How to clean whalebone lapping
Can anybody suggest to me the best way to clean whalebone? The lapping on my bow has a lot of dirt and grit in between the ridges.
Also a side question, why is the lapping 2 different colors? Is it simply dyed that way?
The two different colors must have come from different whales.
A clean toothbrush will loosen dirt. A dry cloth will do the rest. No solvents are needed.
Is your lapping real "whalebone" (baleen), which hasn't been used for many years, or is it synthetic (plastic)?
It is real and hasn't been used for many years.
By "hasn't been used for many years" I meant that makers and repairers haven't used it, because it's banned from commercial trade to protect the whales.
It is a very old bow, about 200 years old. For how long has whalebone been banned from commercial trade?
Not that long. Moby Dick was written in 1851.
Must be a Japanese bow. ( I can say that, I’m Nisei and 1/4 Norwegian.)
Interesting commments in this thread... I will try the toothbrush, thanks Dimitri.
Here is an article I did with samples of the various kinds of lappings: https://adbowsllc.com/2018/11/05/winding-materials/
Thanks for that Anthony. I notice that my bow has no thumb leather at all unlike the bow in the picture on your website which has a thumb leather presumably over the lapping. Would you say this is necessary? Is my thumb in danger of wearing out the whalebone or somewhat displacing it from the stick over time?
Whalebone is fairly durable. Some players don't like the texture. If it doesn't bother you and doesn't show any signs of coming loose, I would say it isn't necessary. But in general a thin thumb leather is typically used and looks and feels real nice.
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