Sign in to follow this  
Brad Dorsey

Bow Rehair Turning Stick -- How I Use It

Recommended Posts

The subject of turning the bow hair in preparation for tying the second knot when rehairing a bow has often been discussed here, but no one has ever put up pictures showing how it’s done.  So I will try to show how I do it step by step.  The process involves a number of separate hand motions – switching the stick or hair or the thread from one hand to another – which makes it much longer to explain how to do it than it takes to do it once one knows how to do it.  The elapsed time from when I bring the turning stick into action to when I finish tying the knot is probably less than half a minute.

 

The idea is to turn the hair around a stick before tying the knot to give the hairs the same configuration that they will be in as they wrap around the plug that holds them in the bow.  To get the hairs in this configuration, the knot has to be tied so that hairs that will be on the outside of the turn are slightly longer than those on the inside.

 

Here’s my turning stick.  It measures 4 by 15 by 150 millimeters overall, but these dimensions are not terribly important.  What matters are the dimensions of the notch on the near side of the stick that I will be using to turn the hair.  This notch is 4 millimeters wide to simulate the width of the hair mortise in the frog.  It is 3 millimeters deep to prevent the hairs from spreading wider than the 4 millimeters width of the notch as they are turned around the stick.  And the stick thickness is trimmed to 3 millimeters  at the notch to simulate the thickness of the frog hair plug.  The stick also has several other notches cut in it that I use for turning the hair of cello and bass bows, but I will not be using these here.

 

P1110093.thumb.JPG.da63e039f8fbbce9f59a13e9ed71e61f.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My general set-up is as follows:  I am right-handed.  I rehair head first with the bow running side-to-side in front of me.  A spool of thread for tying off the hair is fastened to the front edge of the bench somewhat to the right of the frog.  I have already put the hair in the head, which is held in a head holder off-camera to the right.  I have combed and brushed the hair into a smooth, tight and snarl-free flat ribbon.  With the frog mounted on the stick with the screw and slid as far towards the head of the bow as possible, I made a red mark on the hair to show where I want the knot to end.  The position of the red mark is determined by the end of the frog hair mortise that is closest to the butt end of the stick.  I am pulling the hair tight between my left hand and the head of the bow.

P1110096.thumb.JPG.2133cad519ab5dc12d6a83ca7cbd5439.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this picture, I am still holding the hair in my left hand.  With my right hand I have placed the turning stick under the hair and clamped the hair between my right thumb and the stick at the notch with the red mark at the corner of the stick in the notch.  After clamping the hair to the stick with my right thumb, I began wrapping the hair down through the notch and around the stick with my left thumb and forefinger.  As I am doing all of this, I am maintaining tension on the hair back to the head of the bow.

P1110100.thumb.JPG.d1ae8bdef5ccdfa1d316aa7a5b0d9fb6.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I have wrapped the hair around to the other side of the stick with my left hand.  The hair is clamped against both sides of the stick with both thumbs.  It is no longer necessary to tension the hair back to the head.

P1110102.thumb.JPG.1440bde24009cbbd005acb81a9ef47f2.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holding the hair between my right thumb and forefinger, I wrapped the thread once around the hair with my left fingers and passed the end of the thread through the loop, making an overhand knot in the thread around the hair.  I am pulling the thread tight between my left hand and the spool, which is attached to the front of the bench.  The distance between the red mark and the loop of thread around the hair is determined by how long I want the finished thread wrapping around the hair to be.

P1110116.thumb.JPG.ab02c2ed1941251ceca23dc061e7682e.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While maintaining tension on the thread, I shifted it to my right hand it and I rotated the hair 180 degrees so the loose ends are now facing to the right (towards the head of the bow).

P1110122.thumb.JPG.43cefc759e251104657547146c1edf34.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While holding the hair in my left hand and maintaining tension on the thread with my right hand, I wrapped the thread around the hair about three times, going towards the red mark, and tied it in a square knot around the hair.

P1110123.thumb.JPG.e119ef913df57937fb45871edc791421.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrapped the thread around the hair about three more times, tied it in another square knot and cut off the thread ends.

P1110110.thumb.JPG.cceb7edfd89051b58e105caf14d282e3.JPG

Next I will comb the hair from the head of the bow down to the knot to check the position of the knot on the hair.  If the knot is positioned to give the proper hair length, I will cut off the excess hair and secure the hair in the knot with a small drop of superglue.  I will put the ferrule on the hair and then the hair will be ready to be put in the frog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this Brad. I have heard of using a turning stick, but never really quite understood the process.

The way I was taught was to estimate the hair length to the knot position after combing the hair out, tying it off and followed by  burning the hair ends beyond the knot to swell the hair ends slightly, followed by dipping the end in hide glue and burning repeatedly a few times until the knot, hair and glue is one fused piece.

Then the knot is wedged into the frog, the slide and ferrule installed, followed by tightening the frog slightly,  one last combing and the spreader wedge installed.

 

Somehow it seemed to work OK for me; but I'll have to try the turning stick and see if it yields any better results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

...is that a Nürnberger?

No.  It's a no-name nickel-mounted bow stamped SAXONY that I happened to be working on for a customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Bill Yacey said:

... I'll have to try the turning stick and see if it yields any better results.

I have always used the stick, but I keep thinking I should try rehairing WITHOUT it to see if it makes a difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

No.  It's a no-name nickel-mounted bow stamped SAXONY that I happened to be working on for a customer.

Ok. Saw the Saxony stamp and the pinned heel plate And was just wondering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.