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Casey Jefferson

Broken ivory tip repair

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Hello there,

The plug at the bow tip came off when I was practicing, and somehow the bow tip ivory plate decided to go and broken in half, bringing along also the ebony at the nose.

The ebony lining is intact, should this be enough of a problem to call for a new tip plate? This is a valuable and relatively new bow made by fine maker, so I try not to risk a full tip plate replacement (not to question my local luthier, but to avoid unnecessary moves). Just wondering if a full replacement tip is needed for structural strength. I've just experienced this for the first time after near 20 years of playing so do bear with me. :oThank you so much for reading and looking forward to the replies.

PS: I talked to my luthier friend who I've been having close relationship with, I trusted him a lot to send my instrument in. He suggested a new tip right away but somehow I don't feel entirely comfortable with it...

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send it back to the maker for a new tip. while you can glue the fragment back in place, if it is a bow of value, a new headplate is the correct thing to do, and if possible, the maker should do it.

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Yes, you need a new tip plate. A tip plate adds strength to the head. My bow person won't re-hair any bow with even a cracked tip-plate.

If the maker is still around, why don't you contact him/her? Tip plates should not come off spontaneously. Since is it a relatively new bow, I think they should replace it.

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Thanks guys!  First thing first I live in South East Asia and the maker lives in Europe. It's especially troublesome to send the bow oversea at this period of time although not impossible, the shipping can be very pricey inclusive of insurance.

The luthier friend of mine also trained under the maker so in terms of qualification for the job, I probably will not worry. However if glueing the piece back in place can be a temporary solution then I really don't mind doing so maybe visit the maker by next year - in which I can also visit the maker of my violin during the same trip too.

So one more question - under which circumstances that a bow with broken ivory tip glued back will risk breaking the head/mortise? Let's say I'll be very careful not to expose myself to environment that'll have the bow hitting something hard easily, will that pose a risk?

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Have your qualified friend replace the tip. The area where it's broken is the thinnest part of the bow head, and even pushing the wedge back in to reset, or rehair the bow can put enough force on it to crack the head.

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Working with ivory is a big no-no in a lot of places now, so it's doubtful that it will be replaced with ivory, just a FYI. But yes, it needs to be replaced, not glued back on. What happened is exactly what is supposed to happen, the plate and/or the ebony lining breaking before the wood itself is damaged. It is a replaceable part of the bow.

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Thanks again everyone, I gained a lot of confidence on sending the bow for the replacement. Can't wait to get my bow back in playing condition as I love the bow so much every time I play it I have hard time putting down the bow:lol:

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