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Bow Varnish Protective Film While Under Alcohol Flame
I am looking for suggestions on how I would protect a wood violin bow's varnish while I attempt to recamber it using an alcohol flame.
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Irv
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December 23, 2017 - 9:15 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
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I recently purchased a "new" wood violin bow on eBay with a broken tip.  I easily repaired the cracked wood using super glue and a short segment of 4.5 mm diameter carbon fiber rod bored perpendicular to the crack.

Once assembled, I noticed that the stick has a slight twist and the hair is not properly aligned.  I went to Youtube and noticed that bow makers set the camber of the stick by heating it with an alcohol flame.  I think that I can do this to remove the twist, and since I only paid $12 for the bow I can be pretty brave in the attempt.  However, I don't want to do a lot of varnish refinishing (assuming success) if I can avoid it.  I saw a Youtube video where the varnish was covered with a anti-oxident coating before the flame was used on it, but naturally the material was a trade secret and I don't know what the material was.  I hate videos like that.

My first thought is to use a silicone grease since it is stable to about 800 F and the wood becomes limber at about 330 F.  I also have a anti-sputter paste that is used on mig welders to protect the electrode that may also work.  I have no idea on how to remove these materials from the stick, but Simple Green is my guess.  Any suggestions, particularly those having previous successful experience, would be appreciated.  

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newbie-Ron
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December 24, 2017 - 11:19 am
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I have no idea how to fix something like that, but normally eBay is pretty good about refunds.

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Irv
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December 24, 2017 - 4:58 pm
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Thank you for your comment.  I am aware that eBay has an excellent return policy.  However, I purchased the bow clearly knowing that it was damaged, for the purpose of attempting the repair.  I view the twist in the stick as another opportunity to learn.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 28, 2017 - 12:47 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 12852

Irv, bow makers sometimes use friction to heat the bow. Rubbing it back and forth with a cloth till it gets hot enough to bend. It's a time consuming process but it's what they do. 🙂

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

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Irv
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December 29, 2017 - 11:54 pm
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I got some more information.  I received a PM from someone that took a bow making and restoration class which "used a brown block of something that looked like buffing compound to run on the stick to protect the varnish during bending and cambering."  She gave me the instructor's name and I sent an email today.  I will report back if I hear anything.  

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