a finished applied, it is fairly stable. I've never worked with it. As a dulcimer wood I think it is of average quality being more valued for its appearance than for its tonal properties. I'm sure there are other opinions out there so don't take this a rule.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

marg
@marg
2 months ago
615 posts

 What thoughts were you looking for:

(quality of it as a wood for a dulcimer or prone to cracking problems?)

I know nothing about the wood, was looking for some information - anything someone knew about Birdseye Maple, as a dulcimer wood

Dwain Wilder
Dwain Wilder
@dwain-wilder
2 months ago
56 posts

marg:

thanks for your thoughts:

Yes, it does have a brighter sound - it has very good responsive.

Thoughts on the quality of it as a wood for a dulcimer. Maybe used more in the past for guitars but other woods maybe better now as tone woods or any problems with cracking?

Photo of an older dulcimer, that so far is in beautiful shape.

 

I'll refer back to Ken's question: What thoughts were you looking for?

You seem to be satisfied with the dulcimer. Maybe you could be more explicit with the reason for your question/speculation about the quality of its, other woods, cracking problems. I couldn't see evidence of cracks in your photos.

marg
@marg
2 months ago
615 posts

thanks for your thoughts:

Yes, it does have a brighter sound - it has very good responsive.

Thoughts on the quality of it as a wood for a dulcimer. Maybe used more in the past for guitars but other woods maybe better now as tone woods or any problems with cracking?

Photo of an older dulcimer, that so far is in beautiful shape.


updated by @marg: 02/25/24 06:23:11PM
Dwain Wilder
Dwain Wilder
@dwain-wilder
2 months ago
56 posts

In my experience, figured wood is not good tonewood. Ken is probably right about it producing a brighter tone. Whether it would be responsive and capable of good sustain is another question.

That being said, so much is determined by the maker's design and process.

Many years ago the Guild of American Luthiers held a contest for the best guitar made with unconventional wood. The winning guitar was made from a shipping pallet.

Dan
Dan
@dan
2 months ago
182 posts

What Ken said.

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
2 months ago
1,076 posts

Not sure what type of thoughts you are looking for Marg, but Birdseye maple is a pretty wood. It should produce a little brighter sound from it than from walnut or mahogany. Of course, other factors come in to play; e.g., shape, material of the top, VSL, depth of sound box, etc.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

marg
@marg
2 months ago
615 posts

Thoughts on a  Birdseye Maple dulcimer - back & sides?