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Making the perfect spread wedge

Deo Lawson

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Hey all,

I've gotten pretty good at rehairing over the years. I don't have too much practise as I only work on my own bow, but it's come a long way for sure. That said, my weakest point is definitely the spread wedge. No matter how carefully I shape it, the hair always bunches up towards the middle after a bit of playing in. Not much, but enough to annoy me.

What's the secret? Is there a secret? Glue? I don't like gluing my bows but I know some luthiers add glue to the bottom of the wedge. I tried a tiny amount of white glue the last time and didn't find it to be very helpful. I feel like there's some aspect of the wedge geometry that is critical to preventing this. Any pointers appreciated!

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I make mine from Craft Sticks. These are multi-taskable, not to mention cheap; Spread Wedge & Spread Wedge Pusher, epoxy/glue/paint/varnish mixing sticks, filler wood, etc., etc., etc.

The wider Craft Sticks (about .6" wide) work well - the skinny ones aren't suitable for Spread Wedges.



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On 11/3/2022 at 7:44 PM, Deo Lawson said:

I usually cut before and then push it in. Wet hair when I tie it off at the tip, but mostly dry by the time I get the wedge in. Do you fit the wedge while wet?

I always fit the wedge while the hair is dry, right after I’ve put the hair into the frog and put on the slide and ferrule. I was asking the question to see if you were fitting the wedge with wet hair in case that was causing the wedge to be tight when fitted but loose after the hair dried.

Another thing to check is the ferrule. Some ferrules are made with metal that’s too soft. I’ve come across a few bows with ferrules so soft they’d easily deform when squeezed between a finger and thumb. In cases like that, the spread wedge can push the ferrule out of shape and hair tension can drive the hair into the middle. Not sure if that’s the issue here, but worth mentioning. 

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