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thirteenthsteph

Bow leather for pinky

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Hello and Merry Christmas to all!

I was wondering how one might install a bit of leather on the bow so that the pinky doesn't slip; I have pretty sweaty fingers and I think this might help a bit.I'm pretty sure I've seen some old Hill (?) bows that have that, leather that covers the spine of the bow right above the frog. I have access to suitable leather and can cut it however I need, but I'm not sure if it's supposed to be stuck on (and if so what glue would not damage the varnish?) or wrapped somehow.

Thank you and happy holidays.

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I don't know what you mean by "the spine of the bow right above the frog, so I'm mot sure where you want this leather.  But I would glue it on the same way I glue a thumb leather or butt protector:  Cut the leather to size, bevel the edges on the back side and glue it on with Titebond II.  The type of glue is not critical.  I would use any kind of water-soluble glue intended for use with wood and other porous materials -- Elmer's, Titebond, etc.  I would not use hide glue.

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It is called a butt lap. (no snickering please). To keep the balance about the same use a very thin piece of leather. The stuff I use is from some sort of sea snake. I glue a piece of scotch tape that just covers the brand to protect it and use Titebond glue on the leather.

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You see full leather along the top of expensive bows to protect the stamp /handle from excessive wear.  Latex glue like copydex is ok for things like that it can be just peeled off when  the leather is  removed.

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1 hour ago, FenwickG said:

It is called a butt lap. (no snickering please). To keep the balance about the same use a very thin piece of leather. The stuff I use is from some sort of sea snake. I glue a piece of scotch tape that just covers the brand to protect it and use Titebond glue on the leather.

:lol: Even with the term I can't seem to find an image of it on Google... I'm certain I've seen it, though. Thanks!

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I have this on one of my bows, a very old one with a lot of wear that was just... starting... a little crack in that area, so the luthier added a little leather there.  It has been fine ever since (thirty years).

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7 hours ago, fiddlecollector said:

You see full leather along the top of expensive bows to protect the stamp /handle from excessive wear.  Latex glue like copydex is ok for things like that it can be just peeled off when  the leather is  removed.

For protection I just use a strip of tape. That way the label remains visible. The leather works great but is unnecessary unless one wants the grip benefits.

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3 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

For protection I just use a strip of tape. That way the label remains visible. The leather works great but is unnecessary unless one wants the grip benefits.

Clear packing tape or contact paper cut to size can do the job nicely. As to which method to use (tape/contact paper or leather), it really comes down to the preference of the owner. Some customers hate the sheen of plastic. 

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Thank you @fiddlecollector, @The Violin Beautiful and @PhilipKT, I will use a piece of tape on the brand.

@Bill Merkel and @Deo Lawson, it's not so much a problem with the pinky alone; my whole hand becomes sweaty and I find it hard to feel comfortable with the bow as it tends to slip and my hold constantly changes (usually goes higher, towards the tip where it feels lighter), so I thought that a bit of friction there would help the overall stability of my bow hold. I definitely don't grip it too tightly or press too hard. But I will try practising colle, thanks for the suggestion.

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On 12/29/2018 at 10:56 AM, thirteenthsteph said:

TBV2520-Frog.jpg

New bows with no wear in the thumb leather or the finish where the pinky goes can be the hardest to hold.  Is the frog plastic?  That might contribute to the feeling of wet/slick.  Old piano keys are genuine ebony and ivory because they both soak up finger moisture.

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I thought I'd chime in as a full-time professional player, I have leather on the handles of my two main playing bows and it's there because I like the feel of it more than as protection. For pure protection, a bow-maker once advised me to put a coat of clear nail-polish on the handle of a pristine valuable bow, and it actually made the bow more comfortable to hold.

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