FORUM

Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

Fiddlershop is currently looking for a 7th repair/setup/luthier technician to join our team. Send PM if you are interested.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
What Rosin Does To A Bow
I came across this article and video when looking for other information
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
Avatar
cid
February 9, 2019 - 8:21 am
Member Since: December 26, 2018
Forum Posts: 1313
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I came across this article when looking for different information. It was quite interesting. I was looking for information on using “Hammer On” with Danny Boy to embellish the areas that are crying for vibrato. I have been experimenting while waiting for vibrato to “make an appearance” because it is a long way off. I am not sure if “pull off” is used with violin like it is on guitar anf banjo, have not investigated that yet, but in the meantime, while in estigating hammer in and pull off, I read this and watched its included video. Kind of neat. Much we already know, but still interesting. Enjoy.

https://www.wqxr.org/story/wha.....olin-bows/

Off to start my day. 

They call me, “Mellow Cello” 

Avatar
DennisS
Long Valley, NJ/Hobe Sound, FL
Member
Members
February 9, 2019 - 9:00 am
Member Since: December 23, 2018
Forum Posts: 29
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Cid - A very interesting piece, especially the video by Sharon Kwee.  Finally an explanation of the physical reason that bows need to be rehaired - when the surface scales/plates wear out and can no longer hold the rosin.  I suppose the key thing is to figure out when that is happening as I'm sure it is a very gradual process.  Thanks for the link.

Dennis

If I don't have time for a short post, I'll write a long post - (adapted from Mark Twain)

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
February 9, 2019 - 3:52 pm
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 527
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

DennisS said
Cid - A very interesting piece, especially the video by Sharon Kwee.  Finally an explanation of the physical reason that bows need to be rehaired - when the surface scales/plates wear out and can no longer hold the rosin.  I suppose the key thing is to figure out when that is happening as I'm sure it is a very gradual process.  Thanks for the link.

Dennis  

It's gradual, but at some point you're going to notice that you have to rosin your bow much more frequently than before or tighten the bow more to get the same sound, or that the bow feels like it's slipping on the string.

But that doesn't always mean a rehair is needed. Too much rosin building up on the bow hairs can have the same effect. If you think you need a rehair, first try wiping rosin off the bow hairs with a dry cloth to see if it solves the problem.

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
February 9, 2019 - 7:19 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1171
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

From what I have read, the adhesion is mostly due to the electrical attraction of the rosin particles to the keratin in the horse hair.  

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

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

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 22, 2019 - 8:35 am
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 744
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

AndrewH said
that doesn't always mean a rehair is needed. Too much rosin building up on the bow hairs can have the same effect. If you think you need a rehair, first try wiping rosin off the bow hairs with a dry cloth to see if it solves the problem.  

My teacher was saying something similar yesterday - when she was a student and couldn't afford to rehair so often, she used to remove the frog and wash the bow hair gently by hand in soap and water and then hang it up to dry and that gave it a new lease of life.

She also warned me against touching the hair to feel how much grip it has, as the grease from your fingers can prevent the rosin from sticking to the hair, but that is also solved by washing it.

Andrew

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 22, 2019 - 9:06 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14717

I'm not sure how much rosin you can remove with water and soap.
I know that some people remove the rosin with alcohol but I've never done it.
Alcohol is frequently used though to remove sticky rosin from one place or another but you must be VERY careful not to get it on your varnish. I will soften or remove varnish as well.

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

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 22, 2019 - 1:36 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 744
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

Fiddlerman said
I'm not sure how much rosin you can remove with water and soap.
I know that some people remove the rosin with alcohol but I've never done it.

Alcohol dissolves protein. She uses it for strings (about once every 3 gigs, she said) but never for her bow. We were just chatting during lunch, so I may have misheard the beginning of what she was saying. Thinking of times when I've got tree sap on my hands, soap didn't do much good, lol. Well, not in the short term.

Is it possible that the deeply embedded rosin in the bow hair attracts dirt and stuff, and that needs removal?

Andrew

Avatar
bocaholly
Boca Raton, Florida
Members

Regulars
February 22, 2019 - 2:26 pm
Member Since: July 8, 2018
Forum Posts: 661
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Gordon, was it you or Irv or someone else who mentioned that static electricity played a role in rosin adhering to bow hair? 

So I'm thinking that if the bow hair starts getting greasy either from handling or particles in the air, then its ability to hold an electric charge is diminished. At least that's the way it work when my longish, grey hair is freshly washed... lots of static electricity. When I apply a tiny drop of argan oil, problem solved... static electricity is gone.

That's the opposite of what I want for my bow hair (and no, I've never tried rubbing rosin on my freshly conditioned hair to see if it sticks :-))

Avatar
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 22, 2019 - 3:00 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 744
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

bocaholly said
Gordon, was it you or Irv or someone else who mentioned that static electricity played a role in rosin adhering to bow hair? 

I think it was Irv, but at the time I suspected he was being very technical about how many different adhesive mechanisms there are (i.e. how many ways do glues work?). Even certain molecules bind together, technically speaking, by static electricity (e.g. salts. It's more technical than that, but it works as an explanation at high school level). I could be wrong, so I apologise to Irv if I have misrepresented him.

Andrew

Avatar
Irv
Members

Regulars
February 22, 2019 - 8:16 pm
Member Since: December 23, 2017
Forum Posts: 1171
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Rosin mainly adheres to horse hair through electrostatic attraction.  

The hair is soaked in warm water mixed with mild soap before the second knot is made in the initial process of hairing a bow (we are, after all, talking about a natural product coming from the hind end of a horse). Soaking the hair in soapy water once insertion is made is likely to cause a lot of loose hairs.  It is possible to even out the hair by the use of an alcohol lamp or hot air gun, but that is not an easy process.

I do not know if the need to rehair is due to the gradual descaling, the build up of contaminates which diminish electrostatic charge, a combination of both, or something else.  It is obvious that hair quality varies widely in its capacity for rosin.  I have had new bows ready to play with rosin after less than a minute preparation.  Other bows take ten minutes.  I have a few “eBay special” bows that are unplayable because of their complete refusal to accept any rosin regardless of effort.

It would be an interesting experiment to soak inexpensive bow hair in a mixture of warm distilled water and commercial “swimmer’s shampoo” which contains the compound EDTA (which removes chlorine from hair), and see if it improves the quality of the hair. 

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.  —Werner von Braun

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

Experience is a difficult teacher, it gives the test first and the lesson after.

Avatar
Mark
Members

Regulars
February 22, 2019 - 9:30 pm
Member Since: September 30, 2014
Forum Posts: 810
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
5

What rosin does to a bow is, makes it work.exactly .gold_star

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 23, 2019 - 5:10 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 14717
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

We even bought a large amount of Zarelon hair that we are supposed to sand lightly with 100 grid paper. About 15 strokes or so. Apparently to increase the grip. I can see where this makes a bit of sense.

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

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 424
Currently Online: Gordon Shumway
79
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming RossTiger, Georganne, brewyet, Krootie, Jacen_C, PaganinisGhost, Bill97a, cashierjim, RealCeeJay, Bella86, spirryn, cid
Top Posters:
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2673
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Kevin M.: 1969
damfino: 1944
cdennyb: 1814
TerryT: 1726
Ferret: 1575
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 27002
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 59
Topics: 8091
Posts: 100777
Newest Members:
Lisa332, Itere1999, BobY04, joneskilly0209, reywilnc, DanielGraves
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 14717, KindaScratchy: 1737, coolpinkone: 4169, BillyG: 3040, MrsFiddlerman: 1, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, cid: 1313