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Question re maintaining bow hairs

Marion 05 May 00 - 06:07 PM
Sorcha 05 May 00 - 06:13 PM
catspaw49 05 May 00 - 08:28 PM
Mbo 05 May 00 - 08:53 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 May 00 - 08:53 PM
Crowhugger 05 May 00 - 09:02 PM
Mbo 05 May 00 - 09:21 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 May 00 - 09:29 PM
Jeri 05 May 00 - 09:48 PM
Sorcha 06 May 00 - 12:33 AM
Crowhugger 06 May 00 - 10:53 PM
wysiwyg 06 May 00 - 11:34 PM
wysiwyg 07 May 00 - 12:06 AM
GUEST,may s 25 Nov 14 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Marianne S. 26 Nov 14 - 03:18 AM
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Subject: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Marion
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:07 PM

Ok, I know you're not supposed to touch the hairs on your bow, and I don't. But I sometimes let my nieces and nephews and the mentally challenged folks I live with have supervised access to my fiddle.

I tell them not to touch the hair, but the kids put their grimy little kid hands on the hair anyway before I can stop them, and one mentally challenged woman has licked my bow hairs a few times before I could stop her.

I don't want to have to forbid them from touching my fiddle. How grave is the damage that can be done by touching or licking the hairs? Is there a way I can tell is the hairs are suffering? Is there anything I can do after the fact to mitigate the damage?

If the only consequence is that I'll have to rehair my bow every lunar eclipse instead of every solar eclipse, I can live with that. But if my resin is gunking out and I'm losing musical quality, maybe I'll have to become a little more protective.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 May 00 - 06:13 PM

Marion, the hairs themselves will probably not be damaged, but will pick up grease,oil, etc. which will cause a slick spot on the bow that will not hold rosin. You can completely loosen the screw and pull it out, carefully, this causes the frog to come off the bow. Swish the bow hair only in warm sudsy water, with not too much soap. I have used Woolite. Be careful not to get water on the wood or frog! Rinse the soap out, pat dry with a lint free towel, and allow to dry completely--at least overnight. It will be difficult to re rosin the bow, but have patience. When applying the new rosin, be sure to use long strokes up and down the full length of the bow.
I have heard of cleaning bow hair with kerosene, but I am afraid to try it..........


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:28 PM

Marion......Why not pick up some cheap POS bow....paint the thing with stripes or something wild so there's no mistaking it?

And Sorch.......Maybe you oughta' try the kerosene and then take a shot at "Orange Blossom Special" and maybe it'll add a little flash to your performance. AND what's the problem in getting the frog wet? Ain't their ass watertight anyway?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Mbo
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:53 PM

"Orange Blossom Special" Spaw? No no no! Try "Fire on the Mountain" for a truly 'hair-raising' experience! BTW rosin is pretty tasty--I know, I've inhaled enough of it from the aquatint box at school!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 May 00 - 08:53 PM

Yes, but the rest of them isn't; I keep finding dehydrated frogs that the cats have brought in and forgotten about, usually behind the wardrobe or under the bed.  I use soap -sometimes shampoo- on the really dirty parts of the bow hair.  (I'm not classically trained, so I hold it in the older style, which does involve some transfer of grease from the thumb.)  It can be dried with a hair-dryer on a low setting if you're in a hurry, and are careful.  I've come across people who never clean their bows; just get them re-haired when they get dirty.  More money than sense, I'd say.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Crowhugger
Date: 05 May 00 - 09:02 PM

Sorcha,
How do you tell when it's time to clean? I'm not sure how to identify rosin-free hair. Also, do you know why it's hard to re-rosin after washing? I think my cello bow is fine right now but the more it goes out in public... Would a reasonably organic cleanser like Heavenly Horsetail be too strong?

Mbo,
I'm one of those who believes that you don't give beginners junk to use just because they're beginners, any more than I'd give someone handicapped a lousy wheelchair. Just a leftover attitude from how I was raised that I decided to keep.

S&D
CH.


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Mbo
Date: 05 May 00 - 09:21 PM

Crow, I've been playing a cheap violin for 5 years now...the way I figure it is, if I can sound good on "junk" then imagine how I can whoopup on a good violin! Also, I'm too poor to bye an expensive one...

