As I've said before on one or more thread, sometimes there's a certain amount of unpacking-and-finding to be done before I can really tell what I know, or once knew and have forgotten, but haven't yet thrown away.
Anyhow, besides Donna's paper mentioned in my last post, I also have some black and white photos taken the previous year. I had forgotten the fact that in 1972 I took my double dulcimer along, to see how they were similar and how they differed. So, I'll start with another of Donna's 1973 shots:
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... loseup.jpg
As you can see, the finish is so dark, the designs on the top are all but invisible. That was also true in black and white, the year before:
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... sIda72.jpg
But in 1972 I took a bunch of shots, with the sun reflecting at different angles. I managed to get one in which the words were at least partially legible, because the different (dark) paint colors weren't all equally reflective. Here's the best I got:
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... erful1.jpg
And here's a digital enhancement from that same image:
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... erful2.jpg
That's not great, but it's the best I can do. At least you can probably tell that the letters are stenciled, there's a bracket-and-floral-spray motif on each side, and the capital N is backward (twice).
The next shot compares The Wonderful Harmonica with the double TMB we have had since the summer of 1964:
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... derful.jpg
Since that one is right here at hand, and they obviously are very similar in construction, most any little details one might want for purposes of reproducing it are still available. I'll drop in a couple of overall shots taken today, digital photography and personal computers having in the meanwhile been invented...
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... leTMB1.jpg
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... leTMB2.jpg
One major distinction between her instrument and ours is that hers had a hollowed out fingerboard, with a soundhole; our fingerboards are solid, but each has cutout arches:
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa14 ... detail.jpg
Sorry that's slightly out of focus; I got too close, and forgot to set the Macro gizmo... I do know how, but you can get the idea from this. The arches, like everything else on these boxes, have been measured very approximately, by eyeball. Starting with 1 1/2" squared stock, the depth of each cutout averages 5/8 inch, with at least 7/8" of wood left above each arch. I imagine the maker just sawed each fingerboard 5/8" deep, used a drawknife and probably a very large-radius rasp to get the basic shape, then perhaps finished with wide strips of sandpaper or emery cloth, used a bit like a shoeshine cloth. Anyway, they are a little imprecise, but very smooth and similar, with no obvious tool marks left.
Okay, you have your stick the length of the box, and it has five arches cut out underneath. Lay that on the top and mark where each arch ends, or if it makes more sense, where each solid foot (1 1/2" wide) begins. The soundholes line up with the arches. One comes up to the right end of each arch, as you face it -- from either side. Since the arches aren't exactly spaced, neither are the soundholes. They are more or less 4 7/8" apart (on centers), give or take an eighth or so. [So I guess, in theory, if you like to measure things -- start in the middle of your fingerboard stock when you make the saw cut for the first arch, and measure out 4 7/8" to each side, twice, for the other four cuts.] And that's if you like the arches. Miss Ida's Wonderful Harmonica didn't have any, and the soundholes are spaced even more randomly.
I'll describe the basic box. The double one is 27 1/4" long, 13" wide, with mitered corners. The top and bottom are a little bigger, the idea having been that they would overhang the sides by about 3/16" (but again, only approximately -- and only here and there, now that they have been worn down somewhat). If you just have to have measurements, call it 27 5/8" by 13 1/4" (at most). The top has been hand planed to about 3/8" thick, and the bottom is similar, but a bit thicker in places. Construction is nailed, throughout. There are about eight (small, cut) nails down each long side, top and bottom; and about ten across each end, top and bottom. Give or take about three. Very irregular. Two nails in each mitered joint, top and bottom (total of four per corner). I assume the feet of the fingerboard are nailed, from the bottom, but can't see that. Y'all might want to use, like, Titebond (but not Titebond II, you may need to unglue it someday). Ol' man Goodman didn't have any.
The square stock for the fingerboard is beveled slightly at each end. One of mine is 27 1/2" long at the bottom, 26 7/8" long on top. The sheet metal that covers each end (use a longer piece at the picking end) is bent over a small nail and crimped to make the nut and bridge; it is also tacked to the fingerboard stock. So after you install it, you get a VSL of 26 3/4" (which determines where the frets ought to be). The frets are big flat staples, driven in, and are only meant to be under one string. Each string is doubled around a nail at the nut end (since you tighten it with two big eye screws at the bridge end). I recommend tuning each pair of strings to the same note, whether you double the pair over the frets (not the folk way) or not. Two Ds and two (lower) Gs, or whatever. They also can be tuned all four to the same note. If you want drones to make a constant fifth chord, you have to leave one of the "melody" strings off the frets. You can see in the photos that Miss Ida did so (only noted a single string, not a pair).
If I were "restoring" our instrument again, I'd try to get eye screws that weren't galvanized. I put these on 44 years ago, and they look like I just got home from the hardware store. If you are making a new one, the sheet metal also should be plain steel -- not galvanized. Rust just looks more authentic than zinc.
Well that's all for now -- but I'm still going to tell you about Henry Steele, so y'all come back, y'hear?