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Itty Bitty Bow Repair

Kate Mohr

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My dad brought home a 1/4 size bow for me from his trip to the Skinner's auction. It's an adorable little bow. I recently did a double chaval on the frog of a 2/4 size but this bow is even smaller. 


This one didn't need much work just a new tip, slide, wrap, thumbgrip and a ridiculous about on straightening and camber. 

To give you an idea of size I took pictures of the head and frog next to a quarter.



Old tip



New tip



Frog had to have a new slide, and the ferrule reshaped. 



The button was covered in scratches like it had been chewed on.



Doesn't it look better now?10384577_562187010578129_569160048151313


Now I just have to rehair, straighten, camber, wrap and thumbgrip. I'm thinking Teal and silver tinsel for fun.

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Button Looks great! I always reshape and polish nickel or silver starting with 400 and working to the 3000 grit 3m padded discs. I use mineral spirits as a lube so that when I wipe the paper clean all the sanding particles go with it. Keeping my paper like new.

I have always liked small bows.

Itty bitty bow meet itty bitty kitty

That's her name.... She was wild and I rescued her from my 4 beast dogs. She does great violin repairs


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That is very nice work, but is that bow really worth it? Can you sell that bow for enough to justify the work that you have put into it?

It's a Bazin, we are thinking Retail on it will be $750. Retail on my 1/2 size Bazin is $1,200 and it is with A very nice high end shop. They have a great clientele for these small bows.

Since I got it for free, and there isn't that much work in it I'll definitely make some money on it. My prices for repairs are low because I just started my business last year, I only do to the trade work and the businesses sending me the work need to be able to make money off of me.

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Oh sure, if it's a Bazin it's worth fixing.

Is that the final tip thickness? The tip looks disproportionately thick, perhaps because it's a 1/4 size bow. And, in view of the ivory situation, what material is the tip made from?

I could have made it thinner and more proportional to the size of the bow but from what I've noticed about the smaller bows is the thickness of the ivory/ivory-like material is thicker and closer to the thickness on a full size bow. Maybe it adds strength?

I used Tip Armor rather Mammoth or plastics. It is available through David Warther. Because the material is woven it gives it strength. The weave pattern is visible without it detracting from its traditional look.

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I'm going to be a real party-pooper here, but I would take issue with the description of "Bazin" - this looks to me like a basic Mirecourt brazilwood or abeille wood student bow, of the sort sold by the dozen by all the French wholesalers. It does have a full metal slide, but it still seems to me to be low level work, whether it came out of the Bazin shop or not.


The marks on the adjuster are as likely as not how it left the shop, and if this bow has any historic value (which I slightly doubt) I would regard these marks and the very square facets of the adjuster as a part of that value, along with the protruding pins and other signs that this was made in 5 minutes by a boy who should have been at school.


Appraisers have an absolute abhorrence of any kind of abrasives, since these can obscure original tool marks and buffing marks which aid identification. I don't think they should ever be used.


These Mirecourt batch bows generally warp a lot and need wrenching back into shape - one hopes permanently, but who knows. I think one should be very conservative in pricing something like this.

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Martin, I respect your opinion. It is a shop bow but we believe it is probably from the Bazin shop. It can be very difficult to tell what kind of wood a bow is without holding it in your hands, I assure you it is pernambuco and probably made by a boy who should have been in school.


I'm going to go with what my dad says about the bow since he has been in the bow business for over 30 years and is highly respected in his field. 

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After an hour of straightening the horrible kink behind the head has been relieved and the bow is straight. Now you can look down the bow without fear of straining an eyeball. 


A new wrap and leather thumbgrip and the bow is now finished. Now I have to stop goofing off and get back to making bows. 10421277_563918027071694_897577356469929


p.s. I decided on lime green instead of teal. 

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What do you use on nickel?  jeff

Occasionally just a bit of jewellers rouge on a cloth and a bit of elbow grease to remove any green oxide from the surface . Apart from that if the surface is clean i prefer to just leave it. I dont like over polishing nickel  ,i prefer the look of patina. Same with silver ,i may remove the sulphide layer with a cloth with a little bit of something like autosol  but thats it.

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