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 May 00 - 09:29 PM

Applying rosin to a newly-cleaned bow is much the same as putting it on the first time; to begin with it doesn't adhere very well.  If you have an old bit of rosin, try scraping it to get some powder; then apply that.  It should give a key for later applications from a normal cake to bind to.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Jeri
Date: 05 May 00 - 09:48 PM

Someone (possibly me) spilled something oily on a small section of the hair on my bow at a session. I wound up cleaning it with alcohol. It did take quite a while to get the rosin to stick. One way to tell if there isn't enough rosin - if you play and no sound comes out, you need more rosin, or you need to clean the bow. If it feels and works right, you don't need to do anything.


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Sorcha
Date: 06 May 00 - 12:33 AM

First, the serious stuff---bow hair is made of horses tail hair ( hopefully, and not fiberglass, if that is the case, let 'em lick it!) and hair has scales that run one way, just like snake scales. When you rosin the bow, it picks it up going one way, and smoothes it out going the other. On fresh, or clean hair the scales are lying down too smoothly to pick up rosin,(which actually does nothing except create friction), so you have to rough up the scales by getting rosin on them. As Malcolm says, scrape the rosin cake to get some powdered rosin first as it adheres better than the stuff right off the cake.
'Spaw----yes, frogs are dehydrated, and yes, Malcolm, my animals have brought me dehydrated toad/frogs, but for real, the frog is wood, and the screw/other parts are metal-the wood will swell, and the metal will rust. (Are dehydrated Budwiser frogs fit to drink?)
Crowhugger---if you still have plenty of hair in your bow, you do not need to re hair. I don't know what the preferred number of hairs in a cello bow is, with violin, it is somewhere around 100, give or take according to the bow. If it does not look de-nuded or thin, give it a wash and a re rosin and see what happens. It's free, and you can always have th bow re-haired for $$.
As far as the beginner/good vs junk goes, this is true up to a point-----just where the point is, is the question. Should we buy our 2 year old beginners genuine Strads, just because we have the bucks? No, they will ruin the instrument. Just like any other instrument opt for maximum setup,& strings on the cheapest instrument your EAR likes...........and spend the extra money on a good bow. It is amazing how much difference a good bow will make, and bows often sell for more than the violin itself!
Actually, I really like 'spaw's suggestion of buying a cheapo bow and spray painting stripes across it. It would be more visually attractive, and you would not have to worry about your good bow.....

OK Guys!!! What is this about frogs?? Everybody knows that the best selling beer in Ireland today is .........you guessed it, Budweiser. So, get yourselvesFroggiScreen Saver and bite a worm........(Mbo, Fire on the Mountain is better than O.B.S.!!)

We already have Potty Pickin', Breasts, Monkey Farts, and Austria; let's not get started on screws! Pleeeeze?


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: Crowhugger
Date: 06 May 00 - 10:53 PM

Meebs, I don't want ya to go spending the grocery kitty on a snazzy bow. Just that it's my preference to supervise the real thing, repair if supervision proves insufficient. But I'm nowhere near a classroom. And mood-altering substances create particular risks (different thread). Guess like everything else, we have our own thresholds and priorities... My cello is a decent student model -- doesn't that mean a nice junker? -- actually it's not a junker but it's certainly a no-name workshop item. But I couldn't do the fibreglass bow. Oh dear, I just pictured a galvanized steel French horn... /babble.

CH.


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 May 00 - 11:34 PM

No, no, no-- you need a bow condom!

~S~


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 May 00 - 12:06 AM

But not a lubricated one obviously!


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: GUEST,may s
Date: 25 Nov 14 - 08:19 PM

My teacher says that my violin hairs are dirty.how do I wash ot off.and my rosin is damaged what do I do


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Subject: RE: Question re maintaining bow hairs
From: GUEST,Marianne S.
Date: 26 Nov 14 - 03:18 AM

Sorcha described how to wash bowhair - it's the second post on this thread. It works, but be careful that only the hair gets wet. I've done this, it works OK. What's the damage to your rosin? Provided there's a bit big enough to hold you can carry on using it! In theory it's possible to melt rosin and let it set into block shape but I've never been successful. You need to be very gentle with heat, I used a water-bath. New rosin is quite cheap and less messy.


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