Tail Piece Replacement with pics
I decided to try and learn more about my instrument. I have pics here in case anyone that hasn't done this wants to give it a shot.
I didn't have the special tool designed to replace the sound post. I improvised with a set of picks with sharp ends.It took about 4 tries to get the sound post back where it belongs. You have to line up the bevels on the post with the contour on the inside of the violin.
I think maybe the scale of my violin might be a tad short. On both tail pieces, with the length adjustment maxed out the mm was marginal. If I read my ruler correctly it was roughly 150mm from bridge to end of violin.
I notice a huge difference in lower harmonics using the harp tail piece. I wanted a boxwood tail piece instead of ebony for the acoustic characteristics.This meant a contrast in the wood colors. Ok by me.I am very happy with the final results and it only took me about 45 minutes!
To adjust my soundpost, I made one multitool out of a soft metal dowel. One end is sharpened to an edge and the other side is hooked for knocking the SP into the precise position I want.
A little off topic, but it makes me feel nervous seeing those sharp metal edges so close to the body of the violin. But then, I'm not trained in wood working skills.
@Cotton Mather, Great ideas. My "poker" set is a cheap item from Harbor freight. One of the tools in that set is a hook which can come in especially handy. I learned the post isn't easy to move once it's in place. You pretty much need to have it in the right position before you wedge it in there.
a proper soundpost setter costs about $10. and a soundpost is easy to move around if there is no string tension unless it is way to tight.
I'm all for DIY, but let's have a disclaimer here: Absolutely DO NOT learn to work on violins by practicing on a valuable instrument!
I think that congratulations are in order, first of all.
Perhaps your fingerboard is too short, and perhaps the mensur is much too long. Those are some low-slung f-holes.
If you are studying the violin, focus in violin playing, and don't play the violin maker. Many things can go wrong if you do that.
“If you are studying the violin, focus in violin playing, and don't play the violin maker.”
For the vast majority of players, doing things to their violin should be limited to changing strings (which includes making sure the bridge is standing straight), and even then they need to be shown how at the earliest opportunity. Anything else and it's off to the luthier.
Something tells me the OP isn't going to pay attention to this very good advice.
I strongly disagree with this advice. The ideal violinist should also be a clever luthier. Repairs maybe not, but being able to fit a bridge and set a soundpost are skills everyone should have.
I guess there's room for opinions on both sides of the aisle. If a person can do it ok I say why not?
Thanks to Duane for being a voice of sanity.
I think the other issue, aside from ability/training, is one of time. How much time do you want to spend working on your instrument, instead of getting better at it.
Again, it's awesome if someone wants to learn, to develop a new skill. I'm all for that! But don't do it on a valuable instrument.
I would love to work in a violin shop. I think that would be uber cool.
My response was more directed at Cotton Mather. Apologies for any misunderstanding.
"I see changing a bridge or tail piece as a fairly simple procedure."
@ Mary Ellen Goree Thanks.I should have read the thread closer. I see your comments more directed now at the idea that anyone could be a good luthier in a short amount of time. I agree with the opinion that obviously this is taking too much liberty with a respected trade. It might have been the wording of the OP as well that made the post appear to say that.I don't think he believes that anyone who plays can be a good luthier. I certainly didn't intend to convey that idea,though I would part ways with those who say we should never attempt anything on our violins.
Fitting a bridge is simple. With the right tool everyone can do it. See
@Bart Meijer: Hilarious, thanks for linking the video. Hooray for power tools!