Volume 2, Chapter 10: Inlaying the Refinements of Antiquity[1]


The bridge, nut, cheng-lu, yin-to, and peg pool back[2] should all be made of hard, strong wood. The color should be refined and quiet, such as sandlewood or jujube. One can mount ivory or hawksbill turtle for the nut or yin-to. Or a half-tube made of a goose feather can be put on (for the nut) as a prop for the strings. Then when the strings are put on, they are easily pulled tight and there will be no damage to the nut (or strings). The wood for the nut must be the same as that of the bridge. The wood for the peg pool back should be even harder and smoother, so the pegs can be turned without harm and without slippage.


The dragon pool and phoenix pond mouths plus the holes for the wild geese feet do not in any case intrude onto the surface, so one need only use hard wood. The wood for the wild duck feet also should be hard and smooth so that they cannot be broken. Also pegs made of jade are not auspicious, moreover they are heavy. If a string breaks, they may fall on the ground and be broken. Sandlewood is suitable here. Some use cattle, or ram, or rhinoceros horn. After a long time these will become shiny, and elegant to observe; moreover they are hard, smooth, and cannot be damaged. If one should use ivory, beware of it cracking. Boxwood gets dirty after a while.


As for the hui, it is best to use oyster shell. They should be bright, beautiful, and elegant to behold. Under the light of the glistening moon, the hui will be brilliant. Some use gold, but this is not auspicious for the chin. C:[ Use an ounce per set] One may be inviting thieves to dig it out and harm the face of the chin. This has happened in the past.

[1] In this chapter, the author makes suggestions about suitable and unsuitable materials for parts of the chin including the bridge, pegs, hui, etc.

[2] See the parts glossary for more information on these chin parts and others mentioned later in the text.