Household materials for lubricating bow slide

Edited: February 6, 2019, 4:38 PM · I use candle wax (don't have any beeswax), but it eventually settles and becomes crusty.


Replies (15)

February 6, 2019, 3:56 PM · If its not moving smoothly, the eyelet might be to holding the frog too tight, and if you back it off half a turn it should work smoothly
February 6, 2019, 4:25 PM · The "underslide" is that mother-of-pearl rectangular thingy on the bottom of the bow - not the screw! It has no mechanical connection to the eyelet.
February 6, 2019, 4:37 PM · The eyelet is set at the correct depth. When there's something between the plate and the stick, it turns very nicely. It's not too tight against the stick. However, the bow isn't exactly in mint condition, and the plate has a bit of friction to it.
Edited: February 6, 2019, 5:21 PM · Krytox? Oh. you said household. Maybe lithium grease.
February 6, 2019, 5:19 PM · the underslide he is talking about is the top plate on the frog which slides against the stick, no??
Edited: February 6, 2019, 5:26 PM · I think the part Andrew is talking about is called the pearl slide.

February 6, 2019, 7:42 PM · Use a bar of soap!
February 6, 2019, 8:20 PM · Soap eventually wears out as well.

I don't have Krytox, but I got some Honey Goo rust remover. That stuff works wonders on the car.

February 6, 2019, 9:09 PM · I've not tried it but powdered Teflon in used with great success in piano work. You may have to refresh it occasionally but it won't get gooey or gummy on you.
February 6, 2019, 11:39 PM · Graphite?
Edited: February 7, 2019, 5:31 AM · I've been using cork grease (for flute or recorder joints) for the slider where it contacts the wood, and that seems to work best. Have also tried soap (recommended by my luthier), candle wax and beeswax (which eventually gets sticky). Graphite is good for the screw & eyelet but when applied to the slider it leaves a dark mark on the wood.
February 7, 2019, 7:18 AM · The permanent solution would have been that the frog was properly fit to the stick and the holes drilled perfectly. But like most things over time they wear out. Depending on how bad the wear is, it could be gone over. Regardless of the substance you use to lubricate, all lubricants eventually break down and needs to be cleaned off and reapplied. I hope we change the oil in our cars. I use canning wax to lubricate the screw, nipple, and bottom facet between he grip and mortice for the eyelet. Some people use door ease and the bow lubricants available are just wax melted down with some sort of oil, walnut oil or a light mineral oil would work to give it some tack and prevent it from drying out.
Edited: February 7, 2019, 7:56 AM · I vaguely remember cork grease as being vaseline, but it probably shouldn't be - mineral oil on vegetable?
I'd probably stick with something wood-friendly like candle or beeswax and give it a clean occasionally. Of course, if the bow is carbon, maybe WD-40 is best!
February 7, 2019, 12:56 PM · Good cork grease is definitely not vaseline or mineral oil. Mine claims to be entirely composed of organic oils and ingredients compatible with wood & cork.
Edited: February 7, 2019, 9:21 PM · Soap is evil! Never soap! It is usually alkaline and damaging to metal. A bowmaker friend of mine uses Door-ease. Graphite is OK but for the mess, but not pencil, which has a lot of abrasive clay mixed in.

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