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Combing Bow hair

 
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johngia
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Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Combing Bow hair Reply with quote

I am attempting to learn bow rehair. I have watched several online videos. I have successfully (sort of) done several to date.

The biggest problem I have is in combing the wet hair. A few inches in, and the comb gets stuck due to tangles. I've tried starting at the captured end, and the loose end, but still get the tangles. Trying to force the comb rips out hairs. The last time I tried, I lost a third of the hair.

All the videos I've watched show the comb gliding right through. What does one do to prevent the tangles and stuck comb?

Thanks
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Mat Roop
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 885
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't comment on your situation because I do all my rehair work dry (for a specific reason), then I the wet it for the stretch. No problem combing out the hank. Rare is a broken hair... except when I get careless trimming the plug flat to the tip plate:)
If you want to do your work wet, try combing dry first to get it reasonably untangled. Also, It may be that you have too much hair in the hank. I've heard some use as little as 140 hairs for a violin bow... I use about 180 but that depends on the bow and player. When I started I ordered individual hanks and most times found that there is way too much hair... probably to account for a lot of culling if the hair is cheap... makes for harder combing.
May depend also on the type of comb you are using. The comb I use has 20 tines /inch... tighter tines makes for harder combing.
Hope this helps!... Good luck!... Mat
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DonLeister
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Joined: 29 Mar 2007
Posts: 375
Location: Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The quality of hair could be a contributing factor.

Not long ago I had to return a pound of hair to the supplier because it broke so easily during a rehair, that was really strange. I wet the hair also.
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johngia
Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mat and Don.

I finally finished this bow. I combed the hair dry. Much easier. I inserted the hair into the frog first. Combed. Inserted into tip. Then wet and dried. Next one I will try combing wet again. Try a different hair. This was inexpensive hair from a supplier from Amazon.

There are a few loose hairs, but it does make a sound on the violin. So it's sort of OK. This is the fourth or fifth inexpensive bow I've done. No way am I ready to do one of my good bows. I read somewhere that it can take 30 or so bows before one is proficient. I can see why Smile
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Nick Walker
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Joined: 17 Sep 2014
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're rehairing frog to tip try this...

Cut your plugs, tie your knot for the frog end.
Insert your hair into the frog and plug (don't forget the ferrule).

Mount your frog to the stick and place the stick in whatever holding system you're using.

Now, with the hair dry comb the tangles out. Hold the hair with the left hand at the tip end while combing with the right. This helps keep the hairs from tangling back up after combing.

Now the the hair is relatively tangle free remove the frog and dip your hair in clean, cool water. Hold each end out of the water. Do not get the hair wet near the plugs as the water can swell the plugs and crack a mortice. Also, you only need the hair damp so don't leave it in the water long. Ten seconds is plenty.

Now you can remount the frog and finish the tip end. You'll still want to comb through the wet hair. It'll be much easier with the tangles removed dry.
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johngia
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Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Nick.

I have a few more inexpensive bows I'll try that on. Then who knows --- maybe even get brave enough to do some of my good bows.
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