A popular pastime among violin players is leaving their bow tight when in its case.Worse still is leaving the case in a hot car. Toasty!! This will ruin a good bow as the wood returns to its original shape before it was made. If you get a 100Watt REFLECTOR lamp you can reverse the damage by rigging up the "back of car" conditions on your work bench.Draw out the ideal at rest shape (no tension) on a thick piece of plywood.Attach some blocks of wood along both sides of the outline at the thick end (very little bend that end).then some more blocks at the top edge.leave a bit of clearance here.Take out the bow screw to move the hair from the heat.Wrap carefully to protect from dirt and greasy fingers. Place the bow in the space between the blocks and you will see the difference in shape needed.To heat the wood the reflector lamp is suspended above the bow 4-5inches.Reflective tinfoil will help to heat the under side of the bow.Just shape it in a curve to "catch the rays"as they say in Austalia.As with chip pans dont go away while its cooking.It`s quite a short job .Just test the temperature of the wood till it feels like a hot car seat on a hot day.No..No..Just test it with your hand.O.K? If you have already prepared a couple of small wedges to hold the new curve in place ,WELL DONE>only use very gentle pressure to get the new shape.keep the lamp on till your happy with probably need to work in stages to achieve a smooth curve OR better still use more than one lamp.when it`s all in place give it 5 minutes and then switch off lamp(s)and leave it all to cool down .Say 30 minutes.Sideways distortion of bows can be corrected also but it`s a bit more fiddly. So that will change a clunker rubbish bow into a classy powerful bow to transform the sound of any violin.Most violin players dont realise how much the SOUND of a violin will change dramatically just by using a good bow.See Francois Tourte (inventor)on WIKI

Tags: bending, bows, violins, wood

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In addition to the heat lamp treatment for violin bows you can have a close look at the BOWHAIR itself .Why are these bright shiny hairs attracting my attention? If you get a strong magnifier to look you will find that the shiny bits are distortions in the hair. Each hair being examined should look as thick as a pencil and opaque (that`s the rosin coating ) .All the shiny bits are hairs without rosin on them .A good hair is straight and tubular but a bad hair is uneven with grooves along its length.OR jagged and uneven Or twisted a bit like the shape water makes as it runs out of a tap (OR FAUCET) yes I speak American also.There are about 150 to 250 hairs in a bow and the way I see it no bowmaker in his right mind would want to check every hair like that and anyway the hair never has any rosin on it to start with.So be ruthless and remove any bad hairs .could be 30 or 40 but will give a creamy smooth sound in comparison.Also too many hairs will be using up the bend in the bow without really doing anything useful.Yes I know this is a guitar forum but think how you will look when you air your depth of knowledge to a violin maker.DOUBLE CHECK any hairs as you remove them by pulling between your fingers .They make a nasty squeal and you can feel the rough unevenness.It`s addictive!


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