Prepping for the Strings

After the second coat has dried thoroughly, I gave the dulcimer a coating of paste wax, applied lightly with 0000 steel wool and wiped off to a smooth and slick finish. I then installed the tiny screws that serve as end pins for the strings.

For the past several years, I have been using a “Zero” fret as the nut, basing the scale length measurements of the frets from that point. What I needed was a string guide to hold the strings in place and point them to the correct tuning peg. On the other end, of course, is the bridge. My preference has always been a “floating” bridge which is held in place by the tightened strings. Mathematically, a 28″ scale length does not measure exactly 28″ from the nut to the bridge. For perfect placement, the bridge will be just a little past the 28″ mark. You know it’s in the right place when your tuner shows exact notes (exact pitches) as you move up the fretboard. I feel that the ability to adjust for this is important — hence, the floating bridge.