- 12/11 string Hammer Dulcimer problem

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- 12/11 string Hammer Dulcimer problem

Postby Richard Stone » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:36 pm

I bought the Alan Carruth “Plan #4 Hammer Dulcimer, 12/11, 69 sting” plan and just finished stringing with a few needed adjustments to make it work. My dilemma is that the outside bridges have moved inward with the tension of all the strings, both treble and the base outside bridges. Thinking this may be an issue early on I had taped small blocks on instrument body to hold bridges ‘til they were set with the downward pressure of the strings, but alas the string tension has slid the bridges anyway. There's a LOT of tension inward, so is there any solution to this problem??? I need help. I am a retired furniture builder so I have some understanding of the woodworks, but need help with this problem. Anything would be appreciated!!!
Richard Stone
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:07 pm

Re: - 12/11 string Hammer Dulcimer problem

Postby Dylan Ball » Wed Feb 10, 2016 3:40 pm

I'm not an expert but just suggesting. If your side bridges have a higher rise from the soundboard, glue at least 3 - 3/16" thickness hardwood blocks down in front of it after its aligned properly. blocks will definitely hold those bridges in place (if there glued). Make sure the strings do not make contact with the blocks. The only thing I would really worry about is the position of the treble and bass bridge. I still have know idea how to get those positioned correctly.
Dylan Ball
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Re: - 12/11 string Hammer Dulcimer problem

Postby Nic Hambas » Tue May 03, 2016 5:57 pm

I hope this solution doesn't come too late, but here it is, anyway: Loosen strings; remove the bridges; drill four or five small, blind holes at equal distances on the bottom of each bridge; snap the head off from small brads to leave a piece about a quarter-inch long; insert the cut end of the brads into the small holes in the bottom of the bridges. Figure the depth of the holes and the length of the brads so that when the brad is pushed to the bottom of the hole, the point sticks out by a mm or two. Position the bridges in their places and press them down so the brad points become embedded on the soundboard.
Nic Hambas
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Re: - 12/11 string Hammer Dulcimer problem

Postby Tony kehoe » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:57 am

Great tips exactly what I was looking for. Built a glued on 13/13 and hoped the hard purpleheart side bridges would stay in place just from the pressure, but I am definitely getting some creeping...I had so wanted to avoid routing the soundboard or shimming strings, and was banging my head trying to figure it out, and I love both of these solutions...however, for this build I prefer the one with the cut off brad nails since it has the lowest impact on the sound board. Very clever. However, were I to start a new dulcimer, I love the idea of gluing down perhaps a full piece of curly maple or some figured wood as a nice accent as well as to support the side bridge. The glued down idea really reminds me of a guitar bridge type of setup, and I wonder what possibilities for creative design there are around that. I wonder about inserted bridge pins instead of hitch pins....
Tony kehoe
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:18 am

Re: - 12/11 string Hammer Dulcimer problem

Postby Barry Daniels » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:36 pm

This sounds like a creeping glue issue. What kind of glue are you guys using?
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Barry Daniels
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Re: - 12/11 string Hammer Dulcimer problem

Postby Alan Carruth » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:50 am

Interesting; I never had that problem. Making those lower so that there is less of a breakover angle would help. Don't wind the strings too far down on the pins.
Alan Carruth
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