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Stuck Pearl Slide


MikeCanada
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I have been rehairing a fair number of student bows lately, and a common theme seems to be a whole lot of super glue in places it really shouldn't be. I have encountered a few pearl slides that have been glued in. I don't think the slides have been glued in intentionally, but more often than not it has been frog plugs that are glued in and the excess has resulted in the pearl being stuck as well. 

 

Regardless to how/why, I am in the situation of trying to get them out. I have had some luck with with the double sided tape/duct tape trick, running some alcohol around the edge of the slide, and using heat to soften the glue. I glued a piece of wood to the slide and then tapped two out recently as suggested here by Josh Henry on an old post with a similar problem, but even that tactic has not worked on the bow in question. The bow isn't worth breaking the slide and making a new one. 

 

Does anyone have any other suggestions/miracles I have yet to try? The bow is fine otherwise and while "I couldn't get it to come apart" is the truth, I really don't want to have to say that to the client who wants it rehaired. 

 

Thank you for your help.

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Like Frederick Dale suggested, I'd try acetone. If you put it into a fine syringe, you can be more precise in your application. This might already be something you know, but a piece of rubber can help you get a good non-slip purchase on the slide. The tape trick is a good one, too (I've heard strapping tape works especially well).

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The last resort is placing the frog in a Tupperware on top of a plastic pizza table that is used to keep cheese from sticking to the box. Inside the Tupperware underneath, have a wet paper towel and close the frog in to increase the relative humidity. Black olive and sausage works best.

 

Hi Jerry - you forgot to mention the importance of time.

 

Usually it takes two glasses of red wine and some fresh buttered wholewheat bread (alt. olive oil) to go with the black olive and sausage.

 

cheers edi

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Yes, thank you. On the really tough ones, you even have to work in a nap.

 

True - better make that a wicker-covered demijohn - and a friendly colleague... a shared hangover and all that.

 

On topic - I have had good results on separating epoxy glued joints using a hot air gun with a 3/8" nozzle. Slowly, slowly being the important approach.

 

cheers edi

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...The bow isn't worth breaking the slide and making a new one...

 

I assume you mean it isn't worth gluing a piece of mother of pearl to a wood liner then fitting it into the frog.  As an alternative to doing this, I occasionally fit a plain ebony slide.  It's much faster because most of the fitting can be done with a plane.  When it's finished, it looks non-standard because you don't see the usual pearl in the frog -- just a piece of ebony.  But it is functionally the same as a normal slide.

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My last resort for this kind of thing is to just throw the frog away and replace it with another one. Bows like these tend to break at the head or have problems that exceed the value, so I keep every old frog that I can, so when I can't get a frog open through the various means mentioned above, I'll just mount a replacement frog to the stick. You may not have been rehairing bows long enough to have a drawer full of them, but keep at it, and some day, you'll have plenty of spares. BTW, I do tell the customer when I have to do this, and so far, nobody has ever cared that there is a non-original Chinese frog on their factory-made Chinese stick.

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Thank you everyone. I tend not to have nail polish remover at home as I tend not to have nail polish, but I will give acetone a try. It is also very good to know that my workshop could use more pizza, wine, and naps from some highly respected members of the community. 

 

Brad, by "the bow isn't worth breaking the slide and making a new one" I do mean a new pearl slide. I quite enjoy that look of an ebony slide in the event that you find a piece of ebony that nicely matches the frog, which I know is not critical for a student bow where function is a more important factor. I was hoping I would be able to find an alternative solution to that, and will have to give the acetone, increased humidity, heat gun, and nap all a go before ruling it out. If those things do not work for this particular bow, I can see them coming in handy down the road. 

 

Josh, I do have a bit of a collection of bows that were not repaired, unfortunately nothing that fits this particular stick. The majority of my work so far has been on full size bows. This particular client has a lot of fractional sized bows they would like repaired, and it seems that the dimensions are not nearly as standardized as full size bows. There have been some pretty significant variations in weight, balance, length, and other dimensions from various manufacturers. In most cases not enough to suspect that I am dealing with a 5/8 bow instead of a 1/2 or 3/4, but enough that swapping out parts hasn't worked out all that well. As I acquire more bows beyond (economic) repair, I am sure my chances at achieving a match will increase. 

 

In a perfect world I would like to see far less super glue and oval mortises. Given the volume of repairs I am receiving from them that allow me to make bow repair/making a much larger part of my income than it was previously, I can't complain too much. 

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Thank you everyone. I tend not to have nail polish remover at home - snip -

 

Hi Mike - just make sure that any nail polish remover that you buy doesn't contain any oil. Usually they add some oil to avoid drying out the nail - or maybe to slow down the evaporation ...

 

My shelf usually has  MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone), unadulterated Acetone and 90% Alcohol (in descending efficacy)

 

cheers edi

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Hi Mike,

 

Just wanted to ask if you would post your final outcome before the thread goes bye-bye.

 

I've been through your full bag of tricks, and even once tried spraying the pearl with freezing wart remover.

 

But I've not tried extended immersion in acetone. I'm curious to see how it goes.

 

BTW I've always read that acetone dissolves CA glue but my personal experience has been that the stuff you buy from the glue manufacturers is quite a bit faster and more effective. It smells like acetone, but I wonder what other goodies (or baddies) are in there?

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Ok,

I know that this question has already been answered, and gone over adequately.

No problem.

Still, I'm going to go over the answer already given, and say that if this DOESN"T work - then go ahead and do whatever you need to do to remedy the problem.

BUT - this method - using a wooden stick and a hammer and a bench vice- (ouch!) has worked well for me, when all other methods have failed.

 

Probably the main difference has been in the degree of force used.

 

(photos to come) 

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After give or take 12 hours soaking in acetone, trying with my thumb, duct tape, and again super gluing a piece of wood to the slide and using a hammer, the slide did eventually come out.

 

In two pieces.

 

It appears that the mating surfaces between the ebony and the pearl were not particularly flat, so during the process of getting it out the shell cracked in what looks like some sort of router/file created crevice. I am going to give Brad's suggested ebony only slide a go as I haven't made one of those in a while. It should take far less time and far less material cost to make one, so that might become an economically viable repair for some of the bows in that not worth it category. I really despise the "disposable bow" mentality and try to fight against it when possible, but I also know that repair budgets for student programs are really tight, replacing bows instead of repairing them is often cheaper, and from a business perspective I can't be the Chinese bow saviour. 

 

I do not think it was a problem with the super glue to a stick and tap it out method. That method has been successful when needed before. With this particular slide I broke two pieces of wood from striking them too hard, and even though I used a new tube of fresh glue the glue joint between the stick and the slide failed on my third attempt. it was an extremely tight slide, and given the amount of glue used in the tip mortise, I am guessing a similar amount was employed in the frog as well.  

 

Thanks for the acetone suggestion. It worked even though I ended up with a broken slide at the end of the day, and I am sure that will come in handy in the future. 

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