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Rosin Removal from Strings—A Method from Warchal
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Irv
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January 6, 2019 - 11:39 am
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My go to method for removing rosin from violin strings is to use a wine cork.  It must be popular, because Warchal tested it in their lab.  They found that cork particles embedded themselves in the string core and the winding can be damaged by this method.

The recommend that the strings be individually rubbed with a clean dry microfiber cloth to remove rosin.  Hardened material can be scrubbed clean with the edge of a credit card.  They offer microphoto images to prove their point.  

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.         —Frank Zappa

It is unpleasant to be thought so uncleverly unclean and capable of poisoning a whole city.—Sir Walter Scott

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 6, 2019 - 12:11 pm
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Interesting @Irv  -I did once try the cork trick - I didn't like the "feel of it" although at the time I wouldn't have thought about the string acting as a "cheese grater" and getting cork into the string (but it makes sense) - I just didn't like how it worked. 

Before ( and since ) the cork experiment - I have used/still use a silk and also a micro-fiber cloth - and on occasion, I'll dampen it with ethanol ( well, methylated-spirits is what we get here - it's 95% ethanol, 5% methanol and a repulsive tasting purple dye to stop folks drinking it - (mostly!) )

If anyone does this ( using ethanol/methanol ) - DON'T SOAK THE CLOTH to the point of it dripping - and DON'T get it near the body !!!!  Take care - it just needs to be dampened...

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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January 6, 2019 - 12:18 pm
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For the record, I checked out the Warchal page Irv mentioned:
https://shop.warchal.com/blogs.....ur-strings

Billy, doesn't look like Mr. Warchal is a fan of using a solvent either and shows interesting pics to explain why.

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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January 6, 2019 - 12:41 pm
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bunny_pole_dancer

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 6, 2019 - 1:03 pm
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Yup - I know ( @bocalholly ) - but I'm happy with it for my needs, and only use the alcohol dampened (not soaked) cloth on occasion ! 

Although - having said that (about not soaking the strings) - once or twice in the past - I've taken the strings off and shaken them in a jar of eth/meth-anol - it's not only the bow contact area that gets gunged-up with rosin - the fingered parts of the strings get all sorts of gunk on them from sweat, grease, skin micro particles and so on - I understand there can be a "danger" in affecting the inner core of wound synthetics - but certainly when I did that - these old strings (pretty much undamaged in any other way as far as the naked eye could tell - like at pinch-points on nut and bridge) - sang again - maybe not as well as broken-in-new - but significantly better than before the cleaning.  [ I only did that because I was sort of forced into it - I knew I would have to wait at least 4 days to get the new ones I had just ordered, delivered ]

Yup - it all depends on just how vigorous the approach is - like the cork thing - I just didn't like "how it felt" on the strings and felt "unsettled" when I tried it - so I resorted to the plain cloth - and of course occasionally the alcohol - when/if used - just damp and no more.  The full-on alcohol "bath" is desperate measures for an old, tired string set !  🙂 and is certainly not recommended on a regular basis !!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
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January 6, 2019 - 1:44 pm
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Hey, me and my violin parts, we're no tea totalers either. Remember, I'm the girl who gives her bow hair an alcohol bath when in trouble. violin-bang

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Amateur
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January 7, 2019 - 12:20 am
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I usually use alcohol patches. I've got plenty of them. Works well and I don't need to scrub.

His alcohol test only showed that it penetrates to the fibers, not that it effects performance or longevity.

My strings usually last about 5-7 months before the windings on the D or A string starts to give out and by that time I figure they're due for replacement anyway.

I too have stripped rosin off of bow hairs with alcohol when I experiment with different rosins(only way to be sure that it's the rosin I'm experiencing I figure).

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Gordon Shumway
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January 7, 2019 - 4:20 am
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Amateur said
His alcohol test only showed that it penetrates to the fibers, not that it effects performance or longevity.

My strings usually last about 5-7 months before the windings on the D or A string starts to give out and by that time I figure they're due for replacement anyway.

Good points. I'm on my first set of strings since I bought the violin at the start of October. I'll replace them when my teacher tells me to.

I too have stripped rosin off of bow hairs with alcohol when I experiment with different rosins(only way to be sure that it's the rosin I'm experiencing I figure).  

I think you should be warier with a natural fibre such as horse hair. Alcohol dissolves protein, and other chemicals will be potentially even worse (bleach will dissolve the hair completely).

Andrew

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ELCB
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July 11, 2020 - 5:30 pm
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bocaholly - Glad I found this thread w/your post referring to https://shop.warchal.com/blogs.....ur-strings

I had previously read articles recommending alcohol & my "Spidey Sense" was set off, though I did use it to clean my 1st original strings (besides microfiber).

thanx_gif

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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July 13, 2020 - 9:03 am
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Warchal's "science" features on vcom a lot. I don't recall any other stringmaker issuing such warnings, though.

"A string's construction is quite complex and it gets affected by penetration all kinds of contaminants during its life time. The less the better of course." If you want genuine science, you must realise that this is already a mere assumption. Maybe a string will sound sweeter with a little internal damping? [lol, imagine they develop internally damped strings and charge you an extra 100% for the R&D!]

The green is all very pretty, but what weight of rosin does it amount to, and how does it compare with the mass of rosin that will be on the outside of your strings during any playing session?

And over a string's lifetime, is the quantity of internal build-up worth worrying about?

And what mass of rosin is capable of penetrating such a tightly-clustered bundle of microfilaments. In other words, how much room is in there?

I asked these questions on vcom and no-one responded.

Andrew

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ELCB
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July 13, 2020 - 12:40 pm
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Gordon Shumway - Yes, definitely some assumptions.  I kind of took it to be an issue with synthetic core strings - not so much the metal core (like you said, could probably benefit from a little dampening - lol).

I also understood that study to say rosin in it's natural state isn't a problem but when dissolved in a solvent, the rosin penetrates the string more easily - possibly causing more of an issue than sweat/salt from fingers at the other end.

My assumptions - past experiences with how solvents effect different plastics and my suspicion that NO string maker tells all their little secrets of what actually goes into the making of their strings, has me leary of using them (solvents).

PS.  I'm just an old lady... well, old anyway - trying to preserve the original characteristics of my synthetic core strings for as long as possible.  Probably why I try to use the least amount of rosin, too.

 

- Emily

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