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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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December 23, 2017 - 9:15 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 35
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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.  

December 24, 2017 - 11:19 am
Member Since: July 24, 2017
Forum Posts: 36
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I have no idea how to fix something like that, but normally eBay is pretty good about refunds.

December 24, 2017 - 4:58 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 35
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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.

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."

December 29, 2017 - 11:54 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 35
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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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