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Bow Re-Hair Project Done
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
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cdennyb
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February 23, 2012 - 7:37 pm
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Si853551comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853583comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853585comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853586comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853587comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853589comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853591comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853592comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853594comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853595comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853600comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853601comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853603comp.jpgImage EnlargerSi853605comp.jpgImage EnlargerOK, here's the pictures and a video at the end of the re-hair projet I did on my Old German Bow (a German copy of a vuillaume violin bow). Enjoy.

First, you remove the pieces that hold the hair in the bow in the first place. The wood wedges are removed by using a pair of needlenose pliers and wrapping the hair around the tip and rolling them to lever the hair and wood plug out. Take it easy and go slow and it will come right out along with the hair end.

 

Next, The frog end has a few more pieces, The plate covers the hair after the wood wedge is placed in the hole so it's slide forward out of the frog, theres a metal ferrell on there as well and it'll slide off with a little gentle force. After removing those extra pieces, use the pliers and roll out the hair and the wedge.

 

Then, you take your new hair and usually one end is already tied and burned. This is inserted into the tip end with the wood wedge placed to hold it in place, hair forward, wedge to the rear, then fold the hair back over the wedge and you're ready to do the frog.

 

The hair needs to be straightened and combed out so there's no tangles. Take your time, then firmly holding the hair make sure ALL the strands are tight as shown in the pictures. Add a hair buerette to keep them together and tight. You're going to make the hair about an 1/8" longer than the opening of the frog in the fully relaxed position.

 

Using a piece of heavy duty stranded electrical wire I took out a strand of the copper and used it to tie off the hair. The wire is wrapped twice around and then twisted and cut off close.

The frog is removed and without twisting the hair place the clipped and burned end down in the hole of the frog and drive in the wood wedge like you did at the tip. Then fold the hair down flat and evenly spread across the frobg exit end and slide the plate into the frog gently. YOU DID REMEMBER TO PUT THE METAL FERRELL ON THE HAIR DIDN'T YOU?

 

The hair is now held in place with the plate, and now slide the ferrell over the frog and place the little triangle shaped wedge if you have one between the hair and the ferrell, this makes the hair lay flat and tight.

Now place the frog back into the bow handle wood opening and insert the threaded tightener and adjust accordingly. Go easy at first, tighten just enough to see the main strands get tight. You'll have a few loose strands which you will snap off and discard.

Rosin up the hair well and tighten enough to keep the wood off the strings, play a little and let th ehair relax and rosiin as needed to complete the job.

You're offically a luthier re-hair technician.

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"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Sofia Leo
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February 23, 2012 - 9:07 pm
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Very nice! I really like that you didn't use any special "re-hair jig" that the Real Luthiers insist that you Must Have to do the job properly. Thank you!

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cdennyb
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February 23, 2012 - 9:27 pm
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I should have also noted that you need to support the tip with one hand firmly while pressing the wood wedge into the tip so it doesn't "flop" sideways and damage the bow. It went together easily but I had to tap the wedge in with a very small hammer (used the side of the pliers, LOL) but the frog end pushed in with only the punch and some firm pressure.

Using a sponge wood block clamp assembly is mostly for the measuring and pulling of the groomed hair. It was held in there but not so tight that I couldn't pull it out by hand. 

Glad you liked the pics.

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Kevin M.
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February 23, 2012 - 9:34 pm
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Very nice job.  My first rehair was a disaster.  I didn't have the right comb but I found the perfect comb a my veterinarian, it's a disposable flea comb. He throws them out after each use and are very cheap so I got a few from him, not used ones though. I also thought the rehaired bew worked better for you.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 23, 2012 - 11:09 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Great stuff,

You will help our members save a lot of money. I'll start selling hair on my site 🙂

Thanks

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

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Gail
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February 24, 2012 - 5:28 am
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I thought the Chinese bow was louder.  Maybe that's because of the weight and more hair width.  They both sound good.  I think you're very brave.

cheerleader

I've learned so much from my mistakes that I've decided to make some more.

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Fiddle4Fun
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February 24, 2012 - 8:24 am
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Heh, all I have to do is wait long enough and I'll be able to repair and rehair my old bow myself following these DIY videos.  Since it's not a valuable bow I can even screw it up without suffering much of a loss.  amuse

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Fiddlestix
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February 24, 2012 - 8:45 am
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Really, really nice job. I especially liked the "how to" photo's, very clear and explicit, you didn't leave a stone unturned with the photography during the process. I noticed your bow has no grip or windings.

 

The bow that is with my 120 yr old fiddle has no windings or grip either, i'm wondering if that was common with old bows of that period or if it is a custom or trend / a sign of where they were made. This is the bow I straightened, it had a 1/2" bend in it. I just had it rehaired 2 weeks ago. $47.00 opposed to $10.00 good savings.

As for the sound, the only difference in quality that I heard, is that the Chinese bow produced a touch more volume, probably due to the hair being wider it makes more contact with the strings.

Good job.thumbs-up

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cdennyb
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February 24, 2012 - 10:38 am
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OK, I think I'm on to the reason the Chinese bow was louder... I've been playing a little and adding a little more rosin, playing and adding a touch more, more play, more rosin and now, the bow "feels" smoother and has a more uniform "grab" of the hair, and it's LOUDER.

