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Do It Your Self Bow re-hair


Nihad
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Now here's something that definitely doesn't belong to the FAQ-s!

I need somebody to explain me the process of re-hairing the bow i.e. somebody

who is not selfish or inpatient like my uncle who doesn't have the patience to

show me how to do it or at least hair the damned bow I'm playing with.

I can do that my self, no doubt about that, it is only that I forgot the part when fixing

the combed hair to the tip and some other things I rather not mention now (they seem

to be some secret recipe of my uncle). I have all the tools I need (and more) all

I am asking for is a step by step explanation on how to do it decently and I hope I

will build my own Technique somehow. Knowing how jealous bow-makers and other craftsmen

are I doubt anybody will help me but I am so frustrated that I will do it my self anyway...

So act fast before I make some damage :))

Once more: I am not an ABSOLUTE beginner I saw the re-hairing a dozen of times I just never

done it my self. A little story on how to re-hair the bow will do just fine to refresh my memory.

If you find time to help me I would appreciate if you could just write a line about yourself so I

know I am not receiving instructions from a novice like me.

I am looking forward to hearing from you maestros out there

Best regards from the Balkan peninsula!

Nihad

Sarajevo, Bosnia & Hercegovina

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Hello: Well...in USA we don't have secrets...just different methods.

I assume you started rehairing from the frog. Have twine...I use unwaxed dental floss...powdered rosin...I make my own from old cakes....; a well fit wooden plug...just room enough left for hair to come around;

super glue, and a flame source.

Wet the hair, put frog on bow, leave a few mm of space from frog to fully loose position, comb hair twice to tip, hold bundle securely, work-in a little powdered rosin, holding bundle flat, tie off, 1-2 mm past mortice...I use two half hitches, four turns, then two half hitches...KEEP TWINE TIGHT...cut floss 3mm too long, melt ends of floss to a little ball, flatten with wet finger before the ball cools, then cut hair 1 to 2 mm past the floss, seal with super glue. Remove frog from bow, put in you jig, then comb hair toward tip...keep bundle parrallel to stick, turn hair over, remove comb...keeping hairs in position, then, put tie-off in the mortice, then put the plug in...replace frog on bow, tighten and allow to dry. Several tries at right length and parallel hairs will become the norm!

Good luck

Al Stancel

PS: The more answers you get, the better you can pick the procedure to fit you...hope you get lots of response!

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Thank you very much for the detailed instructions. It was like actually watching a bow being rehaired...it obviously helped that I seen the rehairing before. I must admit I was surprised to get such a reply and I appreciate it very much. I guess there are so many bow-makers in the USA that you stoped worrying about competition. It's not the same in other parts of the world. My uncle, I mentioned, is the only man doing repairs on stringed instruments in the whole country...the sad fact is that he hasn't got as many customers as he had before the aggression on Bosnia. None can live of aprox. 20 violin players in the country. I had a chance to engage in violin repairing too, at a well known school, but like my uncle did many years ago I decided to get a university diploma first.

Sometimes I ask my self how can people live of repairing (or making) violins at all? First there are not so many artists in one region who need rehairing every three months and second, everybody takes care of his instrument so they don't have to be repaired often. You could start making your own violins but then you need three months to make a piece of art that costs about $1000. If the most famous schools of violin making in Europe are going broke what will happen to less known violin makers like my uncle who haven't

had the chance to earn a certificate? He started to learn the job by assisting his teacher, a well known maestro in former Yugoslavia. He had to earn his teachers confidence in that matter that the maestro could put his name behind the work my uncle did. This is the toughest kind of school there is. After maestro Nikolic's sudden death my uncle inherited the atelier but was left without a certificate of a violin maker. I don't know about USA but in Europe the certificate of a violin maker is a matter of survival in the sea of

traditional violin making schools.

