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Another bow hair question


Fiddler45
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I had a request to rehair a bass bow. 

Being that I have probably only rehaired 60 or so bows, I am uncertain of a couple things.  

One, will regular white violin bow hair work or would I need different hair? 

Two, if regular violin hair will work, does anyone know approximately how many hairs to use? I usually use 170-185 on a violin bow depending on the bow.

If I don't have the materials or if there is some different skill set involved, it's not a big deal; I'm not committed to doing it.

Thanks

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As I understand it, the coarseness of black hair is said to work better for bass bows.  But I rehair so few bass bows -- maybe one every three years -- that I don't consider it worthwhile to stock black hair.  So when someone brings me a bass bow, I say that all I have is white hair, and that seems to be acceptable to the non-discriminating bass players who come to me.  (The discriminating ones go to a bass specialist.)

How much hair?  I have never counted, and I am astounded that you do.  I determine the amount with a slotted bow hair gauge that I made from a scrap of aluminum, buy you can buy one:

Herdim Hair Gauge (internationalviolin.com)

Since you don't have a gauge, I suggest that you make one by sawing a slot in a bit of wood or metal.  Then if the bow you are presented has hair remnants in the head or frog, you could use your gauge to measure them and put the same amount in when you do the rehair.

I also made frog and head holders to accommodate bass bows.

 

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I rehair a little, and play bass. I much prefer regular white hair, and most bassists I know do too. I don't carry black hair. I would only bring up the subject if the bow currently has black hair. For hair numbers,?? I also just use a gauge.

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Regular hair for violin bows is fine. You can purchase coarser white hair or black hair and use that or mix it in with white to make salt and pepper hair.

I have a gauge I made for measuring hair a while ago. I use that as a guide, then adjust the amount as needed.

I get requests for black hair a few times a year, so I do keep some. Fiddlers occasionally ask for it as well. 

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On 6/4/2021 at 8:10 AM, Brad Dorsey said:

As I understand it, the coarseness of black hair is said to work better for bass bows.  But I rehair so few bass bows -- maybe one every three years -- that I don't consider it worthwhile to stock black hair.  So when someone brings me a bass bow, I say that all I have is white hair, and that seems to be acceptable to the non-discriminating bass players who come to me.  (The discriminating ones go to a bass specialist.)

How much hair?  I have never counted, and I am astounded that you do.  I determine the amount with a slotted bow hair gauge that I made from a scrap of aluminum, buy you can buy one:

Herdim Hair Gauge (internationalviolin.com)

Since you don't have a gauge, I suggest that you make one by sawing a slot in a bit of wood or metal.  Then if the bow you are presented has hair remnants in the head or frog, you could use your gauge to measure them and put the same amount in when you do the rehair.

I also made frog and head holders to accommodate bass bows.

 

I have that gauge, however,  to test its accuracy, I counted out 175 hairs, tied them up to get ready for a bow,  and then used the gauge to see. According to the lines on it, it was between 150 and 160. So I used the gauge to measure 175 to grab another hank to tie up, and when I counted that out afterward, it was off by 10-15 again. 

So that was the reason I asked if anyone knew approximately how many; if it is a bow that has absolutely no hair on it anywhere (even in the plugs) there is no way for me to know what number is a good starting point.

I guess if I had more experience maybe I could tell more by feel to help me along, but hey, that's why I'm here. :)

Cheers!

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3 hours ago, Fiddler45 said:

...if it is a bow that has absolutely no hair on it anywhere (even in the plugs) there is no way for me to know what number is a good starting point...

The slot on my bow hair gauge is about .025 inch wide, and I would fill it to about .650 inch for a bass bow.  This works out to about .01625 of a square inch of cross-sectional area of hair.  If your slot has a different width than mine, you could do a little arithmetic to figure out how far to fill yours.

Alternatively, if you have access to another bow of the same type (i.e., violin. viola, cello or bass) with hair in it, you could measure the amount of hair in it with your gauge and put that amount in your hairless bow.

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