Search found 66 matches

by Nicholas Blanton
Wed May 20, 2015 8:59 am
Forum: Wind, Percussion, and Miscellaneous and Experimental Instruments
Topic: Kalimbas, dimensions and sound.
Replies: 2
Views: 5124

Re: Kalimbas, dimensions and sound.

A tricky thing about kalimbas is the overtone series is significantly out of tune with the fundamental pitch ( metal stringed instruments, too, but higher overtones and quieter ones and so not as much of a problem-) the third mode of vibration is two octaves and a somewhat flat major second from the...
by Nicholas Blanton
Tue May 19, 2015 6:57 pm
Forum: Wind, Percussion, and Miscellaneous and Experimental Instruments
Topic: Are there any recorder makers here?
Replies: 6
Views: 9250

Re: Are there any recorder makers here?

Ebonite or hard rubber is not that stable; after a couple of decades it can start to turn to goo, or crack up, or both. Impregnated wood, like Pakawood, also tend to have stresses, and since they are full of gluejoints, they've been also known to crack up.
by Nicholas Blanton
Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:04 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Zithers?
Replies: 5
Views: 4795

Re: Zithers?

I have an old 19th century Bavarian one. The top and soundboard seem to be relatively thin spruce ( guitar thickness) veneered with rosewood, but it seems quite heavily braced.
by Nicholas Blanton
Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:32 am
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: bouzouki pickup
Replies: 7
Views: 6410

Re: bouzouki pickup

Once you could pretty easily get either piezo film strips or piezo cable from Measurement Specialists http://www.meas-spec.com/ and you could make your own pickups, but they point you to distributors now, and none of the distributors in the US seems to carry anything other than the very small , alre...
by Nicholas Blanton
Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:51 pm
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Cupressus Nootkatensis classical guitar?
Replies: 5
Views: 3522

Re: Cupressus Nootkatensis classical guitar?

For something called cedar it's surprisingly heavy wood, the pieces I have handled were about as heavy as red maple, acer rubrum. My wood dealer says the Japanese love it for building things like tea houses. I can imagine it would work for back and sides, but for the top of a classical guitar I woul...
by Nicholas Blanton
Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:28 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: tuning keys
Replies: 7
Views: 6094

Re: tuning keys

Simon, Why, yes, Dan's a good friend. There are a few of us who meet once a week at a local restaurant to eat lunch and solve all the world's problems. No one has yet offered us any position of authority, however. Or even paid for lunch, for our being so wise. In the harp he did, for pins Dan used e...
by Nicholas Blanton
Sun May 18, 2014 7:50 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: tuning keys
Replies: 7
Views: 6094

Re: tuning keys

Very nice. Some years back I got interested in making small tuning hammers . For patterns to copy I used a reprint of the old Richard Timmins & Sons catalogue , a maker of what were once called "toys" ( small tools and metal objects), in Birmingham, published by Studio Editions in 1994 as The Victor...
by Nicholas Blanton
Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:32 pm
Forum: Tools and Jigs
Topic: from Back When, when building instruments was part of instrument building
Replies: 7
Views: 4453

Re: from Back When, when building instruments was part of instrument building

Nice. I think the Swiss make ( or made) an aluminum version of this for violin makers, that's quite pricey
by Nicholas Blanton
Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:59 am
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: Flat sawn American sycamore and sassafras
Replies: 9
Views: 6022

Re: Flat sawn American sycamore and sassafras

Sycamore used to be used for drawer carcasses and other furniture parts, because it's reasonably hard, not too heavy, easy to find, in big trees, and it glues really well. Like the USDA Wood Handbook says, though, flatsawn it moves a lot with changes in humidity, much more than quartersawn, which me...
by Nicholas Blanton
Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:48 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Carbon Fibre banjo
Replies: 11
Views: 8024

Re: Carbon Fibre banjo

I've worked a bit with CF, both simple layups and with a vacuum bag. Michael describes pretty well the process of making a mold for something like a kayak or guitar, and if you decide to make a few of them, it's the way to go. I would suggest you might make a positive mold for just the first one, la...
by Nicholas Blanton
Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:35 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Building yet another hurdy-gurdy
Replies: 36
Views: 21955

