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Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer

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GUEST,Matthew C 18 Jun 01 - 05:28 PM
Hollowfox 18 Jun 01 - 05:30 PM
GUEST,Banjo-Flower 18 Jun 01 - 05:36 PM
catspaw49 18 Jun 01 - 06:56 PM
wysiwyg 18 Jun 01 - 07:30 PM
Sorcha 18 Jun 01 - 07:36 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Jun 01 - 08:39 PM
Murray MacLeod 19 Jun 01 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Don Meixner 19 Jun 01 - 08:14 AM
John P 19 Jun 01 - 08:20 AM
catspaw49 19 Jun 01 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Don Meixner 19 Jun 01 - 08:43 AM
Sorcha 19 Jun 01 - 10:02 AM
KingBrilliant 19 Jun 01 - 10:29 AM
GUEST,davejones 19 Jun 01 - 12:12 PM
wysiwyg 19 Jun 01 - 03:18 PM
Chicken Charlie 19 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,The Internet 12 May 11 - 06:24 PM
Joe Offer 12 May 11 - 11:02 PM
JohnInKansas 13 May 11 - 12:41 AM
GUEST,an enthusiastic kid 15 Jun 11 - 01:09 AM
Jeri 15 Jun 11 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Walden 02 Oct 12 - 03:26 AM
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Subject: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,Matthew C
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 05:28 PM

I need to find free plans for a hammered dulcimer.


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Hollowfox
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 05:30 PM

Check your local library.


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,Banjo-Flower
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 05:36 PM

try google search "hammer dulcimer"

Banjo-Flower


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: catspaw49
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:56 PM

For free, there are several books available in most larger libraries as Hollowfox suggested. The easiest one I am aware of is by PHIL MASON......How to Build a Hammered Dulcimer

You don't say what your level of skill is of if you have access to all the parts and pieces incidental to the making of one. Mason's plans build a rectangular (but trapezoidally strung) instrument using simpler techniques and you wind up with a very playable instrument. If your skills are more advanced and you want to use top tonewoods, I'd advise you cough up the dough for a set of plans from either Rick Fogel or Luthier's Mercantile in California. I have seen dulcimers built from these plans and they are very nice instruments.

If your skills and tools are a bit less, I would try a kit. My last thought is that with a nice 12/11 able to be found for $350.00 or less...........Why?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: wysiwyg
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 07:30 PM

Hardi, Hardi's brother, and I were at Hogeye Music in Evanston (Chicago area) recently on vacation, and a young man came in.

"I'm building a banjo!" he announced. "I need parts!"

"OK," said the young shopkeeper. Nearby, the store owner sat at his repair bench, where he works with some of performing pros' finest instruments.

"What do you need?" inquired the shop fellow.

"I dunno!" said the young creator. "The metal parts!"

"OK," said the perky, helpful shop tender, as the shop owner continued to monitor events at a remove. "Let's see.... you'll need this... and this... and this.... but do you want this finish, or that one?"

"I dunno!" said the young enthusiast. "What's best?!? I'm using the instructions from my Foxire book and...."

The shop helper picked out a matched set of all sorts of arcane things, and carried them over to the store owner at his bench. He explained the situation... the owner looked up slowly over the rims of his glasses and said with a straight face and flat tone, "Either will be adequate. The less expensive set will work just as well. It's a matter of personal choice." He returned to the guitar whose setup he was correcting. His body language suggested that perhaps he had not enjoyed being disturbed with such elementary matters.

The shop assistant left him to his work and conferred with the young pup, fella to fella. A decision as to style was eventually made. The shopman began to ring up the purchase. We all thought it was going to end there, and that the tension in the air would be released soon when the youngster left.

"What kind of wood should I use?" blurted the kid.

"Uhhhh.... I dunno for sure..." said the helpful attendant.... "Uh, Jim....? he said as he turned to the owner.

The owner looked up again from his delicate task and said, quietly and in a firm and neutral, not quite unfriendly tone, "I'm not the one building it." To all present, it seemed this reply did not invite additional discussion.

The young feller (he was SO young) quailed now, realizing for the first time that... the entire world... might not... quite... share... his enthusiasm for himself as a banjo builder.

He and the assistant now conferred again for a time, looking over a number of fine, beautifully-made instruments of all price ranges and tones, hanging on the wall. Various woods used in them were noted.

The young man now returned to the repair bench and asked, on his own, of the rather reserved shop owner, "Well.... will it work to use xxxxx and xxxx, for the xxxx and the xxxx?"

The owner looked up, thought a moment, then paused, looking the boy dead in the soul, and said, "... Yes." And looked back down at his work on the old Gibson.

