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  1. I made a drying rack using two old (from a kitchen reno in 2010, but certainly older than that) under the counter halogen lamp fixtures and a bunch of stuff I had lying around. I saw the same lamp for sale in a Home Depot a couple of weeks ago; they are not that cheap (about 30$ each) but since I already had them... Anyhow, I also removed the UV protection glass. Since I only had two lamps, I also added a servo motor controlled by means of a micro-controller board (very similar to the Arduino board) to slowly rotate the varnished violin every minute. To prevent excessive personal exposure to UV light, I made a cardboard screen. Here is a picture of the thing in action (without the screen of course), I think with first coat of varnish: I used oil varnish from Atlantic Violin Supplies (http://www.atlanticviolinsupplies.com/Tools.asp). Each coat took about 6 to 8 hours to dry completely, good enough for light sanding. I applied nine coats of varnish in nine days. For the last coat of varnish, before sanding and polishing it with rotten stone, I left the violin in the rack for two days. Jesus
  2. Not with the wire I used. With the wire tool it is easy to push and pull, but there is not enough friction to rotate the sound post. Perhaps if the tool is made with rubber coated wire as BassClef did in this post http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/330299-ultra-amateur-repair-of-a-18-michel-ange-garini-help-wanted/page-26#entry650739 the sound post could be rotated.
  3. Thanks David. Good guess: I am an electrical/electronics engineer.
  4. After being away from this forum for a while, I am very surprised about the positive reactions about my simple sound post insertion tool design. I am also glad somebody else actually tried it: thank you BassClef for replicating my experience with the tool! I like your pictures; thats is very much what I did. The only difference, perhaps, is that I inserted the tool through the clef side. For a small violin like the one you are working on, it is probably easier to use the bass side as you found out. Jesus
  5. You are right. You should stick with what works for you. Traditional methods are backed up by millions of hours of experience. On the other hand I didn't have any tools available, and my sound post is already full of poke holes from previous re-settings. I didn't want to risk breaking it by poking another hole, so I made this tool. I know setting the sound post was very quick because after I set it the first time I wanted to show how easy it was to my wife. So I knocked the sound post down. Then I spent like 10 minutes of more fishing it out: violin upside down, rolling side to side until the sound post finally came to rest over the f hole where I picked it up with some very fine twizers. What a pain! If I have to this for a living, a tool to remove the sound post would be a must! Putting it back was a breeze. I think this is because this homemade tool allows to both push and pull the sound post. Jesus
  6. To set the sound post I did pretty much what the guy in this video did using a commercially available sound post setter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZL5q9m__wk Jesus
  7. After a lot of thought and some experimentation, I made a tool to easily insert the sound post on a violin. To make the tool we need some thick wire, pliers, and waxed dental floss. Here are the steps to make one: 1) Fold the end of the wire as shown in the picture below: 2) Fold the end as shown in the picture below. This is where the sound post will be supported. 3) Cut the excess wire at the end and make the first loop: 4) Leave 7 to 8 cms. and make the second loop as shown in the picture below. Don't worry about the bent, it will be fixed latter. 5) Make the last cut, straighten the wire and adjust the distances so the top and bottom are lined up properly. The top part will help us position the sound post in the right place. 6) Before using the tool, it is very important to file out, using a metal file, any rough edges. We don't want to scratch the violin, cut ourselves, or allow the dental floss to get caught. Once you have a very smooth tool, you can attach the sound post to the tool. In the picture below, that is not an actual sound post (my sound post is inside the violin already) but a piece of dowel I cut for tests. 7) Thread the dental floss as shown below. 8) Finally, pull the dental floss tight and secure it as shown in the picture. For this to work properly you'll need waxed dental floss. To inset the sound post in the violin use the f hole as usual. Once you are satisfied with the location of the sound post you can either unravel the dental floss, or just cut it and carefully pull out both the wire tool and the dental floss. In all, it took me about half an hour to make the tool, including taking the pictures. Using the tool, it took me about a minute to set the sound post. Making this post is taking me over an hour and fifteen minutes and counting! I hope you find it useful. Jesus
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