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UG Fiddlesmith

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  1. Maybe fifteen years ago a fellow fiddler showed me how he rehaired bows and I remember him telling me not to use glue in the mortises. Now after 15 years of not using glue I wonder why so many of the bows that come across my bench have moderately or severe glued mortise plugs. Often I spend 15 to 20 minutes digging, drilling, etc trying to get out a plug and not damage for or tip. Then there are the guy (gals) who put a drop of super glue on the slide. I am always thrilled to get in a repeat rehair (one I had previousl done) and I zoom through the process. Best I tell I have rehaired 2000 bows-not a record I'm sure but I am still learning. Any comments?
  2. An old bow (1900) was brought to me with a broken tongue with a request to repair the frog; I don't feel the bow is of high value and the owner doesn't want to spend high dollars to restore it. I have ideas how to do the repair but would like to hear from others who have actually done it. If all else fails I can fit a new frog but I would like to restore the old frog. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  3. I think Claim tickets are a must; I have been rehairing for about 15 years and rehair 5 to 10 a week; I work for a medium sized shop and don't often meet the customer and several people intake the bows so I have no connection with the bow and the owner. I insist that the bow be placed in a plastic bow bag with the order placed inside and a hang tag tied to the bow. I try to get the intake person to make a brief inspection checking for cracks in the tip, head frog etc. If a name is stamped on the bow I want that noted on the Claim Ticket. Occasionally a dispute will occur but I give a careful inspection before I do anything to the bow and if anything looks "iffy" I stop and call the owner. If I had the facilities to do it I would photograph all bows at intake as someday I know that would be valuable. I am aware of a situation elsewhere where a bow was switched and I played a part in getting the original bow back to the owner so, these things do happen.
  4. A bow was brought to me with the screw broken off about 20mm from the button and the frog would not come off the stick; I attempted to remove the hair and was able to loosen the ferrule and the slide but that didn't help and finally cut the hair which allowed the frog to move along the stick but didn't want to come out. After working the frog back and forth several times and removing a lot of thick grease and dirt the frog come out. The break in the screw was flush with the eyelet which is why it finally came out but had the screw broken off and protruded from the eyelet then I don't know how the frog would be removed. Any ideas or experiences? I might add that it is a nice looking bow, gold mounted but with an awful rusty lead screw. I would have thought that a bow of this quality would have had a stainless steel screw.
  5. Recently a student violin was presented to me with all four pegs really stuck and they were really stuck and didn't want to move with a peg wrench or hammer and punch; I stuck the instrument in the refrigerator in the afternoon and the next morning the pegs were loose enough to remove with moderate finger pressure. I cleaned and lubed the pegs and no more problem.
  6. Go online and type in "Bow badger" for in interesting device which bores and rebores holes in endpins. It might fit the bill for what you are needing. If I did more bow repair I might invest in something like this.
  7. I have mostly fit medium gauge strings to instruments and would like to know when it is appropriate to use light or heavy gauge strings; according to the package the amount of tension increases as the gauge goes from light to heavy and amounts to about 10% increase per size. Thanks
  8. Thanks for the replys to the question about bow tips and epoxy; I really learned that I was doing almost everything wrong and it is a miracle that any of those tips held. It was news to me that carbon fiber was plastic-most adheasive packages say they don't bond well with plastic. I have put quite a few plastic tips on plastic bows and expect there are more to come. A lot of carbon fiber bows are being sold and the tips do break/come off. Thanks again.
  9. I filed the surface to remove old glue, scored the head with a knife, scored the tip, placed in a jig to hold it stable, mixed the epoxy and applied it, clamped it. Ditto for the the CA and accelerator.
  10. I have a carbon fiber bow that needs a new tip installed. I have tried two-part epoxy and Cyano Acrilate and the tips peeled off like a Post it note sticker. The original tip was white plastic and the back half disappeared unnoticed and when I proceeded to remove the remnant of the tip it came off with no difficulty. Any clues on how to glue stuff to a carbon fiber fiddle bow? Thanks
  11. I put one cleat at the neck end, two on one side and one on the other then it seems I need one more to tighten up the bar so it will barely move; I slide it no more than .5 mm. Someday I am going to count reps on a soundpost patch-I might need a bigger sheet of paper.
  12. I recently opened a violin with the intent of shortening the ribs as they were hanging off the back edge only to find the bass bar about 50% loose from the top-some attempt had been made in the past to reglue this bar but apparently there was too much spring to overcome. It took only a few minutes to remove the bar in one piece. I proceeded to shorten the ribs and then started on the bass bar. I planed it to thickness, cut it to rough length, layed out its position and tack glued it in place pretty well following Weishaar & Shipman and Johnson and Courtnal. After drying I used my handy little washer to scribe the curved shape of the bar, then removed the bar and trimmed with a knife to the scribed line then fitted 5 cleats to keep it in place while chalk fitting. The purpose of this thread is to describe how I kept up with the time I spent starting with a stopwatch to determine how much time it took to place the bar on the top and get some chalk transfer then remove the chalk. It takes me about a minute to do one repetition. I tallied each repepition until I was satisfied with the fit. I started with a small straight thumb place and did six repetitions then switched to a scraper to remove the chalk for 20 more repetitions for a total of 26 reps. I have done this experiment before and had a lot more reps but I am finding that the less I use the plane and the more I use the scraper the better it works and I think that is because the plane removes too much material which requires some correction. By timing myself I am sure I have improved my efficiency and thus my costs. I have spent over 5 hours installing a bar in the past. Now I need to figure out how to trim the bar and get predictable results.
  13. Brad-What you said makes a lot of sense to me. Also, your demo on making a cast was extremely well done. Thanks for all your help.
  14. Lots of really great tips on making casts-Thanks. Here's my question. Almost everyone recommends a cast when fitting a soundpost patch but I've read nothing about making a cast when fitting a bass bar, neither new making nor replacing. What is the difference?Thanks again.
  15. The sequence outlined in W & S is pretty complicated and the few attempts to make casts have been anything but easy; I am hoping someone who has a smooth technique would share some tips on how to do this efficiently. It seems to take too much time and adds to the expense of an already expensive repair. I have done at least 10 soundpost patches, most of them without the benefit of a cast and never had a failure. I do use a shaped work block and it keeps the top from rocking and rolling while I work it but doesn't fit any particular top. My only attempt to use dental compound was a total failure.
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