Fiddler45

Bow rehair question

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I have started rehairing bows after not doing it for a few years. I have only done a total of a dozen or so.

This week I picked out a few to practice on. So far, two of them have looked very straight when looking down the stick. However, once haired, the more they are tightened, the worse they bow out to one side (both to the right). 

I am quite certain I am not putting more hair on one side or anything...in fact the last one is probably the most even and straightest hair job of any I have ever done. So my question is, both of these bows that warped had a very pronounced camber. Would a bow with too much camber tend to bow to the side because the force is to much against resisting the over-camber? Is it to be chalked up to just a poor stick? Although,  I do have a bow with a similar camber that I haired a few years ago that does warp to one side, but is a VERY  good playing bow otherwise. I just don't trust myself to try to heat and recamber it.

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A bow which tweaks a little to one side can be corrected by offsetting the hair tension. Generally, it's considered better to offset the tweak to the left initially on violin and viola bows (the opposite on cello bows), since that will result in less pinching of the hair between the stick and the string, and since the majority of hair breakage will be "on the playing side", resulting in the stick tending to average straighter over the lifetime of the rehair.

Pasewicz will probably have more to say about that.

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If there was enough difference in tension from one side of the hair to the other, wouldn't there be some loose hairs on the lower tension side when fully loosened? Because there is not one loose hair on either side no matter how much I loosen it.

 

Edit...by this I mean a few hairs/one side don't show slack before others...they're very even no matter the tension.

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Is the frog reasonably tight to the stick? Sometimes if it's loose the frog will rotate around the stick a bit making the bow look crooked.

Also, the stick may have a slight weakness or natural curve that can become worse when put under tension.

As far as  bows with a lot of camber warping when tightened, this has not been my experience and I don't that think this is the issue.

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The frog is reasonably tight...i suppose one good way to see would be to jump to a couple of my bows that need rehairing that I KNOW don't warp, and see how those turn out.

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4 hours ago, Craigers said:

...the stick may have a slight weakness or natural curve that can become worse when put under tension...

I think that this is the most likely explanation.  It can be corrected by straightening the stick.

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4 hours ago, lousyplayer said:

Hi hope you guys wont mind i ask this here .. i like to know the side effect for the bow with too much crossing hair.

Thanks first.

Crossed hairs can be detrimental to the straightness of the bow if they’re too extreme, and they cause the bow to track poorly on the string. 

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13 hours ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

Crossed hairs can be detrimental to the straightness of the bow if they’re too extreme, and they cause the bow to track poorly on the string. 

Meaning it can damage the bow & produce poor tone quality ??

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On 1/14/2019 at 12:11 PM, Fiddler45 said:

I have started rehairing bows after not doing it for a few years. I have only done a total of a dozen or so.

This week I picked out a few to practice on. So far, two of them have looked very straight when looking down the stick. However, once haired, the more they are tightened, the worse they bow out to one side (both to the right). 

I am quite certain I am not putting more hair on one side or anything...in fact the last one is probably the most even and straightest hair job of any I have ever done. So my question is, both of these bows that warped had a very pronounced camber. Would a bow with too much camber tend to bow to the side because the force is to much against resisting the over-camber? Is it to be chalked up to just a poor stick? Although,  I do have a bow with a similar camber that I haired a few years ago that does warp to one side, but is a VERY  good playing bow otherwise. I just don't trust myself to try to heat and recamber it.

The preferred state when a bow is rehaired corectly is for the stick to be straight without tension and the middle of the stick moving slightly away from the playing side with playing tension.  This state should be more or less pronounced depending on the stick, and how much the musician leans the bow when playing;  I have known a handful of players where even tension is called for.  What you are describing can happen due to idiosyncrasies in the stick , which can also cause a twist under tension.  At only “a dozen or so” rehairs it is probably a bit early to be overly concerned about these finer points, if you are getting the blocks to fit, the hair to stay in, the correct side of the hair in the frog, and a spread wedge to hold the hair, you are doing well.  Unfortunately, it takes 600-1000 rehairs to be able to do this job well and consistently....that sounds like a whole bunch right up to the point where you have done that many......then it sounds about right.  Good luck.

