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jesuscf

Homemade sound post insertion tool

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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:

 

RccJyDS.jpg

 

2) Fold the end as shown in the picture below.  This is where the sound post will be supported.

 

QOqgacM.jpg

 

3)  Cut the excess wire at the end and make the first loop:

 

aa5E0i7.jpg

 

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.

 

cAolWKm.jpg

 

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.

 

k2Iq3Ly.jpg

 

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.

 

rWsZ4Iq.jpg

 

7) Thread the dental floss as shown below.

 

nSqscdV.jpg

 

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.

 

OgGxsVA.jpg

 

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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Jesus, thanks this is great I will try this out with my 1/8 Garini, This is exactly what I've been looking for. Can you describe how you set the post?

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Ok, that is a pretty good idea, but as for me, I will keep to the way I do it.

I may try it just to see how hard it is to get good fit with this tool.  

You said ; “Using the tool, it took me about a minute to set the sound post. “

I have a hard time believing that you could have gotten a good fitting post in just 1 minute.

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Ok, that is a pretty good idea, but as for me, I will keep to the way I do it.

I may try it just to see how hard it is to get good fit with this tool.  

You said ; “Using the tool, it took me about a minute to set the sound post. “

I have a hard time believing that you could have gotten a good fitting post in just 1 minute.

 

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

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Thank you so much, particularly for the effort of photographing and uploading.  I'll have to try this.   :)

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jesus- take a thin dowel around 10 inches long, clamp it in a vice vertically,  grabbing a needle with a pair of pliers, hammer the sharp end of the needle in the end, striking the pliers. Cut the needle off about an inch or so and sharpen. Bad grain of the dowel might require trying the other end of the dowel.

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Jesus, sorry, forgot to mention in my last post it is a way to extract sound posts from the inst looking into the  S-hole. If you sharpen the end of the need very roughly you don't have to press too hard with the pin to lift the post out.  fred

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jesus- take a thin dowel around 10 inches long, clamp it in a vice vertically,  grabbing a needle with a pair of pliers, hammer the sharp end of the needle in the end, striking the pliers. Cut the needle off about an inch or so and sharpen. Bad grain of the dowel might require trying the other end of the dowel.

 

Good idea!  Something like this?

 

EU8VduM.jpg

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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

It's just the reverse for me: it takes me 1 minute to remove the sound post out and 10 to place it in :)

Definitely I must try that tool so thank you for sharing!

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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

 

  You have made a tool that will help a lot of people to reset a post that fell down.

 I still wonder how well it works for getting the right fit.

I like to rotate the post back and forth as I try to see if the post is sitting square on the bottom and the top.  

 

     Is this something that you could do well with this tool?

 

i really give you a lot of credit for you tool making   I never meant to seem negative about it.. Just trying to see if it would really work for the way I like to set the post..  I mean what would keep the post from spinning in the tool as I am rotating it to check the fit.   ? 

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Very ingenious tool. This would certainly help some people set a sound post. A couple of things to keep in mind: The grain of the soundpost should be perpendicular to the grain of the top, so you should mark the soundpost  (pencil) so that you know which side you should have facing towards the c bout. The ends of the soundpost should have almost 100% contact with the plates. Sometimes this involves taking the post in and out several times to get the fit correct.

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A couple of photos of my 'country boy tinkerer' remedy for the frustrations of mastering the conventional postsetter.

 

Postsetter1_zps03656269.jpg

 

Postsetter2_zps22614145.jpg

 

Postsetter3_zps67cc12f1.jpg

 

Postsetter4_zps7b91ead3.jpg

 

Also used to retrieve the post from the violin body. I use the heavy conventional setter (Herdim, I think) to hammer, push, & pull the post around once it's standing.

 

Steve

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Addendum to previous post:

 

Made from bits & pieces laying about the shop. Brass ink-pen tube & spring & a piece of piano wire. Short piece of steel tubing for spring seat and a clip of heat-shrink tubing to keep the post-claw captured in the tube. The knob is a piece of plastic rod scrap.

 

Works well enough for me that I plan on a few possible design changes when I get some spare time.

 

Steve

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After a few minutes of practice with this, it turned inserting, removing and adjusting a sound post into a trivial endeavor for me. 

 

I used the more traditional poke-a-hole-into-the-post tool for quite a while. It took a lot of practice to get decent using that tool. I do not use it anymore.

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I use a traditional sound post tool inserted through bass side for initial setting and then adjust through the treble side. I wonder if the OP or International Violin tool with contact at more than one point would let me have a better feel for the actual tension on the sound post.

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I still have not gotten an answer to my first question. so I will explain it better.

I use the traditional sound post setter, but insert the post though the bass side too like mrfiddle.

I leave that setter attached to the post with the post in as close as possible to the correct position.

Then I use another tool I made to move the post very slightly into the best spot. I do this as I am rotating the post around its own axis , like it was described by Koo Young Chung. I first get the bottom fitting well , and then I get the top fitted good.

 

Now you see why I question how well these other tools would help me. I guess I could make a tool similar to the one "Jesus" has posted hear, but that would work though the bass side.

 

 My concern is , would it hold the post tight enough so I could rotate it in the way I have just described?

 

Larry 

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I haven't been following this thread, so excuse me for butting in.  I know there are all levels of experts and abilities reading this thread and commenting, and I assume that there are many who are dealing with commercial instruments where time is as important as perfectly set, perfectly fitting posts.

 

What I question in some of the new devices is whether they allow the feedback to the repairman.  If they offer the same ability to be aware of how the post is fitting, then I don't see a thing wrong with them.  But I doubt that most of them could.  All I can see is that they might be convenient to get a post upright quickly, and close to where it should go;  it seems the traditional setter would still be needed for the "fine tuning."  If I'm wrong, someone argue with me.   :) 

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