Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

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Musicmaker
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by Musicmaker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:27 am

Hi,
My new 70's Zither has just arrived in Australia from US of A.
It is as above, a Framus.
I cannot afford new or prestigious makers names so have to be contented with what I have got.
I love the colour of it for a start.
The picture of it is straight out of the box.
I have new strings for it on the way from Lenzner.
It needs tuning of course but I have put it on its dedicated table which has increased the volume by double.
The Griffbrett is cracked as it's Ebony and aged.
I am skilled with instrument repairs and can fill this in to look unnoticeable.
It came with 5 new Griffbrett strings, manufacturers garuntee slips, from new, tuning key and rings ( picks )
I have checked for string grooves on the frets but all is smooth as silk.
I do not think it has been played much but bought as a present, thought too hard to play and then stored for decades.
I think I have been lucky unless you think Differently?
I would be interested to hear your views and in particular exactly how old it Is?
Pete

https://flic.kr/p/26BsQUE

Here is a close up of the cracks which I can either leave or fill in with ebony dust and pva glue.
https://flic.kr/p/23VtmTm


This is another view taken outside in the garden. I have tried to show you the lovely figuring in the wood on the top plate but without success. I know it's there and is really beautiful.
https://flic.kr/p/23VtUiW

NutmegCT
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Location: Connecticut!
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Re: Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by NutmegCT » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:23 am

Pete - congratulations on the new arrival!

I'm no expert at all, but it's very "clean" and without much decoration. I'm thinking it's about 40-50 years old.

Framus today is a different company from the Framus of 1946-1975. I don't know if today's Framus still makes zithers - I think just electric guitars and amps. Do some reading and you'll discover an interesting connection between the original Framus company, and the Czech Sudetenland.

Take a look at this Framus vintage webpage - note the zither on the left, with the 1968 date.

http://www.framus-vintage.de/modules/site/site.php

Your zither learning experience will be a great way for us all to learn how a new zitherist gets started. I'm eager to see what recommendations our experienced zitherists give for your first steps (instrument placement, hand and finger positions, first exercises, how to know you've "mastered" an exercise, etc.).

Musicmaker
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by Musicmaker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:21 am

Thank you for your quick reply and the link to Framus.
I have written to them quoting the instrument model and number and hope they can tell me.
I am hoping it will be a 60s model.
Today I have stripped off all the strings as it will be newly strung.
Have filled in the cracks on the Griffbrett and rubbed some Linseed oil into the Ebony to prevent further cracking.
The cracks will not affect the frets which are all in solid.
I have polished the tops of the frets and they have no string wear at all.
I think this one was bought as a present for someone, they had a go and stopped as it was too hard for them.
Then it's just been in a cupboard for decades.
I have removed all the tuning pins and polished tge whole Zither. It looks splendid.
Question.
The Framus tuning pegs have a very fine screw thread on them and they screw into the wood nice and tight.
But I think it may be a bit TOO tight.
Should I treat the threads with Anything?
I mean.....candle wax...Soap?
Would like to hear an answer to this please.
Ye..i will keep you informed how i get on.
Am waiting for the strings now and will send a video on how I have mastered the Third man in a few Days!,
( JOKING OF COURSE )
PETE

NutmegCT
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
Location: Connecticut!
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Re: Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by NutmegCT » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:55 am

More experienced zitherists will comment (I hope!), but here's a good overview of zither troubleshooting and maintenance:

http://www.zither.us/?q=node/32

Tom M.

Musicmaker
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by Musicmaker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:39 pm

I have contacted Hans at Framus works in Germany and asked if he could assist me in identifying the year of build.
I sent him an image of the label inside and within one hour he was straight back to me.
How's that for Service?
It was built in Feb 1965.
Pete

Musicmaker
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: Framus Zither made in Bavaria serial no 4331 5B

Post by Musicmaker » Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:53 pm

You asked me to show you what I am doing and how I am getting on so here goes.
This is my 1965 Framus 24 hours later from its arrival from USA yesterday.
Strings stripped.
Tuning pegs removed and to be re polished.
Body cleaned and polished.
Fret board cracks filled.
Fretboard oiled.
Frets highly polished.
Mechanism removed, freed up,oiled and chrome work polished then replaced.
That's it so far.
Whilst I am waiting for the new strings to arrive I might just replace the old Griffbrett strings and make a start playing it....I am soh Impatient!
Pete
https://flic.kr/p/JzzyBb

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