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Resources - How to Set a Sound Post

Introduction: Basic theory of the sound post
Part 1: About the soundpost setter, and choosing the wood
Part 2: Determining the height and fitting the post
Part 3: Positioning and adjusting the post

Part 2: Determining the Height and Fitting the Post

A: Determining the Height of the Post

Once a sound post setter has been obtained, and an appropriate piece of material selected, the next step will be to cut and fit the sound post. There is a tool which is a great help to determining the height of the post, called a sound post gauge, which greatly simplifies this process. Soundpost gauges can be found here.

I will also explain here explain how to do it without a guage. A small needle file can be used to ascertain the approximate height for the post.

  • Insert the file (or other appropriate tool) in the upper 'eye' of the f-hole until it touches the back of the instrument, making sure that the file is perpendicular to the plane of the instrument (parralell with the ribs, or sides).
  • Place your thumb nail on the file to mark the length needed.
  • Mark this length on the sound post. The end grain direction of the sound post must run perpendicular to the grain in the top. This is important to the performance of the instrument.
  • Cut the dowel somewhat longer than what is required for the post
  • With a single-cut file, file the ends at angles to match the arch of the top and the back.

B: Inserting and Fitting the Post

To place the post inside the instrument, insert the sharp end of the setter into the post, about 2/3 of the way to the top (picture A)

Gently lower the sound post into the instrument (picture B).

Once inside the instrument, place the bottom of the soundpost onto the back in the approximate place where it will be. It may be easier to start by placing the soundpost closer to the centre of the instrument, and then pulling it toward the f-hole once it has been placed.

Picture A

Picture B

Proceed to Part 3