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Sticky violin bow hair after cleaning with alcohol


Namila Nandi
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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I still remember "your" jet-powered "farm truck". It inspired me for many years! :)

Gotta go now, need to report my neighbor for having too many dandelions in her front yard.

Once it got up to speed it was ok going in a relatively straight line,  but if one had to make a sharp turn at the edge of the field, it had some inherent problems.:lol:

You could be a good neighbor and just 2-4-D her entire yard in a random act of kindness.

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On 7/23/2020 at 8:59 AM, Rue said:

1.  It is very unlikely that was the issue.  I believe I addressed it.  However, if you insist:  ^_^

2.  If it were me, I'd try gentle scraping of the spot in question.  That would loosen the shellac on the hair, separate the hairs, and hopefully the shellac would flake off (and yes...shellac will flake off).  Then I would add rosin to that spot and head off to play my violin.  We all need more practice time!

3.  If that failed, if the entire length of hair was shellacked as solid as a 2x4 - I would

     a) berate myself for buying the bow in the first place

     b) get my bow rehaired - and forget about the entire sordid business...

 

I'm only just now returning to this thread and noticed that a particular point in this quoted post was not challenged by anyone, and I'm pretty sure that is against the maestronet bylaws somewhere . . . anyway, again, sorry I'm late and the topic is already dead, but here I go -

I'd recommend against scraping the hair, even lightly, even with a wood or plastic edge, because I imagine it will wear down the microscopic plates that the rosin adheres to on the strands of hair. If Shellac is peeled / flaked / whatever, I also suppose that it might pull some of these plates off in the process, again, leaving section of cuticle worn smooth. 

As long as the scraper isn't making contact with the stick I don't think it likely that a competent person would damage their bow this way though, so feel free to try it if you like.

 

It seems like a part of the maestronet community is pretty familiar with washing bow hair, and I hope some of you can take a stab at answering some questions I have because apparently I've been missing out:

- Do you regard washing bow hair as regular maintenance, or is it simply a tool reserved for unscheduled accidents?

- I recommend to my customers that they consider getting a bow rehair every 6 months to a year, depending on their playing habits. If I were able to wash hair competently, to what extent should I be able to increase the longevity of their bow hair? Do you find that more washing  = greater longevity? 

- What limits would you recommend regarding the frequency of washing bow hair? Only once per rehair? No limits, and as often as the client is willing?

- How dramatic of an improvement do you find is gained by washing hair? (like new, very good, good, poor, very bad). Good to like new? Good to very good? Poor to poor (because at that point the hair is not likely to be able to be redeemed)?

- Do you alter your materials or process based upon the type of rosin used? 

- Is washing bow hair a skill that must be practiced to become adept, or did you find it to be fairly simple to learn? Does your current process differ much from the way you were first taught? 

- What would you estimate to be the going rate / price for this service?

Thanks,
Joel

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Who are your clients :blink:?

I haven't had a rehair for eons (even on the bow with the failed rehair :angry:).

The current bow I'm using is playing just fine!

Another thing rarely mentioned (tongue in cheek or otherwise), the less we rehair - when unnecessary - the less trauma the horses experience. :ph34r:

 

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In a small Bucket with a lid (for re use). mix 50% Ammonia ,50% Distilled water. Make about a half gallon.   Remove the frog and carefully bath the horsehair in the solution. Being careful not to get the tip plug wet or anything but the hair wet. With a proper little brush or comb. Comb out the hair slowly. Repeat process. You'll see the hair miraculously cleansed. This will work for students / Parents especially that have over rosined the bow. Happens all the time. If the Bow hair is worn to beyond saving . By all means Re-Hair the Bow. 

 ALLOT of music store repair & rental company's have been using this procedure for over 30 yrs. No Alcohol anywhere near the bow or  instrument. 

No Hate Mail / comments. Needed. keep your EXPERT Expletives to your self.  

Edited by Ed Man
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12 hours ago, Rue said:

Who are your clients :blink:?

I haven't had a rehair for eons (even on the bow with the failed rehair :angry:).

The current bow I'm using is playing just fine!