My uncle dried the tears of hundereds of artists by making the damage on cello's, violin's, viola's disappear and he can fix almost anything a man can damage on an stringed instrument (literally). I can say because I saw it my self. But he could never make ends meet if he hadn't had a job, totally different from violin making. Having no customers for this region and no certificate to be taken in consideration for international work he has to do this other job (a very responsible and time taking job) so that only from time to time he repairs an instrument if it is a challenge for him. Recently he repaired a totally unusable cello of a russian artist. The poor Russian cried of joy when he saw his cello again without any sign of damage. But when it comes to the simple things like rehairing a bow (even mine)...no way you're going to make that man light the candle, melt the wax and tight the twine :) Now he keeps telling me how he will make a new atelier when he goes to retirement, and how he will finally finish his Zubin Mehta violin. This violin is one of his own works. When he presented it to Mehta they decided to put Mehta's autograph on the corpus of the violin.

I will have to learn to do the simple reapairs my self before he starts using the wood he is drying for the last 20 years. Maybe he wants it like that to see if I really want to engage in this thankless handicraft. I know one thing for sure: he would kill me if he knew I was writing in public about his problems :)

I have no choice because I have to play a concert next summer with new bow-hair I hope :)

Maybe it would be interesting if you and others could tell what you think the future of a violin maker, repairman or bow maker looks like. It is also an interesting issue for the next century and for young people like me who wish to remain tradition. I have friends who continued their musical education in different parts of the world and I heard different experiences. It would be great to hear what people of other coutries and continents think about the profession of a violin/bow maker. It could help find solutions or at least define the problems that should be solved.

Finally, are we going to see (more) violin making schools being closed after all these centuries?

Nihad

Sarajevo, B&H

: Hello: Well...in USA we don't have secrets...just different methods.

: I assume you started rehairing from the frog. Have twine...I use unwaxed dental floss...powdered rosin...I make my own from old cakes....; a well fit wooden plug...just room enough left for hair to come around;

: super glue, and a flame source.

: Wet the hair, put frog on bow, leave a few mm of space from frog to fully loose position, comb hair twice to tip, hold bundle securely, work-in a little powdered rosin, holding bundle flat, tie off, 1-2 mm past mortice...I use two half hitches, four turns, then two half hitches...KEEP TWINE TIGHT...cut floss 3mm too long, melt ends of floss to a little ball, flatten with wet finger before the ball cools, then cut hair 1 to 2 mm past the floss, seal with super glue. Remove frog from bow, put in you jig, then comb hair toward tip...keep bundle parrallel to stick, turn hair over, remove comb...keeping hairs in position, then, put tie-off in the mortice, then put the plug in...replace frog on bow, tighten and allow to dry. Several tries at right length and parallel hairs will become the norm!

: Good luck

: Al Stancel

: PS: The more answers you get, the better you can pick the procedure to fit you...hope you get lots of response!

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: Thank you very much for the detailed instructions. It was like actually watching a bow being rehaired...it obviously helped that I seen the rehairing before. I must admit I was surprised to get such a reply and I appreciate it very much. I guess there are so many bow-makers in the USA that you stoped worrying about competition. It's not the same in other parts of the world. My uncle, I mentioned, is the only man doing repairs on stringed instruments in the whole country...the sad fact is that he hasn't got as many customers as he had before the aggression on Bosnia. None can live of aprox. 20 violin players in the country. I had a chance to engage in violin repairing too, at a well known school, but like my uncle did many years ago I decided to get a university diploma first.

: Sometimes I ask my self how can people live of repairing (or making) violins at all? First there are not so many artists in one region who need rehairing every three months and second, everybody takes care of his instrument so they don't have to be repaired often. You could start making your own violins but then you need three months to make a piece of art that costs about $1000. If the most famous schools of violin making in Europe are going broke what will happen to less known violin makers like my uncle who haven't

: had the chance to earn a certificate? He started to learn the job by assisting his teacher, a well known maestro in former Yugoslavia. He had to earn his teachers confidence in that matter that the maestro could put his name behind the work my uncle did. This is the toughest kind of school there is. After maestro Nikolic's sudden death my uncle inherited the atelier but was left without a certificate of a violin maker. I don't know about USA but in Europe the certificate of a violin maker is a matter of survival in the sea of

: traditional violin making schools.

