|To:||Hammered Dulcimers <email@example.com>|
|Subject:||Re: [HD] Ed Hale dulcimer hammers|
|From:||Ken K <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Wed, 29 Jan 2020 09:36:38 -0500|
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|List-id:||Hammered Dulcimers <hdlist.hammered-dulcimers.org>|
|Reply-to:||Hammered Dulcimers <email@example.com>|
Hi Peter and fans of Ed Hale hammers,
I spoke again to Russell yesterday. He has reproduced three versions of Ed's double sided hammers with essentially a small, medium and large head. Ed also made some very lightweight hammers out of poplar. I believe the key to Ed's hammers were the balance which is hard to adequately describe in words but the weight was more in the shaft and not so much in the head. I've tested four of Russell's hammers against 5 pairs of Ed's originals. I could tell the difference but it is very slight. The slight difference is in how the shaft is tapered. I am not sure it matters enough to tinker any further because the difference is negligible. Peter, you might think differently! But Russell suggested that if I wanted to get it exactly right he would work with me (or whomever) to get there. I am going to try to provide him with an accurate tracing of the shaft (along with pictures). The width of the shaft is exactly the same - about 1/2"; and the thickness at the narrowest point is just under 1/4".
Peter, my guess is that Russell's reproductions are going to work for you. But Russell is also very willing to tinker and get them exactly "right" recognizing that there might be a range of what is "right!"
Here is what I wrote to Russell a few weeks ago:
Length: All the samples match the length of the hammers that I have in stock.
Weight: Ed's hammers varied but you are well within the range of all the hammers that I have here.
Balance: How a hammer balances (head vs handle) is critical to the feel of a hammer. This affects the perception of weight. I checked the balance point on each pair. The balance of the samples vs. Ed's originals are very close.
Head size/shape: Ed's hammers varied in head size and shape over the years with three basic sizes. The samples match the originals that I have.
"Flip-ability": That is not a word to my knowledge but it is important to me to be able to very quickly flip my hammers in the middle of a piece. I could not tell a difference.
Grip: Here is where I felt a difference instantly but it is very subtle. At least compared to all the pairs that I have, your grip is tapered slightly differently. The originals taper from the end to where you put your thumb and index finger slightly more. The perception is that your handles are slightly thicker. But measuring them did not show a difference (just under 1/4"). The width of the shaft is the same (around 1/2"). My guess is that Ed's hammers varied over the years as well.
Conclusion: I think you are well within the range. If I didn't know they were NOT Ed's hammers, my guess is that I would have thought that Ed slightly changed the grip but not enough to affect my use of the hammers. I have had about 10-12 players try them out. Some could tell a difference but agreed that it was very slight and would not affect their ability to use them.
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