Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: A Question to the community

  1. #1
    Martin
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    20

    Default A Question to the community

    Hello folks,
    I usually make mandolins but , the “Minister for the interior” has made a request for a birthday present so ........ not really a mandolin question.... but any one know where I
    can find a good Dulcimer blue print / plan ? ( hour glass shape )
    I’ve had a look at the web here in the UK can’t find much .
    Last edited by MartinMandolin; Oct-27-2019 at 12:36pm. Reason: Forgot to say

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,650

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    I’ve always thought that the dulcimer resembles something designed buy a committee; with a plank of wood supporting the strings and preventing the soundboard from, well, being a soundboard.

    How about designing one which actually works as a musical instrument?

  3. #3
    Registered User tonydxn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Mansfield UK
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Here's one Martin. I don't know if it's any good. https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/B...ftag=pd_hw_o_1
    Mandolins: Bandolim by Antonio Pereira Cabral
    German flatback by unknown maker converted from a descant Waldzither

  4. #4
    Registered User crooksj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Harpkit.com

  5. #5
    Martin
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Iíve always thought that the dulcimer resembles something designed buy a committee; with a plank of wood supporting the strings and preventing the soundboard from, well, being a soundboard.

    How about designing one which actually works as a musical instrument?
    You have a point there Ray , Iíll give that some thought

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks everyone!

  6. #6
    Martin
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Thanks everyone!

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    There is a site somewhere on the internet where there are thousands of plans that kind people have shared for many different things, yachts even (mainly built with wood). Cant remember the name.

    Pretty sure that Archive.org have some -though be warned, it is REAL slow.
    Try:
    https://fotmd.com/forums/forum
    http://eurodulcimers.proboards.com/

  8. #8
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Musical Instrument Makers Forum might have some info. I also looked for plans at the Guild of American Luthiers but didn't see any there.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  9. #9

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    I just finished my first dulcimer about two months ago. I built it from scratch with no plans and I believe that I was successful with a very decent instrument. I spent about three weeks researching and discovered many things that I had no idea about dulcimer design. What I have now is a 4 string mountain dulcimer. One course of paired strings tuned to D/D, the A right below, and then the D an octave down from the pair. This is traditional for what I was looking to construct. Mine is a teardrop shape. The soundboard is mahogany, and the rest is figured maple. What I did not know is that the neck/fretboard is hollow/thin/lightweight and many of the intuitive design features of stringed instruments like guitars and mandolins do not apply. I asked a lot of questions at the musical instrument makers forum and got great answers -- I use my full name there, Mark Wybierala. For dulcimers, nothing is set in stone for construction or design. You can email me if you want.

  10. #10

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Now that I think about, Iím wondering if it would be possible to make a dulcimer out of the top drawer (made in old mahogany?) of a chest of drawers, also using a nice old guitar neck.
    -that way youíd have a ready made case to keep it in.

  11. #11
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I’ve always thought that the dulcimer resembles something designed buy a committee; with a plank of wood supporting the strings and preventing the soundboard from, well, being a soundboard.

    How about designing one which actually works as a musical instrument?
    Have you actually played a decently made, high quality mountain dulcimer? I believe some makers will hollow out the fretboard so it minimizes the deadening quality of a solid wood fretboard. Also, though relatively simple instrument (often fretted diatonically) it can produce some rather complex music in the right person's hands.

    My friend and bandmate, Doug Berch from years ago builds and plays high end dulcimers. He has an CD here of his music on mountain dulcimer though he also played the hammered variety.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  13. #12

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Have you actually played a decently made, high quality mountain dulcimer? I believe some makers will hollow out the fretboard so it minimizes the deadening quality of a solid wood fretboard. Also, though relatively simple instrument (often fretted diatonically) it can produce some rather complex music in the right person's hands.

    My friend and bandmate, Doug Berch from years ago builds and plays high end dulcimers. He has an CD here of his music on mountain dulcimer though he also played the hammered variety.
    Agreed.
    I did see, maybe twenty years ago a friend who wanted to show how the two sound chambers interact. We were hammered, so he spread grains of rice all over the top of his wife’s dulcimer. (it was dry rice). Then he squeezed the grains together so the top looked just white with rice and he started to play it, gently at first.

    It was pretty cool to watch all those little grains of rice dancing on top of the dulcimer and then jumping off everywhere, all over.
    I wish I could remember the shapes of the standing waves, but I can’t.
    Though I do remember his wife walking into the room, staring at the beer bottles on the kitchen table, then at the floor, and asking difficult questions.

  14. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    2,650

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Have you actually played a decently made, high quality mountain dulcimer? I believe some makers will hollow out the fretboard so it minimizes the deadening quality of a solid wood fretboard. Also, though relatively simple instrument (often fretted diatonically) it can produce some rather complex music in the right person's hands.

    My friend and bandmate, Doug Berch from years ago builds and plays high end dulcimers. He has an CD here of his music on mountain dulcimer though he also played the hammered variety.
    The simple answer is no. The only ones I’ve ever seen in the UK - and I’ve been around the block several times - have had a solid fretboard along the top of a shaped, hollow, “sound chamber” with both the nut and the saddle fixed to fretboard rather than the chamber. Consequently, whilst I’ve had no urge to actually learn to play one, I’ve always thought that the design could be improved significantly which I now know someone has chosen to do.

    In reality, I can’t actualy remember anyone playing one in anger in the UK.

  15. #14
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    26,756

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    In reality, I can’t actualy remember anyone playing one in anger in the UK.
    I suppose that there are some very angry people playing them but in general it can be a simple and charming instrument.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  16. #15

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    There is a lot more going on with a dulcimer than meets the eye. And yup, lots of ideas to get more sonic response even when you look at someone else's design. YOu can make them into anything from a strum stick to an exceptionally beautiful sounding instrument. This is my recent build. I really did a lot of reading and research and am very pleased with the result. Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RJVE3807.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	813.9 KB 
ID:	180856

  17. The following members say thank you to Wrnchbndr for this post:


  18. #16
    Martin
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Isle of Wight
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: A Question to the community

    That’s a cool looking instrument!
    Thanks for sharing

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •