Bridge location question new member

dad roadie
07/16/21 04:07:05PM

Hi to all,

I’m new to the forum and was hoping someone may be able to assist me in restoring a very old “courting dulcimer” for a friend.

I have been doing repairs on string instruments for a while and I’m also beginning to learn the dulcimer with an old Berg model I picked up a while ago.

The instrument is in really bad shape with a lot of the seams coming loose. It also needs the tuners repaired and the nuts replaced. The bridges disappeared a long time ago.

My question is in the placement of the bridge and saddle assembly. I know on most instruments you would measure the distance from the front of the nut where it meets the fretboard to the 12th fret. Then I would measure from the 12th fret going towards the back and make a mark using the same distance. This would be the starting point for the location of the bridge.

This instrument is rather unusual in that it only has 14 frets. I did take some measurements of the fret location and got (ballpark)   1st fret 3.10”      7th fret 14.75”   14th fret 21.60” . In all of the charts I looked at for scale lengh none of them showed 14 frets as an option.

Since I’m going to need to make new bridges with saddles and install them can anyone give me a reference point to measure from to give me a ballpark to place it?

I was ask to set both sides up to use a DDAD tuning. Any help would really be appreciated. Also does anyone know a source to get bridge and saddle blanks that accepts orders by phone?. I tried to contact Folk Craft  but have not received any reply as yet.

Best Regards

Dad roadiecourting dulcimer.jpg