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hypothetical bow rehair


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There are lots of tricky little things that bow technicians do, grafting, recambering, cleaning, lapping, French polishing, etc. These are the things to think about when having your old, valuable bow serviced.

Rehairing calls for a bit of judgment, good hair, and lots of practice to get it right. If labor costs were not a problem, I think any number of people could be trained to do the rehairing part quite well.


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I think there is more to rehairing a bow than mets the eye. If I could, I would like to talk to the person who rehairs my bow to learn what that person knows and thinks and considers when planning each rehairing job - or if it's considered a completely repititious routine task with no difference between bows except for the obvious physical differences of fitting old (or making new) wedges and evenly spreading the hair and tying off the right lengths (and even there, with the length of hair, how is the positioning of the thumb leather considered). How about the hair at the sides of the "ribbon," is it allowed to fall where it may or is it tailored in some way? All these "little things" make the difference between best, better, good, fair, poor, unacceptable rehairing jobs - and I've seen them all.

I believe the quality of the job you get has already been 90% determined when you choose the rehairer. There is always some chance (luck) that a good result will come from a lesser job - but a poor job should never slip through the quality control of a good technician.

Finally, I'm concluding that it's a good idea not to let them add powdered rosin to your rehaired bow, but rather to take the time and effort to rosin the new hair yourself with the rosin you have chosen. I've sometimes had to fight a "pwdered rosined rehair" for a week or so until I get the rosin balance to my liking. I've found this particulary important on cello bows - but also non-trivial on viola and violin bows.


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