The dulcimer factory

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The dulcimer factory

Postby superglide57 » Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:18 pm

Does anyone know anything about John and Shirley Naylor's dulcimers. I know that they sold the Dulcimer Factory in The Texas hill country about 10 years ago.I have spoken with Shirley, and she said John is building a small shop at their home and will begin building MDs again a bit later when the shop is complete. The reason I asked is I snaged one of their earlier models from e bay last night. Any of you have any first hand knowledge of His work. Looks pretty nice, Strange string pins, just 2 wooden dowels comming out of the end with strings looped around them. Looks like it is solid wood, but I know they did make some plywood models, but shirley told me that most of the ply models were light colored wood. I got it reasonable so not a big concearn. It will give me something to experiment with. Tony :lol:
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Postby KenH » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:15 pm

The 1/4" wood dowel string pins were common back in the 60s and 70s, especially on inexpensive instruments. The large diameter makes it a litle easier to use ball-end strings in a sliding loop.

From what I've seen the Dulcimer Factory instruments were "nice but nothing special" instruments at a reasonable price.
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Postby kwl » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:48 pm

The Dulcimer Factory produced a lot of instruments. The plywood ones had a very quiet sound. I think that is because the plywood was very dense and heavy for its size. Most that I've encountered have had good fret boards and were easy to play. I'm glad to hear that John plans to get back into building again. It will be interesting to see what the instruments are like as far as shape, materials and sound.
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Postby Dulciaddict » Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:51 pm

I encountered a problem with earlier model.
braces across the sound board in the area of the 2-3rd and 10 fret, instrument appeared to have back bowed a bit so instead of the fret board sinking in a little it backed bowed across these two brace positions leaving the whole middle of the board high and both ends low.

Wendell
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I recieved my Dulcimer Factory dulcimer today.

Postby superglide57 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:26 pm

I guess I am a lucky man. I got the dulcimer I won on ebay today and called Shirley Naylor with the label info. It turns out to be a 1988 model, with sitka spruce top, walnut back, not to sure about the side wood. It is structurally great shape. It appears the nut and saddle are bone or something. It has a few minor scratches(finish only) . I think the strings might also be 1988 models :lol: The dulcimer is nasty dirty and looks like it has never seen a case or bag. It doesnt have a base string on it right now, but I tuned the 2 melody strings and the mid, and this thing has a HUGE Voice. I need to get someone to help me get a 6 1/2 fret on it and restring it and I think I will have a real keeper. I am also going to change out the tuners, these seem a bit stiff and not to snazzy. I checked the fretboard with a stright edge and its dead on. The action is very low and no buzz so far.Yepee!!! Plus I got it for 95.00 so overall I am very happy :lol: Tony
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Postby kwl » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:38 pm

Tony, congratulations on the "new to you" dulcimer. Any good luthier or guitar repair shop should be able to add the 6 1/2 fret. The tuners may just need a little lubrication if they've been sitting around for almost twenty years without being used. I think these are open geared tuners. At the price you paid for the dulcimer you can probably afford to replace them with closed geared tuners if you so desire.
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tuners

Postby superglide57 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:04 pm

Thanks for the congrats. I was thinking of replacing the tuners with Grover sta-tite open geared tuners, they are 18:1 and It will keep the vintage look. I have never used these before, but I have used other grover tuners and they have all been very good. This dulcimer stuff is soooooo addicting! :lol: Oh well I am having fun so what the heck. I will post again on this when I get it finished and singing to me. :D Tony
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Postby kwl » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:08 pm

Sounds good, Tony. Looking forward to hearing more about this project.
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factory

Postby superglide57 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:29 pm

After looking at this dulcimer and pulling my head out of you know where, I have decided that it cant be spruce, It is way to dark and The grain looks more like cedar. Shirley said that most of the dulcimers in 1988 were spruce, but I would have to talk to John to be sure. Reguardless it sounds very loud and I think it is gonna clean up nicely. One of the local luthiers near me gave me a quote of $25.00 to add the 6 1/2 & 13 1/2 frets, but he is about 2 weeks behind right now. :cry: I dont do waiting very well :lol: I think I will keep looking for someone who can get to it a bit quicker. I would attempt this myself, but I dont have a saw with a thin enough kerf or any way to set the fret without beating it in. Tony
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Postby Hyder Gal » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:45 pm

Tony,
In a pinch I have taped a piece of wire from a paperclip on the fingerboard to make a temporary 6 ½ fret.
Warmest wishes,
Caroline
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Postby KenH » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:32 pm

Tony - nearly all frets at "tapped" into place. Having a special fret saw is part of the basic toolset for builders.

Are you a diehard chord-melody player who just can't do without the 6+ and 13+ frets and just don't like to re-tune? I'd be tempted to keep an older dulcimer like that with its true diatonic fretboard, and tune the instrument in DAA. You can still play chord-melody on a DAA tuned instrument...
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thanks

Postby superglide57 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:10 pm

Thanks for the tips everybody, and Ken You might have something there. I dont know enough about playing yet to say that I "need" the extra frets. I think I will put some new strings on there and tune it to daa and see what I think. I was just concearned about learning on two different type fretboards. I will give it a shot. Tony
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