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Tail Piece Question
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Tyberius
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December 7, 2012 - 11:49 pm
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If you were going to change out your tail piece for whatever reason you have, what are some of the pitfalls you might find yourself in?

The Button and tail gut obviously. But what is the likelihood that the sound post may fall or move once the pressure is off the bridge? I'm not concerned with strings breaking on replacement, but I just don't have a warm fuzzy with the post.

 

My violin has 4 tuners. I have been using peg tuning for G and D almost solely now for a few weeks. My "A" peg has been sticking slightly since we are in horrendous rainy season, as I expected the wood would swell somewhat. Would it be recommended to also take out the tuners I don't use at this point or leave them in? I have not changed strings without the tuners, but by sound, and getting the strings to just flat of the tuned string, I probably wont have to worry about that.

 

I had an ebony Wittner center chin rest and it just didn't fit feel right. I changed it out with a boxwood Guarneri standard. I did realize you could damage the body if you tightened the chin rest too much. My goal is to ultimately change the tail and pegs to match the rest.

paulo Lorenzo - Front  Guarneri chinrestImage Enlarger

Paulo Lorenzo - Back shows Wittner chin restImage Enlarger

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Alex
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December 8, 2012 - 12:43 am
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I've personally took off the tailpiece and bridge twice on two different violins and the sound post did not fall.  So I don't know how often that actually does happen.

 

Good Luck!

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Fiddlestix
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December 8, 2012 - 1:07 am
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The sound post is inserted with no pressure on the top, then pressure is applied when the string's are tightened. There is no reason the sound post should dislodge if you change the tailpiece and pegs. Be carefull not to jar the violin or keep pressing on the top (causing it to flex) and you shouldn't have a problem.

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RosinedUp
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December 8, 2012 - 2:52 am
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As others said, it is not that big of a deal to change the tailpiece. 

Keep the fiddle level, so that the soundpost stays upright, and take care not to bump the fiddle.  I think usually the post is set in with a little compression. If the soundpost falls, it costs you say $25 to have it set, or 2 to 8 hours to make a setting tool and learn to use it. 

Be sure to keep the endpin pushed in all the way as you tighten the strings, or there could be some bad leverage on the endpin that would damage it or the endpin hole. 

I don't think I would remove the fine tuners without a reason.  You may find that conditions change and that you need them.  But you can always put them back, so again, no bid deal.  If you are going to change the tailpiece, you might think about getting one with built-in tuners.

But I will not be held responsible if my advice causes either your soundpost or the stock market to fall, your hair or teeth to fall out, or your significant other to fall out of love.

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RosinedUp
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December 8, 2012 - 3:14 am
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x_Tyberius_x said

My goal is to ultimately change the tail and pegs to match the rest.

Changing the pegs gets you into some expense.  You would need a peg shaver and possibly a peg-hole reamer.  You should look around for prices of those tools and prices for having new pegs fitted.  Minimum is around $100, I believe.

If you simply want the colors to match, you might consider an ebony chinrest.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 8, 2012 - 7:53 am
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As others have said, the post is not likely to fall but lay it flat on it's back while making the switch and you should be fine. If the post does fall, it means that it was way too loose to begin with and when you get it back up again it will be much better. All you really need is a sound post adjuster to get it in, up, in place and well adjusted. Learning to do this effortlessly is another problem.
As far as the A-string peg is concerned, all you probably need is peg dope. The easiest is that you do it at the same time.
As far as getting everything to match, your toughest job would be the pegs. You really need a peg-shaver. I can shave the pegs for you if you send me one of your pegs. You'll have to cut the ends and drill the string hole in the right place though. No guarantee that all your holes are the same on the violin. You may not get them to line up perfectly if I shave the pegs but I can still do it for you.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
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Tyberius
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December 8, 2012 - 12:28 pm
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I do appreciate all the prompt replies, and thank you.

 

I work with wood and have different types of shavers, reamers and round files of several sorts that should suffice for that. I certainly am going to do some research on the right tools for the right job. I also have a casual friend of who is a luthier, but I just hate going to him all the time with every idiotic concern I have. I want to start being able to maintain my instrument, like I do my tools, my lawn tractor, my truck and my house. I have read enough here, been in some debates and really come to understand and trust in the wisdom and experience presented on these forum boards.

