Bow not loosening?!

Edited: February 14, 2018, 1:40 AM · Hi everyone,

My bow is not loosening past a certain point. It gets just below the tautness that you'd play on, then the hair refuses to loosen any more, although I am able to unwind the screw indefinitely.

We do have very hot, humid weather at the moment.

Does anyone know what might be going on & if/how I could fix it? Would a rehair fix the problem?

It's unlikely this has anything to do with the quality of the bow.

Thank you

Replies (7)

February 14, 2018, 5:24 AM · Warm humid weather would tend to make the hair longer - so to me your problem seems strange.
Were this my bow I would unscrew the screw all the way and see if the frog is being held as close to the tip as possible. If this is the case - your hair is too short. Get it rehaired LOCALLY or at least by someone in the same climate.

Another possibility is that the screw threads are stripped - if this is the case you may not be able to remove the frog and you need professional help with that - and a new screw - another thing a pro can do for you.

February 14, 2018, 5:27 AM · It sounds to me like you are using it in an environment that has a lower humidity than it was in when it was last rehaired. Yes, a rehair will fix that. I've heard of the practice of having a rehair at the beginning of winter and summer to counter that. If you play a lot on that bow it probably needs a rehair twice a year anyway.

Also, when loosened all the way is the pad limiting the travel of the frog?

I have a bow that the frog fits so tightly that I have to give it a little "push" when loosening it. I disassembled it and applied a little powdered graphite under the frog and that helped but it is still snug. I would rather have that than it be too loose I think.

Edited: February 14, 2018, 5:54 AM · Thank you both for your answers.

Do you think my normal bow rehairer (sorry, not sure of the correct term) would also do things like sort out the screw situation, or does this need to be taken to someone else?

On the subject of humidity, I've had this bow for several months with anything from 50% to 90% humidity and never had this problem - it's also 80% today - so confused as to how it could be caused by a drop in humidity since the last rehair? Unless the maker rehaired it on a freakishly humid day, but still doesn't explain why we got through Spring with no issues...

Sorry for rambling.

Edited: February 14, 2018, 6:21 AM · I'm quite sure your rehairer will understand if you speak to him/her.
I had bow-hair length problems when I sent my bow from my home in the California desert to Oklahoma for rehair because of climate differences. Also had similar issues with a couple of bows from SHAR (Michigan).
Edited: February 14, 2018, 7:17 AM · Are you air conditioning in this hot, humid weather you're experiencing. That can cause the indoor RH to drop to a very low point. If you are in an air conditioned space, have you tried taking the bow outside? If that's the problem the hair will react by lengthening very quickly. And if your indoor air is very dry you should take steps to humidify your instrument too, to prevent cracking. That's a lot of "ifs." If my hypothesis sounds possible, start by taking the bow outside.
February 16, 2018, 10:53 PM · I experienced this problem after my one and only rehair. I called my luthier as soon as I discovered it. She commented that the day I picked up the bow had been quite warm (and dry), and asked if I had had it in the car for awhile after getting it. I told her it was only for the 10 minute drive home. When I told her that I was able to loosen it to the point where the bow was cambered, she said to just play on it and it would loosen up. It did, but it took more than a few days. I also noted the problem Michael mentioned about the frog being stuck--I forgot about it so I'm glad he did.
February 22, 2018, 10:50 AM · It's inconceivable to me that someone would rehair your bow without making a complete inspection of the working mechanism.

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