The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8351   Message #52709
Posted By: catspaw49
08-Jan-99 - 12:02 AM
Thread Name: Lap Dulcimer players
Subject: RE: Lap Dulcimer players
Several string makers sell Appalachian Dulcimer string sets and I've never run across one that didn't work out just fine. I know that GHS Has a real nice set for about two and a half bucks. If you're buying singles, loop end in .012,.012,.012 or .016, and .020 to .024.

Hammered...Well it gets a little more complex because of saddle angles, rail height, downbearing and blah,blah,blah. You can also get into loop end strings and all that including wound basses, etc. Cutting right to the chase as is my general anti-Zen philosophy...I string my basic 12/11 model with #5 thru #10 stainless piano wire. If you're only replacing one course, come as close as you can to what you've got. Sounds like you've got an old girl and you could help her out by doing a couple of things. Replace the rail {bridge} caps with Delrin and also the saddle rail {side bridge}. You can use #8 Stainless piano wire to string the whole thing if you want and you'll probably be real happy. If you're dulcimer is large, use 9 and if smaller than most, use 6 or 7. The Delrin caps are friction free, eliminating a lot of problems in breaking strings, tuning, and staying in tune. It's available in black and white.

People ask me a lot about difficulty in stringing. I always reply, "Not hard at all! All of my dulcimers are lovingly strung by my wonderful wife...'cause if I had to do it, I'd have built my last one many years ago." catspaw49

P.S. I don't know for which instrument the following was written regarding wood, but it is most appropriate for Hammered Dulcimer:

I was alive in the forest. I was cut by the cruel axe. In life, I was silent. In death, I sweetly sing.