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Cleaning rosin off bow stick


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: What's the best way to get rosin off a bow stick?

Hi Hana - two weeks or so back I was in the workshop of a Luthier who had been in the business for over 40 years. He used motor car rubbing compound. A small dab of it on a rag and then he softly rubbed the bow from frog to tip several times. The resin disappeared and after a more vigorous rub with a clean dry rag the stick was as good as new.

This makes more sense than using alcohol, acetone or any solvent. After all if you dissolve resin in a solvent you have produced a lacquer - which you are then spreading all over the place. Never mind the chance that the solvent might affect the original varnish.

Rubbing compound is a fine abrasive carried in a oil base which somehow seems a kinder way of treating the finish.

Come to think of it for years I've used brass polish to remove the glue that stays behind when you try remove price tags from birthday presents - similar product to rubbing compound - only more liquid.

Pick up a clear plastic 35 mm film canister from a photo-developing place and visit a panel shop - they'll probably donate some.

happy playing - edi

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