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10 hours ago, lousyplayer said:

Meaning it can damage the bow & produce poor tone quality ??

Yes. I had a couple bows come in several years ago that were having issues. The hair wasn’t in a nice flat ribbon—there were gaps and lumps. This seemed odd because the bows had been freshly rehaired. When I ran a comb through, I discovered a lot of crossed hairs. One rehair was salvageable by taking the hair out and untwisting it, the other was too much of a mess to be saved. They didn’t just look ugly, they were also unplayable. 

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7 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

  Unfortunately, it takes 600-1000 rehairs to be able to do this job well and consistently....

An inimitable friend (and professional cellist...) who used to rehair bows in NYC once said, "It takes 1,000 rehairs to learn to do it well, and the first 500 will really suck!"

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On 2/10/2019 at 5:07 AM, Jerry Pasewicz said:

The preferred state when a bow is rehaired corectly is for the stick to be straight without tension and the middle of the stick moving slightly away from the playing side with playing tension.  This state should be more or less pronounced depending on the stick, and how much the musician leans the bow when playing;  I have known a handful of players where even tension is called for.  What you are describing can happen due to idiosyncrasies in the stick , which can also cause a twist under tension.  At only “a dozen or so” rehairs it is probably a bit early to be overly concerned about these finer points, if you are getting the blocks to fit, the hair to stay in, the correct side of the hair in the frog, and a spread wedge to hold the hair, you are doing well.  Unfortunately, it takes 600-1000 rehairs to be able to do this job well and consistently....that sounds like a whole bunch right up to the point where you have done that many......then it sounds about right.  Good luck.

So are you saying that you hair the bow purposely with more hair/higher tension on one side? (Not that I will attempt that at this time) 

I am planning on doing a couple more this week, and one will be a bow that I have used before that I know is straight when under tension, and see if my rehair changes that. All the bows that I haired a few yeara ago that didn't have any camber work/straightening attempts done to them turned out straight and played decently with fairly acceptable (to me anyway) parallel hair.

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17 hours ago, Fiddler45 said:

So are you saying that you hair the bow purposely with more hair/higher tension on one side? (Not that I will attempt that at this time) 

I am planning on doing a couple more this week, and one will be a bow that I have used before that I know is straight when under tension, and see if my rehair changes that. All the bows that I haired a few yeara ago that didn't have any camber work/straightening attempts done to them turned out straight and played decently with fairly acceptable (to me anyway) parallel hair.

Yes.  Hair stretches when played, and the more it is played the more it stretches>>>almost all players lean the bow when playing>>> the hair on the playing side stretches more than the non playing side>>>therefore a bow haired with “even” tension very soon has the hair tension concentrated on the non playing side>>>higher hair tension on the non playing side diminishes the playing qualities of the bow. 

It is the stick bending towards the playing side that kills the response..bending away from the playing side preserves the playability...Vuillaume is said to have done this in new bows for the same reason.

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So, for me... (an amateur rehairer) what is the mechanical method used to vary the hair tension from side-to-side?  Is it done prior to tying-off the knot, or is it somehow achieved afterwards? 

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I`ll have to check it as i only have it in French and its a bit hard to follow at times.  Though full of interesting info. whether it can be taken as gospel or not is another thing as these type of books tend to take  a lot of speculation as facts.

 

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10 minutes ago, fiddlecollector said:

I`ll have to check it as i only have it in French and its a bit hard to follow at times.  Though full of interesting info. whether it can be taken as gospel or not is another thing as these type of books tend to take  a lot of speculation as facts.

 

No need to take it as gospel, just a confirmation that was pointed out to me in a conversation about the subject I was having with one of my colleagues.  It is something I have been doing for a very long time based on experience, and when I started doing bows for Francais I was asked to do it as well. 

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10 hours ago, Jerry Pasewicz said:

...Vuillaume is said to have done this in new bows...

So it would be interesting to know how many bows Vuillaume did personally?

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1 minute ago, Blank face said:

So it would be interesting to know how many bows Vuillaume did personally?

From the context I believe it was similar to Rene’ dictating how a bridge should be cut or a fingerboard planed....I bet you can guess the exact number of either of those he did while I was working there....

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