: My uncle dried the tears of hundereds of artists by making the damage on cello's, violin's, viola's disappear and he can fix almost anything a man can damage on an stringed instrument (literally). I can say because I saw it my self. But he could never make ends meet if he hadn't had a job, totally different from violin making. Having no customers for this region and no certificate to be taken in consideration for international work he has to do this other job (a very responsible and time taking job) so that only from time to time he repairs an instrument if it is a challenge for him. Recently he repaired a totally unusable cello of a russian artist. The poor Russian cried of joy when he saw his cello again without any sign of damage. But when it comes to the simple things like rehairing a bow (even mine)...no way you're going to make that man light the candle, melt the wax and tight the twine :) Now he keeps telling me how he will make a new atelier when he goes to retirement, and how he will finally finish his Zubin Mehta violin. This violin is one of his own works. When he presented it to Mehta they decided to put Mehta's autograph on the corpus of the violin.

: I will have to learn to do the simple reapairs my self before he starts using the wood he is drying for the last 20 years. Maybe he wants it like that to see if I really want to engage in this thankless handicraft. I know one thing for sure: he would kill me if he knew I was writing in public about his problems :)

: I have no choice because I have to play a concert next summer with new bow-hair I hope :)

: Maybe it would be interesting if you and others could tell what you think the future of a violin maker, repairman or bow maker looks like. It is also an interesting issue for the next century and for young people like me who wish to remain tradition. I have friends who continued their musical education in different parts of the world and I heard different experiences. It would be great to hear what people of other coutries and continents think about the profession of a violin/bow maker. It could help find solutions or at least define the problems that should be solved.

: Finally, are we going to see (more) violin making schools being closed after all these centuries?

: Nihad

: Sarajevo, B&H

: : Hello: Well...in USA we don't have secrets...just different methods.

: : I assume you started rehairing from the frog. Have twine...I use unwaxed dental floss...powdered rosin...I make my own from old cakes....; a well fit wooden plug...just room enough left for hair to come around;

: : super glue, and a flame source.

: : Wet the hair, put frog on bow, leave a few mm of space from frog to fully loose position, comb hair twice to tip, hold bundle securely, work-in a little powdered rosin, holding bundle flat, tie off, 1-2 mm past mortice...I use two half hitches, four turns, then two half hitches...KEEP TWINE TIGHT...cut floss 3mm too long, melt ends of floss to a little ball, flatten with wet finger before the ball cools, then cut hair 1 to 2 mm past the floss, seal with super glue. Remove frog from bow, put in you jig, then comb hair toward tip...keep bundle parrallel to stick, turn hair over, remove comb...keeping hairs in position, then, put tie-off in the mortice, then put the plug in...replace frog on bow, tighten and allow to dry. Several tries at right length and parallel hairs will become the norm!

: : Good luck

: : Al Stancel

: : PS: The more answers you get, the better you can pick the procedure to fit you...hope you get lots of response!

i THINK THE PERSON COULD SHOW A LITTLE MORE RESPECT FOR HIS UNCLE

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Hello Nihad:

I am glad the "instructions" were useful to you.

No wonder lots of people want to move to the United States....we have fewer problems, I think, than you do...politically and financially.

Well...it is a hard way to make a living...just making violins and bows. Most luthiers start out with the sole purpose of making instruments...then, when they need food on the table, they start selling instruments...doing repair...selling accessories...and so on. Of course, there are exceptions....many are successful, their finished instruments being in high demand.

Maybe others will constructively answer your questions...I hope so.

Very best regards,

Al

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