Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
3 months ago
620 posts

I'm coming late to the party. I can't tell from the photos, but it looks like your fret board is unfitted. This gives you some latitude in VSL. Like KenH, I would add an end piece to the body and fret board and anchor the strings to it. I've used #2 three quarter inch (or half inch) round head wood screws as anchors for loop end strings. They work very well. Adding the end piece and strings in this way will keep the fret board from bowing up.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

cbrown
@cbrown
3 months ago
12 posts

Well, thanks everyone for the informative replies!

 

I do plan on attaching an end plate & nut and get it strung up!  Will definitely use brass pins of some kind rather than a wood dowel.

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 months ago
1,637 posts

If it were me, I'd fashion a tailblock from a 1/4" piece of complimentary wood and make the top of it the bridge, as shown in  photo of my recent build.  Instead of the single large string-pin in the tail, use three brass brads/tacks to hold the string loops.  Of course you could make the tailpiece thicker -- a little, or a lot and notch it on top to install an ordinary bridge.

Tail.JPG


updated by @ken-hulme: 08/10/19 09:22:20AM
John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
3 months ago
191 posts

Howie Mitchell's "floating bridge" design has been largely discredited.  This design tends to allow the bridge end of the fretboard to bow up.  Some folks just glue a filler piece of wood in the gap to solidify things.  The sound doesn't suffer much from the modification.

WildMeadow
WildMeadow
@wildmeadow
3 months ago
1 posts

It looks like the bottom of the fretboard is made to float. Howie Mitchell advocated this design in one of his early books. Following his plans, the hitch pins were attached to the fretboard.

A nice looking dulcimer!

cbrown
@cbrown
3 months ago
12 posts

Greetings!  Was directed here from Chiff & Fipple, and am glad I found this forum!

So, I cam across this dulcimer recently and hope that perhaps a maker or knowledgeable player can help with some questions!

First, of course, if anyone can tell by looking who made it, I'd be grateful to learn that much!

As it is, its seems mostly finished. It's a three string instrument with nicely carved scroll, handmade tuning pegs, hollow & fretless fingerboard, transverse bars on the back (one in the upper bout, one in the lower), nicely carved and indented sound holes, inlaid purfling and a very curious cut-out design at the lower end of the instrument.

Obviously, it needs a nut and either one or two end plates where the end pins will be inserted. 

The nut up at the scroll end is easy enough to sort out. But down at the lower end, the top of the instrument has been deliberately cut in such a way and has not been glued to the block in such a way that the fingerboard and instrument top can be (slightly) lifted and depressed.

My main questions are: 

What is the purpose of this design?
Where should the hitch pins be attached? On the end of the fingerboard, or on the block that the body is attached to.

I'm wondering if this is some kind of "buzzing bridge" like arrangement that one finds on hurdy-gurdies.

There are no maker's marks or labels of any kind. It appears to be extremely well crafted and fitted together. I'd really like to get this working properly, and it's obviously more of a job than just nailing a couple old fiddle strings on there!

Thanks in advance for any help!

Picture 1 shows how the cut-out part of the top of the instrument is definitely not glued to the block.
Picture 2 shows a detail of the scroll and pegs, hopefully for identification!
Picture 3 shows a broad view of the cut-out in the lower bout.

Dulcimer 1.jpg

Dulcimer 2.jpg

Dulcimer 3.jpg

Dulcimer 3.jpg
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Dulcimer 2.jpg
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Dulcimer 1.jpg
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