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Everything posted by FenwickG

  1. " Do you play the Violin?" "Yes; for my own amusement and other people's anguish."
  2. If the hair is not too dirty and is mostly located near the frog where the thumb contacts it I use methanol on a cloth to clean it. Alcohol does dry the hair out and should be used as little as possible. I have on occasion used it to clean all the hair, but when all the hair gets dirty enough that it needs cleaning, it is time for a rehair. I avoid using water and soap to clean hair. I am not worried about the frog or tip rotting, but rather swelling with the water and cracking the mortice. Cleaning the stick is simple. Use as many patches as necessary soaked in methanol or other alcohol and dissolve and remove the old rosin build up. In most cases it will remove some or all of the finish on the stick, but a lot of this finish has been worn away by playing. A nice french polish will restore the finish to new. I wouldn't scrape the stick for fear of scratching or scraping away some of the wood. I am sure there are other methods to clean the stick, but so far these have worked well for me.
  3. Trenchworker; scrape a small shaving from the bottom of the mortise and put it in a few drops of water. If the waster turns pink in a few minutes it is probably a pernambuco bow.
  4. I use a small Record hand drill clamped horizontally in my vise. I know it isn't traditional and the French didn't use it, but it works.
  5. I have had the book for a while and it is great value for the price. A must have on every bookshelf.
  6. FenwickG

    snapped bow

    I have repaired two bows using the method I was taught by David Orlin at Oberlin. Both bows played as good after the repair as they did before the fracture. It is not a quick fix but the results are worth it. This is the type of restoration and repairs that take place at the Oberlin workshops. David, Rodney, and Jerry are a wealth of knowledge and great instructors.
  7. I have had a couple of steel Heddon bows. The heads are aluminum and fit into the steel shaft. The ones I have seen have had plastic frogs and buttons. They actually don't play that bad, and one that I currently have has been used so much that the facits are worn off on the butt end.
  8. This appears to be a German bow to me. Are the large and small heel plates one or two pieces. French bows are usually two piece and most one piece are German. The Roman numeral assembly marks are generally under the lapping on the stick. Sartory bows that I have seen that are genuine are marked E SARTORY A PARIS not just SARTORY. As with violins, nothing is for sure with bows.
  9. I use a chisel not a plane, but then what does a bow maker know about fitting bridges?
  10. Walter Paulus in Germany has the proper screws in both brass and steel. It is best to avoid steel because over time it reacts with the ebony and rusts, which in turn can crack the frog.
  11. Hello Sally,er, Pebbles I have a copy of the Scott Zumberge book. It has been very useful. The downside is that the measurements are imperial not metric. Not a huge problem, but a nusiance. The book is out of print and not a large number were printed in the first place. I have lost your email, perhaps you still have mine when I made the bow nipple cutters for you. I have changed servers. The first part is the same but it is now @telus.net . Let me know if you would like a copy of mine.
  12. I haven't received mine yet. It was nice to have them after the judging, as before. But as they announed, this is the 21 century and things are done on line, which means you might get them or not.
  13. I found out the hard way that ebony isn't the best material for head splines. It is brittle and will break across the grain. A pernambuco spline is much stronger and will make a stronger repair. The black ebony stripe looks nice, but the pernambuco blends better with the existing wood.
  14. G2 epoxy is another brand that is well suited to pernambuco. It has a long working time and works well with acidic woods. Clean the break and spline with acetone before using to remove any oils that might be there.
  15. I just received one of these lights with the violin and cello heads. They are amazing at how they light up the inside of an instrument. No excuses for bad fitting sounposts now. Also the potential for damaging the edges of the f holes is greatly reduced. Doug did ship to Canada and it took five days to get here, but that isn't a given since it goes through Customs.
  16. I have always used Siberian Stallion hair. I haven't used other types, but I am sure that they will work fine as well. Be sure to get unbleached, and patronize a good supplier. Some of the eBay hair isn't very good. Talk to other people who do rehairs and see what type of hair they are using. I personally don't like dark rosin, the asphalt in it really destroys the instrument's finish if it is not wiped off right after playing.
  17. I have done several of these using hair dye from the local hairdresser. Dampen the hair and work in one colour, then continue with sections of other colours. For tiger stripes, colour strands of hair orange and don't touch other strands. You have to be careful not to let the dye to get into the white hair. Using alternating strips of pre-dyed orange and white hair would prevent the problem. I have used this method to do black and white rehairs. It is tricky and time consuming to keep them separate in the ribbon. The problem with coloured hair is that the rosin turns the vibrant colours pastel and kind of defeats the shock value.
  18. Besides nitric acid and ammonia ( which initally turns the wood a liver colour)and UV light; potassium dichromate, potassuim permanganate, and ferrous sulfate will all darken prenambuco. Ferrous sulfate will turn it almost black. Many of the early British bowmakers used it.
  19. Hello Nathan, Some of the Chinese violin tool sellers have left hand spiral reamers. That is where I got mine from. They are not nearly as agressive as the right hand spiral and tend to leave the hole polished. The taper on mine was correct, but there is always some concern about accuracy on Chinese tools. Look on eBay under violin tools to find them. You will have to check the picture to see which way the spiral is going since most sellers don't mention this in the discription.
  20. Thank you, but Rodney Mohr is the genius. You should consider taking in the Bow Repair and Restoration Workshop at Oberlin. Rodney, David and Jerry are masters of the craft and outstanding instructors. As well, many of the people taking the workshop have years of experience behind them and are willing to share it.
  21. The gouge I use is a 3mm number 11 sweep.
  22. Hello Brad, Clamp the bow so it doesn't move and rub the flat facit with a pencil. This makes it shiny to reflect the light. I try to get behind the stick so I am working along the length rather than from the side. After the groove is completed with a chisel I run a 1/8" rasp dowm the grove to smooth off any slight irregularities. The rasp is a piece of 1/8" threaded drill rod. A threaded bow screw will also work. I can't remember what sweep the chisel has, but I will check and let you know.