Among the items I built last year were bowed psaltery stands. Most people who use a stand for their psaltery just use a camera tripod. I've come to think that a tripod is too mechanical looking, so I worked on a stand that would be made of wood with no metal parts and maybe not look so mechanical. So, I made two stands out of pine, one for a person to use while sitting down and one for standing while playing the psaltery. I also made one out of oak for playing while standing and it is now my regular stand that I use all the time. I took the stands to the Bowed Psaltery Gathering in October, 2018, and one person asked if I would build one for her but with the platform height a little bit steeper than my current design.
So, this weekend I started working on a bowed psaltery stand to meet her needs. Here's what the pine stands look like. The tall one was my developmental unit as I had to work a while to find the right place to drill holes for the dowel rods. You'd think with all of that triangle math I had in my past that it would have been easy, but I wound up just drilling holes and trying to assemble the stand and then observe what needed to change. On the tall stand you might see where I plugged the holes.
I'm still working on making the platform so it can have more adjustments in the platform. Some people play with their psaltery almost vertical on a stand. The design I'm trying to build will have two or three levels of tilt. The design relies on gravity and there are no clamps, so the platform on the stand can only be tilted so far. I've been tempted to add metal parts too many times.
Cutting F soundholes in 3/4 inch wood has been a learning experience. I've done it with pine, then oak, and now again I'm working on pine. It's a lot easier to clean up with needle files using pine. I get angry at myself for not just cutting exactly on the lines that I drew like they show in so many YouTube videos. First of all, I don't have a lot of confidence in my drawing on the wood. The grain can cause the pencil to go off a little and/or my drawing capability on wood isn't as good as I would like it to be. There will be lots of filing and sanding and holding this board up to the light before I decide it's good enough.
Sometimes I think the wood is a giant obstacle that prevents me to make it something I would like it to be. I definitely have an appreciation for those who have made beautiful things in wood. I think I'm still just an apprentice.
I've been finishing up the electric dulcimer today. Just needs some tweaks and adjustments, then crating it up for a ride across The Pond! I also got to work some more on the poplar Thomas dulcimer. The end is in sight on that one.
Maybe I'll pull the car out of the garage and work on the psaltery stand today. I need to make the caps that hold the platform to the stand along with the dowels that lock the different pieces in place. The pieces on the top of the platform function similar to the feet on a dulcimer and/or a possum board along with keeping it from sliding off of the platform.
Or, I can work on this outdoor lamp. I noticed one of the glass windows was broken about 5 days ago. None of the lightbulbs were broken and I didn't see anything that looked like maybe a beebee gun (or other gun) caused the damage. Today I found the lamp in this condition. The lamp is on a retaining wall at the end of our driveway and it is about 20 feet from the street. There isn't any foot traffic on our street, so I don't suspect the damage was caused by pranksters walking by. There are some hickory nut shells near the lamp. The dog has been doing a lot of sniffing in the yard lately and/or rolling in droppings, so I think we've been visited each night by critters ('possum, skunk, or maybe raccoon). Is it possible a critter had a fit with this lamp?
If I can't cut out some plexiglass to fit in the places where glass used to be, I'll probably go buy a new lamp and avoid a model that has glass.
After closer inspection on the lamp all three light bulbs (or remains of light bulbs) had been unscrewed and removed, so I suspect a prankster (or is it vandal?). What would somebody want with 3 candelabra 15 watt light bulbs?
The lamp has been there for 20+ years, the light sockets are corroded, and I'm not going to learn to bend plexiglass to replace the glass panes. I found a low cost lamp at Lowes for $25 and installed it yesterday (didn't want to get something real nice in case this one gets broke, too). It has glass panes, but at least the panes are not curved, so if the glass gets broke I can probably replace it with plexiglass. If it gets broke, I might need to set up a camera to learn who has all of this interest in our outdoor lamp.
The lamp and a plumbing exercise at my son's house occupied a lot of my time yesterday. I'm hoping for no interruptions today so I can finish the psaltery stand. After the psaltery stand, maybe I'll start working to restore my Guitaro again. The top warped again and I suspect I'll need to replace it. The wooden parts for the keys need replaced also. Guitaro's were more or less an Oscar Schmidt experimental autoharp in the 1960's. Here's a video showing Sara Carter playing a Guitaro and this video inspired me to learn "Little Moses".
I have two Guitaros. One is in original condition where the one I was playing the most needed a new top several years ago. I put a new sitka spruce top on it and I really liked the sound. I was hoping to interest my granddaughters in playing them for a Guitaro Girls special. They played wind instruments in the school band but I couldn't get them interested in string instruments.
My granddaughter loved playing around on the dulcimer until a year or so ago and then she seemed to lose interest. I usually encourage her when she comes up but don't try to push her. Wish she would take an interest.
“It is far. But there is no journey upon this earth that a man may not make if he sets his heart to it." H. Rider Haggard
I gave 3 of my grandchildren a lesson years ago. It was kinda' fun for them, but when there turn ended for playing I think they were glad to go away and play with their toys. They haven't shown an interest in string instruments since that time. My other grandchild borrowed a guitar a couple months ago. I need to see if she is progressing or if her college schedule has been too busy for her to learn to play a guitar.
Last Edit: Jan 25, 2019 22:00:04 GMT -5 by daveh: Fixed spelling errors