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Adding Frets To A Dulcimer

July 22, 2022

Good morning, subscribers (wow, that sounds really formal!):

In the shop this week?

Busy! Crazy busy. We're in the heart of festival season, so it is tough to keep things moving forward, as far as instrument-building goes. But we're doing it!

Cheyenne is still going full-speed in the shop. I took Dad with me to Kentucky Music Week a few weeks ago, so he lost some shop time, and I'm holding my own - but that means a lot of longer hours to get things finished. It's working, but barely!

So, what do I do at festivals? Teach and perform (or not, depending on the festival), show instruments to dulcimer players, and do repairs/adjustments/setups for already-sold instruments. It is a good mix of activities, and it helps y'all to either 1) be better players, 2) buy better instruments, or 3) have your existing instruments spruced up/modernized.

It seems like I've been doing a lot of "Richard can you add the 1 1/2 and 8 1/2 frets to my dulcimer?" work lately. Sometimes the frets go on a nice dulcimer, like both of the instruments I worked on this past week. Here's a Prussia Valley Dulcimer, made by Gary Sager that just received new 1 1/2 and 8 1/2 frets.

prussia valley dulcimer with added extra frets

Here's a 2003 FolkRoots® dulcimer that got the same new frets
folkroots dulcimer with extra frets added 
Adding frets is fussy work - finding the matching fret wire, then measuring/marking/cutting the new fret slots. I usually schedule this work for earlier in the work day, so I can approach it with a clear mind and steady hands.
Thanks for reading - have a great weekend!