Another thing rarely mentioned (tongue in cheek or otherwise), the less we rehair - when unnecessary - the less trauma the horses experience. :ph34r:

 

My clients are mostly the local school programs, with some regular professional fiddlers and some less regular classical musicians. Some of the fiddlers have to get rehairs at least every 6 months because by then their bow is either missing most of its hair, or it is excessively stretched. 

Seriously though, I was under the impression that my 'think about getting a rehair every 6 to 12 months depending on your playing habits' suggestion was a well accepted standard among musicians and shops; I haven't gotten any push back by clients over it (but then again, I don't push it on to them either, I just share what I've learned when asked).  Is this an outdated / non-typical answer? 

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On 8/3/2020 at 9:34 PM, Joel Pautz said:

My clients are mostly the local school programs, with some regular professional fiddlers and some less regular classical musicians. Some of the fiddlers have to get rehairs at least every 6 months because by then their bow is either missing most of its hair, or it is excessively stretched. 

Seriously though, I was under the impression that my 'think about getting a rehair every 6 to 12 months depending on your playing habits' suggestion was a well accepted standard among musicians and shops; I haven't gotten any push back by clients over it (but then again, I don't push it on to them either, I just share what I've learned when asked).  Is this an outdated / non-typical answer? 

If you are fortunate enough to have a business where players and parents are willing to rehair at reasonable intervals, then wow, how great. 

Each shop might have a different answer, but they are similar, i would guess, say once a year for a rehair? There are several ( older ) players on limited or fixed incomes that likely will not get a rehair. Also due to the current conditions, regionally, there will be many who will prolong use of the existing hair. One bow I own has less than 40 hours of light use in the last three years and I have not rehaired it. 

In some of the school districts I visit, kids ( used to ) share bows and instruments. The bows get dirty quickly, especially if a program is fortunate enough to have multiple periods throughout the day as many kids do not wash their hands after returning from their midday breaks. If there is time after a visit, the dirtiest ones might get cleaned. These inexpensive bows are usually plastic-y and have no wood in their build. Some have synthetic hair. I am not as careful with these bows with fluid, but try to remove the gunky dirty areas near the tip and the frog.

I do have to return to rosin the bows in the afternoon or the next morning depending on the weather, sometimes blow drying with cool air after the wash.

But all this is done for free as most schools have a limited budgets. And we want the kids to play well and hopefully learn about cleanliness and respect for tools. The more affluent districts have kids who own their instruments with some bows as nearly dirty as the shared bows. They get cleaned once but then they are sent to a shop. Hopefully the better students go to rent or purchase instruments or take private lessons?

The other difficulty near these schools is that rehairs can take a week. A standard music store may have a contract with a bow rehair person so the pick up and drop off occurs only once or twice a week. At the string shops the difference in quality of the rehair is significant though the prices are similar, so one would want to take their bows to the better shop. But then there is a wait.

Usually rehairs were completed during the summer. But with dirty hands, cleanings are required throughout the year.

At one particular shop, many players came in late October and November ( Halloween thru Thanksgiving for those in the US ) we assumed because players were paid after the first seasonal job with their ensemble. The Nutcracker runs were soon to start, or first set of juries for students, and then they could coast until their finals in May. When performing with a chamber ensemble, depending on the program, some of us rehair right after that set.   

As for a shop's responsibility, we tried to be the advocate and with the cleaning came the lecture, and performed the cleaning for free. For a shop of one or two persons, that may not be financially prudent. Also, our cleanings were done overnight so the customer did not see what was being done. We recommended to those able that the wash was possible and is done on occasion. Rehairs are simply the way to go with anything but a bow that costs less than a rehair ( but there are the exceptions that requires some thought. )

We rehaired our rental bows when they were used up or visibly dirty but some shops wash. Again, depends on the quality of bow and how it reflects on the shop.

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In some of the school districts I visit, kids ( used to ) share bows and instruments. The bows get dirty quickly, especially if a program is fortunate enough to have multiple periods throughout the day as many kids do not wash their hands after returning from their midday breaks.

Here's an idea.  Keep one bow unused, and clean the others as needed.  If you can't return them to good performance, as measured against the unused bow, then rehair them.  I'll bet you can get an awful lot of mileage without rehairs, especially since many school kids will hardly touch their instruments.

You can go with detergent or alcohol.  I've never tried detergent, but it might be faster for use with lots of instruments if it takes off less rosin.

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