Guess what, I think the new re-hair has finally come around... It only took another 3-4 hours of playing and adding rosin... and now that it's uniformly coated I think it does sound better. Recording to come shortly.1st-place

 

@Gail   Why does everyone think I'm "brave"... this is just a simple hands on exercise in dexterity and simple mechanics. The hair is just hair, nothing special. If you take these things one step at a time, kinda like practicing the violin, the next step is always new and different and scary but the last two you already know are no big deal. Granted, some people might not attempt this thinking it's some magical thing that requires decades of practice under the watchful eye of some of geezer who's built violins and repaired them and re-haired thousands of bows but honestly, I didn't see that it was such a big deal.

Was I anxious, yep. Was I a little nervous, yep... am I happy with what I did.... you BET! Would I do it again... of course. Now that I've done one, I know exactly what to do and it should only take you about a 1/2 hr. to do it.

As faar as hair goes, read up on it for yourself all over the internet. Some say only use unbleached Mongolian Stallion hair and others say it doesn't matter. Some sell Mare's hair and some sell synthetic hair (kinda like real fine fishing line) and one seller on e-bay even had a 'kit' with wood wedges in it and hair as well just in case your wedges broke on extraction. See, nothing that can't be fixed. The worst thing you could do is not support the wood properly and break the bow by just being dumb.

duncecap 

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddle4Fun
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That's an interesting observation, Fiddlestix.  My old bow is early 20th century and it has no wrapping or grip either.  It also doesn't look like they were there and then subsequently lost.

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Sofia Leo
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cdennyb said

@Gail   Why does everyone think I'm "brave"... this is just a simple hands on exercise in dexterity and simple mechanics. The hair is just hair, nothing special. If you take these things one step at a time, kinda like practicing the violin, the next step is always new and different and scary but the last two you already know are no big deal. Granted, some people might not attempt this thinking it's some magical thing that requires decades of practice under the watchful eye of some of geezer who's built violins and repaired them and re-haired thousands of bows but honestly, I didn't see that it was such a big deal.
 

exactly More people should have faith that they can do all this "building" stuff (not just fiddles, but so many other things that we, as a culture, have almost forgotten how to do for ourselves) and give it a go. It's a lot of fun to figure something out and share with friends!

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Fiddle4Fun
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Or do it with friends.

 

Last September a friend of mine and I repaired the kitchen sink when a pipe corroded right through and started leaking everywhere.  I'd never done any sort of plumbing work before but she had so we bought the supplies and spent an evening getting it fixed.  It was a whole lot cheaper than calling a plumber would have been and I learned something new.

 

I'm gaining more confidence doing simple manual tasks.  Slowly. amuse

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Fiddlestix
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Fiddle4Fun said

That's an interesting observation, Fiddlestix.  My old bow is early 20th century and it has no wrapping or grip either.  It also doesn't look like they were there and then subsequently lost.

I'm wondering if that's the way bow's were made at one time, without a grip or windings. I serched for history on this particular and couldn't find any info.

I know when I use my bow with no grip, my hand slide away from the frog toward the center of the bow. I have to keep readjusting.

I also noticed that, cdennyb's bow is very narrow at the head end, as is mine. I'm tempted to attach some sort of a grip to keep my thumb and middle finger opposing each other and keep them from traveling up the stick.

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Kevin M.
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I would go for it and just try to put a grip on it. It couldn't hurt, if it doesn't work than take it off.

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Fiddle4Fun
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Fiddlestix said

I also noticed that, cdennyb's bow is very narrow at the head end, as is mine. I'm tempted to attach some sort of a grip to keep my thumb and middle finger opposing each other and keep them from traveling up the stick.

Huh, that's interesting.  I can't remember if my old bow is like that or not.  I'll have to check when I am home in a couple of weeks.

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Oliver
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February 24, 2012 - 3:17 pm
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http://www.sharmusic.com/shop......ds=bowmate

Maybe this will help.

Maybe it won't.

I have one and corrected my hold which proved more awkward than my original "bad" hold so I'm back to where I started from.

Who knows?

coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Sofia Leo
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I like the Bowmaster. Really helps with my double-jointed grip issues.

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Oliver
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I don't think I gave it a fair chance duncecap

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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dionysia
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CatMcCall said

I like the Bowmaster. Really helps with my double-jointed grip issues.

 

I have double-jointed fingers. Do you? How do you hold the fiddle? Everything I try feels really awkward to me. My thumb is the worst - I can't keep the joint at the base from bending backwards under pressure.

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cdennyb
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bowmaster...(?) another crutch. If you're bending your thumb holding that bow, I fret to think you're hangin' on way too tight. Did you see my grip in the video? Loose and supple, easy to move and no bent fingers or thumb.

I think new players, (I'm guilty too) tend to search for that next item in the long list of accessories that they think will make it easy for them to learn, or faster for them to progress, or maybe look better, or maybe keep a better posture but honestly... I'm not using any, and although sometimes I feel like I'm doing something wrong, I know in the end if I take my time, watch the lessons, watch my position, my arm, the way my left arm is "under" the violin, and such things, that I'll end up a better player without a crutch to pack around all the time.

Shoot people, I'm only on my 4th week of seriously playing this thing and already working on vibrato! Maybe I shouldn't be but it just comes naturally when you need the music to sound a certain way. I sometimes just sit outside in my chair on the deck and play. What am I playing, I don't have a clue but it sounds pretty nice, playing short strokes, double stops, maybe a blend of blues and rock-a-billie but just making sounds and making good sounds that I can recall were made by a certain finger position. Sometimes it isn't all about a lesson and a particular finger making a particular note, sometimes it's just about having fun making it play. 

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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