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I am hoping to get back into regular practice soon, assuming my life calms down a bit. I have grandpa's fiddle, which is in excellent shape, and his bow, which is not. I have a cf bow that I hate, and find myself going back to his lightweight bow instead.
There was a horsehair shortage back in the 70s or 80s, and grandpa's buddy rehaired his bow with monofilament fishing line. When I got the fiddle back into playing condition, I cleaned the gunk off of the fishing line bowhair with alcohol and have been using it ever since. Now it is finally (after about 3 decades) starting to break. I kinda want to replace with more fishing line because I like the sound I get. However, the buddy who did it, while still alive, is in his late 80s and doesn't rehair bows anymore.
Opinions? Should I attempt my own rehairing project (which will involve glue removal)? Or should I continue on a quest to find a new bow that I like?
Hi dionysia (and others). I stumbled on something that you may have interest. Peter Zaret has a few "outflying" ideas on the acoustics of violins. He has videos on Youtube where he performs surgery on a violin bass bar with an electric drill through the end peg. More toward your point, he champions the use of synthetic "Zarelon" bow hair, which is available in a variety of colors. He sells Carboni CF violin bows with this hair on Amazon for about $50. If you don't see one in the variety that you like, you can call him up (the telephone number is in the comment section of Amazon) and he will make one for you.
He likely sells the hair by itself, if you want to attempt to rehair grandpa's bow yourself. If you go in this direction, please provide us with a review.
In researching for a good rosin to start with in my climate, I came across a local bow maker, who also does rehair for $70.
I'm sure there are others around the country, but here's one in San Diego .
Of course, check with Fiddlershop also, they might be able to rehair as well.
I had a thought about rehairing grand pa's bow inexpensively and learning something in the process. I found a eBay seller in China that sells violin bow frogs with attached hair for about $10 US. Normally white horse hair is used but I asked for black hair (I plan to rehair a couple of really light bows and I need all of the pull that I can get) and the seller got back to me very quickly with a "special" auction with the black hair. I must say, the hair that I received is very nice. If interested, I will try to put a link here or give hints on finding the auction.
You would still have to remove the hair from the bow tip and either attempt to reuse the wood tip wedge or shape a new one.
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