loose hitch pins on a hammerd dulcimer

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Re: loose hitch pins on a hammerd dulcimer

Postby joe sanguinette » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:35 pm

i would consider the offer from SanTar2 if i were you. this is a bargain
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Re: loose hitch pins on a hammerd dulcimer

Postby mrchips » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:42 pm

I dont recommend a hardwood dowel of any kind for the rods on top of the treb bridge. On the sides any hardwood dowel will work fine. By hardwood I mean stuff as hard as oak or rock maple. In most cases its best to use a delrin rod on the bridges. Most Hds dont use a rod on the bass but if there is one on yours go with delrin. Many people have made them using a steel rod and often thats what you find suggested on many web sites on how to make a HD. DONT do it as it will make the HD a royal pain in the rear to tune. Steel strings will act like theyre almost welded to a steel rod under tension. That makes it difficult to near impossible to get a true 5th interviel across the treb bridge- assuming the bridge is where it should be. Delrin is a hard plastic that is real slick and that prevents almost all of the sticky string problem.

If you want to experiment with metal bridge rods use a hard brass welding rod. Hard brass acts a lot like its covered in oil against steel. The result is it acts almost like delrin but everything else equal the sound will be brighter than with a delrin rod. A hardwood dowel will take out a large amount of that brightness but they dont last long. On mine I have a brass rod on the treb and oak dowels on the sides and the bass. I first uses 4 brass rods but the substain was pure insanity. Wack a string and it was still ringing 2 or 3 min later. :lol: :lol: :lol: Now it almost sounds like a Masterworks one but with far less substain than one.

Yes you can string a HD up with just one size of wire but the results will be real marginal at best. The high notes will be weak with excessively high tension. Mid range notes will be reasonable. the Bass will be sick sounding due to excessively low tension. The best way to go is multiple sizes to get the best tone/tension balance. Generally you want the same tension on all the strings. One way to do it is to look on most of the makers websites for a Hd roughly the same physical size as yours and use the string size charts there. There is a string tension/note/gauge formula available on the net if you can deal with math and know the mass per inch values for the wire sizes.
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Re: loose hitch pins on a hammerd dulcimer

Postby idahogem » Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:22 am

That you all for the kind info. I think maybe I mispoke in my newbieness and may have a few misunderstanding me. I know the bridges are supposed to float so Im not going to mess around with them. But I am going to replace the plastic derlin rod on top as they are full of grooves. I going to concentrate on the holes in the sides. What Im talking about is the forgive me is the strips that hold the brass tubes that are closest to the edges. They are bowed in at the top and neither are glued down. I moved them with my fingers a little and it definatly changes the tone. So thats what I ment how would I go about repairing these and should I glue them down and what would be the best distance. Sounded like I scared a few of you. :? Thank you for the info on the strings I have contacted a dealer and have replcements coming there are three different sizes .18 .20 and .22 does this sound about right? Thank you for the info on the sustain. I would prefer less as I think my neighbors on 20ft either side of me will prefer it also :lol: I would be interested in your dulcimer maybe what size was it I want to get at minimum a 15/14. I have been looking at a 17/16 so hopefully when/if I get good enough Ill have the instrument to match. Have a great day every1
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Re: loose hitch pins on a hammerd dulcimer

Postby harpmaker » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:22 pm

the strips that hold the brass tubes that are closest to the edges.


OK, I believe you are talking about what would commonly be called the side bridges, and yes, they can be glued down. However, they have to be straight before you glue them down or else you will have the devils own time getting it properly tuned later.

In regards to the string hitch pins, the suggestions to pull the pins and fill the holes with a tight fitting hardwood dowel are good. But instead of trying to redrill in exactly the same place, or drill new holes completely clear of the old ones, you can also do this: Move the center line of the new hole to the outer edge of the existing one. This will result in leaving a small crescent shaped piece of hard wood in place which will act to reinforce the side of the hole that gets the most pressure. This is often the method used on harps where the string is coming up through a soft wood sound board or when a string hitch pin gets damaged on the neck.
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Re: loose hitch pins on a hammerd dulcimer

Postby mrchips » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:24 pm

Harp That would defiantly be a better way to go if the dowel pin holes were drilled just a tad bigger than the original hitch pin holes. If im putting the pins back in the original spot I go with a hole as close to 1/8 inch larger as the original hole as I can get. That gives about 1/16 new wood around the pin. That assumes a light tap in clearance and baking the dowel pins so they will shrink a tad. The glue swells them back up so the dowel pin isn't going anywhere. :)
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