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I have managed in the past to 'put the bow back' into a couple of violin/cello bows with the help of a spirit lamp and gentle coaxing.

I have now been entrusted (as a rank amateur) with a violin bow with a twist.

Is there anything particular I should be careful about in trying to correct the twist, again with heat and gentle coaxing?

Is it a more difficult procedure than straight bending?

I'd be most grateful for any advice.



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Yes, more difficult.

Don't use the head as grip. Look for irregularities in the stick and avoid them at all cost.

Heat longer pieces at a time and use several parts of the bow to correct the twist. Don't attempt at a more than really cheap bow if you are not confident (ask yourself if you should feel confident).

Tell the customer about the risk beforehand.


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My shop policy is not to attempt to straighten anything I can't write a check for.

Sometimes makers who have stained bows don't neutralize the acid they used. So if you are using an open flame to heat the wood to fix the twist you need to have a spritzer of alcohol to squelch any burning that may occur.

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You put out fires with alcohol?

As crazy as it sounds yes. Make sure your flame is out first, but the evaporation makes it cool quickly.

According to my confined experience from reshaping of relatively cheap bows, the use of small heating plate is more safe than the use of focused heat from spirit lamp.

Every person/shop is different, some heat bows with a hot air gun, some heat them in ovens and some use alcohol lamps. Our shop is very traditional and we use an alcohol lamp because a pot filled with hot coals is impractical.

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Heel hartelijk bedankt, Florian for the really useful advice. Yes, I do feel confident now, thanks to your help,  so I'll go at it tomorrow morning!

Thanks, too, Josh for the links to the past threads - very helpful, too.

I don't believe the bow is too valuable, but it is silver mounted and has 'Vuillaume Paris' stamped on it. Its owner says it's useless as it is, so that's why he has entrusted it to me. He was made aware of the risks...!

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