Trade Secrets: Making a soundpost jig


A useful device to help luthiers cut a soundpost to its correct length, and to make its top and bottom angles

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By Rudolf Pilsel

Luthier based in Crewe, UK

Imbued with an almost mystic aura, the soundpost is an essential part of a stringed instrument’s set-up. It connects the front and back plates, which oscillate around it. Fitting it precisely can bring out the full potential of an instrument’s sound and timbre, whereas locating it incorrectly has the opposite effect. The post has no standard length or thickness: for a violin the diameter can be 6–6.5mm, a viola 6.5–7mm, and a cello 11–12mm, depending on the individual instrument. The adjustment of the length, however, is critical: too short and the post will be too close to the treble rib; too long and it will stand too near the centre of the instrument…

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