Quickie soundpost setting tool

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by ksdaddy, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. ksdaddy


    Jul 5, 2002
    Caribou, ME
    I reattached the neck to my 1940 M-1 this weekend. Of course the soundpost fell over in the process. What to do? Pretty hard to find a bass sound post tool in Caribou Maine on a Sunday. I took the first section of a gun cleaning rod, found an appropriate machine screw that threaded into it, and dug around in the scrap bins until I found a piece of flat brass stock. I drilled a hole in it, and mounted it into the cleaning rod with a nut to lock it in place. I then ground the head of the screw into a sharp point. The Kay soundpost was the old split type, the slot of which I stuck the sharpened tool into. I don't know if it was by accident or design, but based on the taper of the sound post ends, the split faced the treble f-hole. There's a disc on the inside of the back with a recessed hole, so that was easy enough. I was able to determine where the soundpost had spent many years (right or wrong) by looking at the inside of the top with an inspection mirror. I got it as close as I could with the pointed end, then applied pressure on the top with my left hand to hold the post in place while wiggling the tool out of the soundpost slot with my right. Then using the inspection mirror and ever so slightly varying the pressure on the top, I was able to nudge the top end of the soundpost into place using the brass piece. Once I got it where it needed to be, I brought the string tension up.

    Not rocket science, I know, but I thought I'd pass along a photo of the crude, quick, free, and effective tool.

  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    That's what I would have done! You should be on Survivor.
  3. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Mc Quiver we'll call him.
  4. ksdaddy


    Jul 5, 2002
    Caribou, ME
    Necessity is the mother of invention. You ought to see the nut slotting "cheater" I built. It's more for fretted instruments, but I suppose could be modified for UB. We'll find out, because the M-1 slots, well, I think this was set up for bottleneck. I'm waiting until Bob G sends my Obligatos though. The current strings are older than dirt. The E and A are steel, very stiff and heavy. The D string I haven't a clue. It has a knot in the end but looks like a bronze wound guitar string (has a nice sound but horrible feel). The G string seems normal and modern, and has a nice clear voice and smooth feel. Still it'd be smarter to wait for the magic O's to arrive before modifying the slots.