Categories for How to

Hammered Dulcimer Tuning and Maintenance Tips

August 26, 2021 3 Comments

By Chris and Nicolette Foss As with anything you love, your hammered dulcimer will stand the test of time when it is well-maintained and handled with care. Knowing how to properly tune, adjust, clean, and maintain your instrument is essential to keep it sweet-sounding and by your side for years to come. In this article, we will give you some of our tried and true tips for troubleshooting issues you may have with tuning. For instance, did you know a... Read More →

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How to Tune a Hammered Dulcimer For Complete Beginners

July 27, 2021 1 Comment

By Nicolette Foss Are you a hammered dulcimer newbie? Have you noticed your dulcimer just doesn’t sound as good as it did when you first started playing? Do people grimace in pain as you play? These may be signs your hammered dulcimer may be out of tune.  Just as any stringed instrument does, when the tension on the strings changes, it changes the pitch of the notes played. This will cause your hammered dulcimer to be what is called “out... Read More →

How and Why of the New Finch Tops

January 15, 2019 3 Comments

Here is the why and how of the tongue and groove tops for the new Finch model hammered dulcimers. These are 2 photos of the tops before being glued to the frame, and you can easily see the tongue and groove joints.   Here is why we need to build them this way. I built special humidity box to test a dulcimer we had built in the fall and kept it at 70-80% humidity for a couple weeks. It did... Read More →

Excluding moisture exchange from wood

August 7, 2017 Leave your thoughts

Wood is hygroscopic meaning it wants to absorb or release moisture based on the humidity of the environment. Wood reaches an equilibrium moisture content based on whatever the conditions are. In a humid Iowa summer any wood can get close to 12% moisture content (MC) in a non air conditioned home. In winter the same wood will pretty quickly drop to close to 6% MC in a normally heated home. When wood absorbs or loses moisture it shrinks or swells... Read More →

On How to Properly Sand, and do a Hand Rubbed Finish

October 18, 2015 Leave your thoughts

I really like Minwax Wipe On Poly. I have been using it for years now as a sealer under shellac, but have recently discovered how to do a really nice hand rubbed finish with it. The secret is in the sanding. The finer the grit the surface is sanded to, the less poly it will absorb, and the quicker a gloss will develop. So I currently sand starting at 100#, then 150# over the whole dulcimer. The edges are sanded... Read More →

Amplifying Hammered Dulcimers

April 5, 2014 Leave your thoughts

There are many different performance situations where you would want to amplify your hammered dulcimer. If you are doing more than just jamming with friends, playing at home, or playing for more than a few people, then sound reinforcement is almost necessary. There are several ways to do it. Cheapest and easiest is to just point a standard dynamic mic like a Shure SM 57 or SM 58 at the dulcimer from above, and hook it to whatever sound system... Read More →