Bow warp

September 23, 2004 at 05:50 PM · It seems like every bow I've had eventually warps. I know this can be fixed by a re-cambering, but is there any way to prevent it happening? I'm looking to get a more expensive bow fairly soon, but don't want to invest such a large amount if it's going to warp just like the cheaper bows I have been getting (around the AUD$250).

I always loose my bow when finished playing, so it's not under any stress in the case, so I'm not sure.

It is just because it's a cheap bow, or are there other things I can do to prevent this? One option I am thinking of is keeping a cheaper bow to practice with, and then have another bow just for concert performances. Also thinking about carbon fibre - do these warp with time?

Replies (8)

September 25, 2004 at 01:59 AM · I've seen one CF bow warp. I've never had a good pernambuco bow warp. I've had a number of less expensive (very cheap) ones warp. The main culprit seems to be a case that stresses the bow when stored. The most popular pernambuco bow we sell is the Arcos Brasil nickel mounted. I've not seen a warped one of those, nor do I expect to.

Steve

September 25, 2004 at 03:22 AM · Concur. One other thing to take into consideration is the possibility of uneven bow hair. That can cause warping over time.

....Steve Perry??!!

September 25, 2004 at 12:46 PM · What's the "Steve Perry??" thing about? Most people who call ask for Steve Perry, which is fine with me.

September 25, 2004 at 01:05 PM · I've had many bows warp on me as well...mostly cheap bows, but one expensive one (550 dollars being expensive in my book). I think part of the reason is the level of tension WHILE playing. Or lack thereof. I play with a pretty loose bow. My teacher is always telling me to tighten it more, but I get better response when it is looser and when I'm nervous, a looser bow shakes less....I dont know if that has anything to do with warping. Also...it could be climate. Or...In my whole life, I've never (until last week) had a bow rehaired. I always just played the bow out. I played it and played it and when it was warped and past the point of needing rehairing, I'd trade it in to my teacher and pay the difference on a new bow. Well. I like the one I have now (about 800 dollars) and it hadn't warped yet, so I sent it with my violin and it is getting rehaired. Maybe this is a new trend that I should follow up on....healthy violin practices...

JW

September 25, 2004 at 08:36 PM · So you're not the Steve Perry that was lead singer for Journey?

September 26, 2004 at 01:10 AM · LOL!

September 26, 2004 at 07:24 AM · Bad bows warp, regardless of their sales tag price. A truly good bow will not, if treated properly.

September 26, 2004 at 12:20 PM · Oh, the Journey thing. I suspect I started much earlier!

One feature I find in bows (even good bows) that have eventually warped (and fine playing bows will sometimes warp or need recambering) is that the spot that warps often has a disruption in the grain of the wood and generally shows slight darkening from having to be highly heated in making the bow. These areas may always remain unstable. But I don't see it as a GREAT flaw, just one to keep in mind. When I select bows out of a group, I generally use balance as the first criterion. I can whip through 100 bows quickly by just picking them up. At some point I'll actually try the remaining bows. I'll sometimes keep an exceptional one that has a potential problem. But normally excellent wood is a primary criterion.

I suggest that developing the habit of really looking at the bow stick is a good one for those trying out bows.

One of the nicest bows I have was stuck in a case on an eBay violin. It had no camber and a complex set of warps, but the wood was nicely grained. Much work later, the stick was dead straight with beautiful camber. It has remained so for a number of years and always attracts compliments. So a warp isn't necessarily the kiss of death.

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