crack in soundpost?
I haven't paid much attention to my soundpost before but recently a tiny woodchip fell out of my violin and I looked and there does appear to be a chunk of wood missing from my soundpost. not a lot, but it's still noticeable. is this a big problem and what should I do?
There's a tool that luthiers use to set sound posts that leaves a little gash in the center. Watch a YouTube video to see what it looks like and if that's it. If the sound isn't affected, it's probably fine. You can always take it to a luthier for a quick check.
it's under the gash, and a piece of wood did fall out of my instrument
Possibly a small splinter that detached. As long as the post is still standing and the splinter is small this is not an emergency. You might notice a slight loss of openness or volume and if so get a new sound post, which would be optimal. On the other hand, if 1/2 the end of the post is gone, I'd definitely get a new one installed.
Get it replaced. Also, the origin of splinter might be elsewhere. I hope that you saved it for inspection.
Photos of both the splinter and the soundpost would be useful...
how long would it take to have a new sound post put in and would it be very expensive?
An experienced luthier can do it in a few hours and it should not be too expensive.
Maybe even faster, if you bring them fresh chocolate chip cookies. ;-)