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Re: [HD] Ed Hale dulcimer hammers

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Subject: Re: [HD] Ed Hale dulcimer hammers
From: "ptommerup@juno.com" <ptommerup@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2020 12:49:34 GMT
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Hi All,
 
Thanks so much for all of your friendly, detailed & helpful replies to my query about "Ed Haley dulcimer hammers"! 
 
Amusing how I mutated "Ed Hale" into "Ed Haley," but I'm thrilled y'all were able to recognize what I was looking for! Also a bit surprised that when I Googled, " Ed Haley dulcimer hammers," it barraged me with hits by & about banjo players (albeit concerning fiddler Ed Haley's compositions,  on closer reading) instead of also suggesting the dulcimer maker & player as well. 
 
I'm glad that Russell Cook is carrying on the Ed Hale hammer design, & that these are available, but it's not clear to me (from perusing photos of these reproductions) that Masterworks is reproducing one of the aspects of Ed Hale's design that most interests me: the larger than usual width of the finger grip--specifically, the part that one holds between one's thumb & forefinger. I've discovered that this gives me increased control that I find helpful. Plus the light weight of the poplar shaft & hammer head (& possibly it's longer than average length?) seems to reduce "hammer thunk" (the unmusical thud the hammers make when hitting the strings). Anyway, I really like the "physics" of experiencing these hammers in use! 
 
Also, Lee Anne Welch (my wonderful wife & active SF Bay Area bluegrass & contra dance fiddler) is currently recuperating from a broken left wrist. Since she also likes the HD, & has noodled about on it over the past 38 years, I've been encouraging her to do a bit of (what I've been playfully calling) "musical physical therapy." Playing the HD seems like a good fit for her at this point in her recovery (recently got the cast off), since she isn't yet able to rotate her left wrist in order to hold & finger notes on her beloved fiddle. And these "original" Ed Hale hammers with the wider grip better help her to more comfortably hold & control a hammer in her left hand. 
 
So, where is this rambling narrative heading? 
 
Well, I have another question: Any idea where one might be able to acquire a pair or two of Ed Hale style hammers that REALLY are virtually exact in all their specs--& especially re: the width of the grip (1/4" at its narrowest place between the thumb & forefinger), the use of a poplar shaft, & their weight & balance? 
 
THANKS A BIG BUNCH in advance! 
 
Finally, I'm so glad that this HD List has so many subscribers with such a depth of knowledge & experience, even though I do miss the "Everything Dulcimer" website a lot! 
 
Happy hammering!
Peter
 


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