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I recently attempted to re hair one of my bows. When I got to the tip I did something wrong and the hair wouldn't stay. I have always been pretty good with my hands. My issue is lack of time, so I'm not sure I can free up enough time to retry it again. The materials weren't that expensive so I'm not out much.
From my very brief experience with different bows it seems to me that some bows were not made with re hair in mind. All glued together and trying to pull them apart creates more problems. The bow I was attempting to rehair wasn't a cheapo at 200.00. Not a really good one but not something I would toss in the bin. I will likely take it to someone local to have it done if they can even do it on that bow. The frog was all glued together on it. When I attempted to remove the steel ring. With me being very gentle that part of the frog still broke. A new frog wasn't much at all. I might attempt it again, but it surely seems to me some more modern engineering is in order to replace bow hair on a bow. This is definitely 1700's tech in my opinion. Why haven't they made it easier to do by now?
I seen the bow sale at Fiddlerman and bought one of the less expensive bows made with sandlewood which is said to "have similar characteristics to pernambuco". No worries Fiddlerman. I won't send it back, but it isn't exactly what I expected. I don't know what I really expected for that price. I should have known better really. It's a decent beginners bow. Not as nimble as a few of my other bows but passable if that was all I had. The wood seems really soft to me. Not as hard as pernambuco wood, so I guess I fail to see the comparison there. I can see the wisdom in simply buying a new bow if the bow is decent instead of re hairing an older less expensive bow if the cost to re hair exceeds the value of the bow.
I'm probably beginner intermediate. What range of bows would you recommend as being good for more nimble playing? Just curious. I have a basic Jon Paul which I like but I think it is due for a rehair too. I have a bunch of bows that are similar to the one I just ordered...so I guess I'm looking to maybe move up a little. I already bought the Fiddlerman Carbon fiber bow which is pretty good. Just wondering if there is such a thing as an affordable and also really good bow. I'm beginning to think the two don't go together. Recommendations appreciated.
Thanks Fiddlerman. I knew you had the generous return policy, I'll probably just keep it to include with one of my other violins when I sell it so I can honestly say it's a new bow. It is a decent beginner bow.
I'm wondering if I shouldn't maybe be thinking about a higher end carbon fiber bow. I would just want to make sure that it is easy for someone to re hair it when the time comes. I only say this because the cost of high end wood vows is up there and they can break.
@Fiddlerman I'm wondering why the pronounced beak on the tip of the bow in this (or any other) picture: -
I'd have thought a rounded end might be stronger if the bow got dropped and wonder if this beak is left over from wood when it might have been functional (?? or easier to carve?) or whether it still serves some function now? I wonder if it's worth asking an archetier?
@starise . One, if not the main, points of your original post concerned the use of ca glue in the process of inserting the wood (or plastic) wedges to secure the bow hair. Although not necessary in a properly crafted bow, it has now become ubiquitous in this society of throw away objects.
I have purchased many bows in bulk, mostly constructed of carbon fiber, turned away from a rehair due to this issue. I have been successful in removing it with drills and chisels, but the process is too laborious for commercial endeavors.
Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.
Check out this bow
Currently out of stock though. The popularity has been greater than we expected, though I love using it...."
any shipping in soon?
@Fiddlerman, Thanks for this information. I'll keep this one on my short list of bows to watch. I like faux wood, but if forced to make a choice over a better value with good function I'll go without.
@Irv , I wish you lived closer to me. I think you would be the person to fix the bow. It was my first bow experience and admittedly in working with something like this a first timer is bound to make at least a few mistakes. I stand by my first idea though, and I think you further confirmed it, that many bows are not made with re hair in mind.
Just curious, why would the carbon fiber bows be more prone to these problems?
The bow I was operating on is wood and was a decent player. I managed to get the hair in the frog ok. I think the issue was more the way I wrapped the hair around the wooden plug. If successful and aside from my time spent on it, it's still less expensive than an expensive rehair job. I think I paid something like 3 US for a new frog. The hair wasn't that much. In all honesty I was probably being unrealistic in the amount of time I had to do it. I'm not sure when I can get back to it again.
@starise and others. You lost me on the wrapping hair on a wood plug sentence. Once the hair is wet and combed, a string is wrapped around the hair end and excess hair is cut off. The hair end is adhered together to prevent individual hairs from slipping out (old method uses heated rosin, newer method uses ca glue). The hair end is then secured into the bow tip using a wedge (historically made of maple).
Good white horse hair for bows is in high demand and is therefore very expensive. I have been disappointed in obtaining bows of otherwise good workmanship ruined due to unplayable hair. If you continue to progress with bow repairing, please consider using black horse hair. Due likely from lack of interest, hair of this color is quite inexpensive and plays wonderfully.
Elsewhere in the tread you mentioned a liking of a faux wood cf bow. I have a bow example where wood veneer is wrapped onto a carbon fiber bow core. It exhibits much better playing characteristics than my other (admittedly not very expensive) cf bows. These are marketed as “hybrid” bows.
Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.
Thanks @Irv, I should have been more clear. I had already wrapped and sealed the horse hair. I was at the stage where you position the hair into the end of the bow and add the wedge. I used the hide glue. I forget which I did wrong now. I probably went the wrong way with the bow tip end hair after I inserted the wedge. The result was that when I tightened the frog it pulled out the hair from the tip end. There wasn't enough hold strength for the hair to stay in.
I use a hybrid bow as my main viola bow. The thin layer of wood adds back a surprising amount of the warmth that carbon fiber bows often lack. And it works well for the full range of professional bowing technique -- in fact, a professional violist switched to the same model after trying my bow for a few minutes.
The bow I use is the C.F. Iesta, which is now sold in the US as the JonPaul Fusion Silver. (When I bought it, JonPaul was not yet selling it under license. The Iesta name is still used in Europe.) It was a little over $500 for the viola bow; the violin bow sells for just under $400. The regular JonPaul Fusion with nickel fittings is about half the price and should be almost as good; I understand they're manufactured the same way and they just select the best sticks for silver fittings.