The boy stood there... gulped... paused... took a breath.... and asked in a small voice, "Do you know where I could get some that would be good enough to use?"

"Evanston Lumber." (No glance up.)

Well that was about all she wrote. There was a brief discussion with the assistant about making a wooden-headed banjo, while he finished ringing things up, and what that funny fifth peg was for.... and the boy went on his way. We let out our breath, and exchanged a look with the assistant, a look made all of eyebrows.

He seemed somehow as excited as when he had burst in, but in a more manly, thoughtful way.

When he left no one said a word about what had happened... until we got in the car.

"Man!!!" said Hardi. "That was ROUGH!"

He and his brother sort of giggled.

I guess, though, that's how men are made, and banjo's.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Sorcha
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 07:36 PM

(Sooze, next thing ya know, he'll show up here wanting lyrics and chords to Rocky Top, lol)


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 08:39 PM

A salutary story, Susan, and well told.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 06:47 AM

Maybe I am missing something here, but I see nothing salutary about the enthusisasm of the young being crushed by the cynicism of the old. I have encountered old farts like that in my time (worked beside them as an apprentice) and I swore I would never become like them. So far, I think, I have succeeded.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:14 AM

When I wanted to build my first Hammered Dulcimer I sent to The Smithsonian and asked for free plans. Which they had and sent to me. I heard some place that they would and , as it happened, they did.

Spaw, I built one from Phil Mason's design and while the theory is correct and the measurements where ok it sounded like an exterior door with strings.

Type hammered dulcimer plans into Google and you will find about 30 hits.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: John P
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:20 AM

Guest Matthew C,
Why do expect to find plans for free? Yes, you can take a book out of the library, but you have to take it back in a while. Why not buy the plans and support the people who went to all the trouble to produce them? If you can't afford the plans, you certainly can't afford the hardware you will need to build an instrument.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:40 AM

(Thank you John)

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:43 AM

Good point John, costs. even at the least expensive. Plywood and pallet lumber. This instrument will probably cost at least $50.00, for tuners and string. Although I have a machine shop near me that sells me music wire by pound.

Expect good first rate materials to go about $150.00. Thats a guess. Spaw would have the best thoughts on this as I haven't built one in about 15 years.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Sorcha
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 10:02 AM

Murray, I believe Susans point is that while enthusiasm is admireable, one should at least do a little research into a project and get a grounding knowledge about what one is doing and not expect the Prime Paid Experts to hold your hand.


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 10:29 AM

Maybe he saw going and asking at the shop as being research. Sounds like a sensible source to me.
Poor sod, I expect he wanted the ground to open up... I wonder whether he ever made his banjo.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,davejones
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 12:12 PM

You might try Jim Couza,last known by me in Bristol,U.K.Tel.44 01272 554173.Bit of a long shot but he's about the best player in the worldand he builds 'em too.


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 03:18 PM

No, the point was that everyone present learned something, at precisely the point they were at in their lives when the event occurred (not all of it about banjo's), and that we are all viewing such things from a different viewpoint.

And that making a man out of a boy takes more than one person with more than one way of relating.... including the persistence of the boy as well as whatever response he receives. And I am sure he did build that banjo, or is still working on it.

I suppose if I had told it better that would be clear.

But I sure didn't say anyone was crushed by what occurred. See it again, minus your own perception of what occurred, from the view of each person there. It is a story with more than one dimension, as all stories are when we see them from others' views.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM

What's wrong with free plans? Didn't Marx say hammered dulcimers belong to the people? How's the dude sposed to save for wood 'n' stuff when he's spending all his money on plans. Plans? I ain't got to sell you no steenking plans. Where there's a xerox machine, there's a way.

While you're at it Matthew, are you a keyboarder? If so, consider building your h.d. backwards. If scandalized at this suggestion, see previous h.d. thread. :)

There are kits, as someone mentioned. Larkinam.com, for example.

CC


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,The Internet
Date: 12 May 11 - 06:24 PM

Google linked here when searching for Hammer Dulcimer plans.

More helpfully, Google suggests the following link:

"Making a Hammer Dulcimer"
http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_Si/nmah/hdmake.htm


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 May 11 - 11:02 PM

Somebody donated a hammer dulcimer to the rummage sale for our Catholic parish last fall, and the chairlady had me research a price for it. She heard that used hammer dulcimers sold for thousands of dollars, but I had my doubts about this one. I took it to the only hammer dulcimer instructor in town, and she told me right off that it came from a kit. She tuned it, but said that it would have trouble holding a tune. She said she hoped we wouldn't sell it to any of her students, because she didn't want to have to deal with it.
After she was done tuning, she played a tune on the kit dulcimer, and it was nice. Then she played something on her own instrument, and it was like a trip to heaven. A hammer dulcimer should sound like a trip to heaven. Be careful with kits and home-made hammer dulcimers - it's hard for a home-made instrument to achieve that heavenly sound.