 

I am hearing basically if the post falls without being abused, its better I find out anyways as its probably the wrong length or in the wrong position. I will think about everything posted here. The chin rest was given to me at no expense. My preference is really rosewood, but I do like the look of boxwood compared to ebony.

 

Another thing I was thinking about is the bridge placement. I probably will see the bridge foot mark on the varnish as I did see a very slight discolor in the varnish when I removed the posts and pad for the chinrest. I imagine I could mark it's present position with a grease pencil to get it back to proper position.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Fiddlerman
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December 8, 2012 - 12:35 pm
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Usually the feet of the bridge are in line with the inner f-hole notches.
It may not necessarily have been properly set up to begin with either.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Tyberius
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December 8, 2012 - 1:14 pm
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The bridge angles slightly backwards just off of being perpendicular to the top plate. The image may not show it well, but it is very close to being spot on the F hole notches. I will keep that in mind before I change anything. I may wait until I get a little more comfortable with what I'm doing before I press into this anymore.

 

Thanks for all the input. My wife likes the idea of not experimenting with my last years tax return violin violin. I keep trying to tell her, I can always make it into a Recorder, Picture Frame, Lamp or Something. Its not like it would be a complete waste if I ruined it. roflol

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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RosinedUp
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December 8, 2012 - 2:20 pm
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x_Tyberius_x said 
Another thing I was thinking about is the bridge placement. I probably will see the bridge foot mark on the varnish as I did see a very slight discolor in the varnish when I removed the posts and pad for the chinrest. I imagine I could mark it's present position with a grease pencil to get it back to proper position.

The vibrating part of the string (nut to bridge) should be close to 327mm or 328mm for a 4/4 violin.  The tailpiece face of the bridge should be exactly perpendicular to the belly (top) of the instrument.  The cross section of the bridge is a very steep triangle, meaning that the two faces of the bridge are not quite parallel to one another.  So now you know exactly where to put the feet of the bridge even if you make a new bridge.

Search the web for "Fitting a Bridge to a Professional Quality Instrument" and "Average Measurements of the Violin in millimeters".

Keeping your string length standard means you will have to finger the strings at the same positions as everybody else, so you will be able to pick up any standard 4/4 violin and finger it the same as you do your own.

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Fiddlerman
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December 8, 2012 - 2:31 pm
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No need to search the web. We have the resources right here :-)
Here is Kevins guide and I know there is one somewhere by Dennis also.

http://fiddlerman.com/2011/11/.....n-m-healy/

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Tyberius
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December 8, 2012 - 2:48 pm
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RU, that is great advice and as I like to have, definitive numbers. I already started a journal with specific data for this seemingly innocent little devil. I'm a old nerd and need numbers to chew on. You just gave me a good portion. In the words of Oliver Twist. "Please sir, I want some more" banana

 

Thanks everyone. I'll keep any updates before I make a rash decision. It is perfectly playable now and the new tax return wont be here for 2 months. I'd be a violin junky on the street selling my body for pizzicato and a hit of  rosin by then. fainting-1344dazed

 

**** FM I posted about the same time you did. I just looked at that link. You folks are incredible. I should have asked for the lottery numbers. Instead, I wasted it on bridge placement. HA! laugh

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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RosinedUp
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December 8, 2012 - 4:10 pm
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Fiddlerman said 
Here is Kevins guide and I know there is one somewhere by Dennis also.

http://fiddlerman.com/2011/11/.....n-m-healy/

http://fiddlerman.com/forum/th.....ridge-pdf/

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Fiddlestix
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December 8, 2012 - 9:49 pm
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Using the nitche's on the inside of the F hole's is a good place to start, but, is not alway's the same for each and every violin. Case in point:  One of my 3 violin's,(the $90.00 cheapy), the bridge is actually set about 3/32" / 2 mm behind the nitch in the F hole's to attain 338 mm from the nut to the bridge.

If you only have one violin to play, the nut to bridge distance isn't all the critical as long as your string's are in tune. If you have and play more than one violin then that measurement is critical of being the same on both or all violin's because your finger placement will change the pitch of the note. I ran into that problem when I set the bridge to the nitche's in the F hole's, until I did some measuring.

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