Re: Building yet another hurdy-gurdy

I like the idea of using lignum vitae for a very, very small propeller bearing in a hurdy gurdy. I have seen the very,very big ones- or, a few salvaged pieces of one- and it always seemed like a great idea. How will you put on the pear? Will it be a veneer wrapped around the plywood, with a long-tap...
by Nicholas Blanton
Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:01 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans
Replies: 13
Views: 9114

Re: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans

Sorry to have not come back to this sooner. Yes, the total length of the B3/E3 course is about 44", but the A2 is shortened a bit from the Rizzetta scaling, to 30", using a .042" wound string with a .018" core. As you may have noticed, you have quite a lot of flexibility with wound strings, since yo...
by Nicholas Blanton
Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:15 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Mbira dulcimer!
Replies: 8
Views: 5874

Re: Mbira dulcimer!

Very cool instrument, very pretty. It's nice to see something other than the Mbira and the English concertina and bandoneon use a non-linear tuning, you do have to think differently in playing, and that's a good thing.. Most HD builders have found it is hard to get a bridge with wide-interval pitche...
by Nicholas Blanton
Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:22 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans
Replies: 13
Views: 9114

Re: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans

The plans - and books- that I have seen so far have been for instruments of 15 courses or less. I think this is in part because the older instruments were small- when Deb and I started building people played 12/11"s, and Chet Parker, one of the old guys, had a one-bridge instrument of I think 10 cou...
by Nicholas Blanton
Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:04 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans
Replies: 13
Views: 9114

Re: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans

It likely won't work very well to simply extend the instrument, keeping the same angles, etc. because those treble strings will be too short. And you can't use wound strings on a treble bridge- they will sound funny, and the friction over the top of the bridge will make it very hard, even impossible...
by Nicholas Blanton
Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:46 pm
Forum: Other Stringed Instruments
Topic: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans
Replies: 13
Views: 9114

Re: Seeking some advise on Deb Suran's HD plans

You are wise, to ponder the possibility of, not so much a folding HD, but a non-functioning HD. Deb's plan had kind of short string lengths OK for a small instrument, but if you simply added courses to make it bigger, with more bass, keeping the angles of the box the same, you would have the lowest ...
by Nicholas Blanton
Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:25 pm
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: "Music Wire" for truss rod - Not for me!
Replies: 21
Views: 9607

Re: "Music Wire" for truss rod - Not for me!

Just came back to this- yes, major typo on my part, used to writing KSI, or in thousands of lbs per inch. Should be 300,000-350,000 psi, likely closer to 300,000psi for something that thick.

Good thing I don't do interplanetary navigation.
by Nicholas Blanton
Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:35 pm
Forum: Wood and Materials Q&A
Topic: "Music Wire" for truss rod - Not for me!
Replies: 21
Views: 9607

Re: "Music Wire" for truss rod - Not for me!

Don't confuse tempered spring steel wire with music wire. The cold forming process for music wire results in wire that has a limited stretch- it will stretch and stay there, under tension. If you anneal it anywhere, that annealed spot can continue to stretch- until it fails. Now, the failure could b...
by Nicholas Blanton
Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:38 pm
Forum: Glues and Finishes
Topic: Glues Without Animal Products Or Animal Testing.
Replies: 11
Views: 5891

Re: Glues Without Animal Products Or Animal Testing.

Casein glue is made from milk. Not vegan, perhaps, but vegetarian. And cows, unlike petroleum, are a renewable resource. Be careful. I remember a time when some craftspeople adopted the wooly, reclusive, live-in-a-yurt-and-eat-only-mung-beans sort of lifestyle. They found the customers then assumed ...
by Nicholas Blanton
Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:49 pm
Forum: Electronics
Topic: Cheap Piezo Disc PUs
Replies: 7
Views: 4360

Re: Cheap Piezo Disc PUs

My limited experience with the cheap piezo disks a dozen years ago; they sound surprisingly good, they last
for maybe a year or two, before the piezo layer starts to separate from the substrate and they go dead. If anyone finds otherwise- or finds a way to make them last longer- I would love to hear.