-Joe-

P.S. Nobody bought the dulcimer for the $75 price we were asking, so we gave it to our choir pianist, a perfectionist who's likely to change it into something wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 May 11 - 12:41 AM

Is it worth noting that only the last two posts are less than 10 years old?

Having some experience with kits and scratch DIY instrument fun-n-games, I think my approach would be to study up on how people play the instrument of interest, and then see what I could invent that sounds purty when I do that to it.

But I've been the subject of (flattering??) observations that I "don't always think quite like reg'lar people," so that might not be the best approach for others.

I'm pretty sure I've got all the essential hardware for a small h-dulcimer, but I've been savin' up for about 15 years since I picked up the pins to be able to buy enough decent wood to get started on it.

A free plan doesn't come close to meaning a free (or even cheap) instrument. And without all the right "headbone" work, all you're likely to get is something that sounds like a cheap kit (if that good) - - and lots of glue under yer fingernails.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,an enthusiastic kid
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 01:09 AM

Woah now, let's look a the other side of this thing a minute!
i don't play banjo and I've never been to Chicago, but I was that kid! a couple years ago, I took the notion into my head that I wanted to learn to play a mountain dulcimer and i wanted to build it myself; no kit, no plans, no experience, (None,) just from scratch.
money was a very tight commodity and tools pretty scarce too, but time was free and off I went. i got the book from the library and renewed it about five times (you can renew books from the library, you know,) The librarians thought i was crazy.
i went to the lumberyard and asked for the wood. they asked what i was doing and what my budget was, then told me i was crazy.
i went home and did some research. i happened to have a fine piece of topwood laying forgotten as scrap under my porch, and enough walnut tonewood in a corner of my basement to do the trick. the people i asked about it told me i was crazy.
i went to the music store and asked for "the metal parts" just like the kid. the builders thought i was crazy, but they sold me the parts and sent me on my way.
i spent every spare second of my summer in the basement, with my tools and my little book, making noise and dust, but no music. my FAMILY thought i was crazy. (that one actually hurt!)
i have been playing a beautiful little walnut, redwood, mahogany, and ebony, three octave Appalachian dulcimer, with a sweet, deep, bell like tone and astonishing sustain, for the better part of two years now and twenty bucks. but the best part is, when i show people the product and tell them the story of its birth, they still think i'm crazy.

I don't mean to brag on myself like this. all i hope to do is serve as living proof of some advice:

Don't listen to people who think you're crazy.

Don't be to proud to dig up free plans or reverse engineer your own.

Use the best material you can get your hands on/afford, but don't think eleite's the only way to go; a world famous violin was made by a little impoverished chinese dude with stolen junkyard palettes and a lot of love. it's no excuse.

Don't listen to people who think you're crazy.

Don't bother with kits. you are capable of doing better, cheaper, yourself.

Respect the "Old Farts". they've forgotten more than you will ever know, and if you don't swallow your pride and ask, it will stay that way. i hope to become one myself someday.

Ask dumb questions and smile. they'll laugh, but they'll tell you in the end.

Don't fall for "I'm not an expert" syndrome. the pro's weren't either when they were you.

For heavens sakes, if you're scared of "glue under your fingernails", forget it and go home.

Don't listen to people who think you're crazy.

Hope this helps set anyone curious about an attempt straight. now get out there and build that thing!


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 10:09 AM

John in Kansas, I think you're right. By the time you get done buying quality wood, glue, 100+ strings, hardware, and the tools you need but don't have to get the job done, you might likely find it would have been cheaper to buy one. It might only come down to how much gas you had to buy to go back and forth to the hardware store, the wood store, and possibly, the emergency room.

There certainly is less chance that you'll mess something up badly.

The kits take some of the figuring-out out of the mix, and some decent hammered dulcimers have come out of kits.

This thread is 10 years old, but while people replied, no one actually answered the question. "The Internet" refreshed the thread and answered the request.


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Subject: RE: Help: I need free plan for hammered dulcimer
From: GUEST,Walden
Date: 02 Oct 12 - 03:26 AM

Okay, yes, eleven years later, here is the answer to where online are free plans for hammered dulcimer: http://www.brianthefolksinger.com/A-dulci-plans.html

Walden


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