- KIRMSER BOW REHAIRING JIG (Plans available)
- HAIR GAUGE
- POINTED AWL
- WEDGE DRIVER
- 5 mm MORTISE CHISEL
- 18 mm STRAIGHT CHISEL
- PUTTY KNIFE (1" Blade)
- SLIP-JOINT PLIER
- SMALL DIAGONAL PLIER
- FINE-TOOTHED COMB (i.e. Metal Dog-Grooming Comb)
- ALCOHOL LAMP
- HARDWOOD CUTTING BLOCK (4" X 4")
- SMALL RAT-TAIL FILE
- WEDGE DRESSING WHEEL ON ARBOR
- GOOD QUALITY BOW HAIR (min. 31")
- BOW WEDGE MATERIAL (Basswood)
- DARK SHELLAC STICKS
- * FINE (00) STEEL BINDING WIRE
- * NO. 40 HEAVY COTTON THREAD
- * WAXED DENTAL FLOSS
- * #25 LINEN THREAD
- CONTAINER OF FRESH WATER
- ALIPHATIC RESIN GLUE (Carpenter's Yellow Glue)
- POWDERED ROSIN
- 000 STEEL WOOL
- BEE'S WAX
- TUNG OIL
* Any of these wrapping materials may be used (your preference)
I. INITIAL INSPECTION
It is very important that you evaluate the precise state of the bow at the time the customer presents it to you for rehairing (or repairing). It is at this time that you must determine any and all conditions that must be corrected prior to the rehairing process, so that you may advise the client of possible additional charges. Following, is a list of some of the problems that may have to be corrected before you proceed with the rehairing of the bow.
- *CLEANING THE BOW STICK
- *RE-CAMBERING THE BOW STICK
- *STRAIGHTENING THE BOW STICK
- REFINISHING THE BOW STICK
- CLEANING AND RE-CUTTING (DRESSING-UP) THE TIP WEDGE MORTISE
- REPAIRING A FRACTURED TIP WEDGE MORTISE
- RE- BUSHING A BADLY WORN OR DAMAGED TIP WEDGE MORTISE
- *THE REPLACEMENT OF A MISSING OR BROKEN IVORY (BONE, SILVER) TIP
- REPAIRING A FRACTURED TIP
- GRAFTING A TIP WHICH HAS BEEN COMPLETELY SEPARATED FROM THE STICK
- REPAIRING A FRACTURED STICK
- REPAIRING A STICK WHICH HAS BEEN BROKEN IN TWO
- *REPLACING A MISSING OR DAMAGED WRAPPING (WIRE, WHALEBONE, TINSEL, ETC.)
- *REPLACING A MISSING OR DAMAGED LEATHER GRIP
- RE-BUSHING A DAMAGED OR BADLY WORN FROG MORTISE (ON THE STICK)
- REPAIRING A STICK WHICH HAS BEEN CRACKED AT THE FROG END
- GRAFTING ON A REPLACEMENT FROG MORTISE SECTION TO THE STICK
- *CLEANING AND RE-CUTTING (DRESSING-UP) THE FROG WEDGE MORTISE
- REPAIRING A DAMAGED FROG (i.e. CRACKS ALONG THE SLIDE RAILS)
- REPLACING A DAMAGED OR BADLY WORN PEARL SLIDE
- *REPLACING OR REFITTING THE BRASS EYELET
- REPLACING OR REFITTING THE FERRULE
- REPLACING A SCREW AND/OR SCREW BUTTON
- REPLACING A FROG HEAL
- REPLACING A FROG LINER
- REPLACING A PEARL INLAY (EYE)
* Repairs Commonly Required
II. PRELIMINARY STEPS
A. "SNIP" THE OLD HAIR OFF IN FRONT OF THE CUSTOMER
This will assure the customer that you will, in fact, replace the hair. (Save the old hair and make brushes with it later!)
B. REMOVE THE TIP WEDGE AND REMAINING HAIR
Carefully pry the old wedge up from the back-side of the wedge mortise. This may be done with your mortise chisel or sharp awl. If the wedge does not want to come out easily, you may have to carefully remove the old wedge one sliver at a time. Be very careful not to damage the mortise or change its dimensions! Occasionally the previous technician will have glued the wedges, in which case you should be careful not to damage the tip or mortise while removing the dried glue and wedge chards.
C. DISASSEMBLE THE FROG
This process should be performed while the frog remains firmly clamped, and the whole bow assembly is held firmly in your rehairing jig. This will help to avoid damage to the frog.
Carefully remove the ferrule with your ferrule-removing plier. I use a converted 6" channel-lock plier, that I have shaped each jaw to fit perfectly around each side of the ferrule. After the jaws are shaped to perfectly match the outline of each side of the ferrule, I polish each face to be absolutely smooth, so that it doesn't scratch or damage the ferrule. After you grasp the ferrule with the plier, gently 'walk' it off the frog tongue by gently 'wobbling' it back-and-forth, until it may be easily removed. Do not force the ferrule too much, as you may permanently damage the tongue of the frog. Again, avoid putting plier marks on the side of the ferrule. If the ferrule will not come off with reasonable force, you will then have to carefully cut-away the ferrule wedge with a small chisel or awl.
Once the ferrule is free, remove the ferrule wedge, by lifting the remaining hair and then carefully paring the wedge material away with your violin knife. The thin ferrule wedge is often glued when installed, so be very careful to avoid removing any of the frog material (traditionally ebony, other exotic hardwoods, ivory, and rarely, tortoise shell).
Remove the pearl slide by first gently tapping the slide on its front edge with your small nylon faced hammer. You may then proceed to firmly push the pearl slide out with your thumb. Do not hit the slide too hard with your hammer, as this may cause the pearl to become jarred loose or to chip. If you are still unable to push the slide off with thumb pressure alone, you may use the sharp flat edge of a mortise chisel by carefully wedging it between the back edge of the pearl slide, and the end of the slide channel (heal). You are then usually able to get your thumb nail in-between the slide and heal to work the pearl slide out. If the pearl slide still refuses to slide out, then warm the frog a bit with a heat gun (dry - flameless heat) being careful not to overdo it.
Remove the frog wedge by lifting up the remaining hair and carefully prying the leading edge of the wedge out with your mortise chisel or sharp awl. Again, if the wedge does not come up easily, you may have to remove it sliver-by-sliver, being careful not to damage the mortise or change its dimensions.
Remove the stick from the rehairing jig.
Remove the frog from the stick.
Check the overall condition of the frog and all of its parts:
- Is the ferrule distorted or marred-up?
- Are the frog's slide rails or the liner cracked?
- Is the brass eyelet stripped or showing excessive wear?
- Is the liner loose, bent, or corroded?
- Is the button screw in good condition?
- Is the metal heal (if present) unglued, un-tracked?
- Is the pearl-eye chipped; missing?