So to start, I have just gotten a new violin bow about 6 months ago. I decided to rehair it about 3 months ago in preparation for an audition. The audition went well, but the bow lost about half of its bow hair the following month. I decided I needed to go somewhere else for a rehair, and my school teacher referred a freelance violinist in the area that did rehairs. The rehair was surprisingly cheap(40$ USD), and it only lasted about 2 months before losing half of its hair. I’m fairly certain the rehair was of poor quality, and now am looking for places to rehair my bow that will last longer than 2 months. Do any of ya’ll know anyone who rehairs bows around Memphis, TN, or a good place to ship my bow to rehair?
You might have bow mites.
Ship your bow to Joshua Henry.
It doesn't sound right that this has happened repeatedly, I would think you might have the mites that David mentioned or carpet beetles. I think that you would be hard put to find hair that was as poor quality as described. I once got a violin that had been stored in the back of a closet on the floor (the worst place) and both bows had been eaten up by carpet beetles. The case needed to be thrown away. I would suggest discarding your case too.
Either that or you are squeezing the hair between the stick and the string when you play.
For pests, dry ice is often a useful decontaminant that doesn't leave toxic odors behind. Lots of carbon dioxide not only kills bugs, but larvae and maybe even their eggs. I've used this for clothes moths with some success. For a violin case, drop a few good scoops of crushed dry ice inside, put the whole case inside a few trash bags, and tie them closed but not sealed airtight. You don't want to be locking the case with all that gas being produced; it might explode. Three or four days of this should get most of the problem.
For comparison, Landon, I've been playing the violin for 3 years, and none of my bows is anywhere near needing a rehair. In fact, the only time I've ever broken a hair, apart from the one or two that naturally come loose from a new bow, was when I forgot to put the violin blanket over the zip of my case before putting the bow down on it.
Cotton, not all moderately experienced rehairers are created equal.
Getting one of the best in the business to do a rehair often doesn't cost so much. I think Jerry Pasewicz still charges 75 bucks.
I agree with David and Ann that bow mites are a real possibility. You won't blow through bow hair that fast unless you're practicing Paganini No. 16 three hours a day at a very fast!! tempo while riding an exercise bike.
Stan, in my opinion, Jerry Pasewicz is one of the best in the business. I would ship even one of my cheapest bows to him for a quality rehair, even if it cost 150 bucks, because that's how much I've learned to appreciate the quality of a rehair, and how much difference it can make.
I'm fairly sure I must have sprayed the inside of my case with moth repellant once upon a time. It was long term odorless, but if you use already cologne on your strings, you can splash some of that on the case fabric and then leave it to evaporate.
Cologne? I must have missed that one.
Cologne?? Do your strings have underarm odor??
Erin, No, his strings have a hot date tonight.
Almost 25 years ago I learned an important lesson about bow rehairs.
Buri I hope your bow-rehair guy was okay after you stumbled across him. But I am curious -- was he wearing cologne?
I think it's nice to open a violin case and have the whiff of 4711 come out. It's nicer than fustiness.
4711 is the best.
Tonight I have the pleasure to listen to Augustin Hadelich in Cologne (the home of 4711)
For those who are unaware, Eau de Cologne has alcohol in it, and many string players use 4711 for string cleaning. I wouldn't know where to buy isopropyl alcohol except for Amazon, I guess, whereas 4711 is, or used to be, ubiquitous (it's considered an old-fashioned perfume now, and I have to get mine from Amazon). But don't get any on your varnish.
Isopropyl alcohol 70% is called rubbing alcohol in the US. Drug stores have it in bottles. A more expensive alternative is alcohol prep wipes which have the same 70% and are individually wrapped.
There have been enough threads already on this site about cleaning your violin strings or your bow hair, whether it's okay to use alcohol or not. I use "prep wipes" for quick, everyday type jobs. When I want to run my bow hair through a bowl of solvent or give my strings a deep cleaning then I switch to ethanol (grain alcohol).
Oh, that's what that is. I'd never heard it referenced by number.
Stephen, I gotta ask, how have you heard 4711 referenced, other than as 4711???
Just Eau de Cologne, or Cologne. The only regular user I know offhand is my father in law, who would have started before there were millions of alternatives to justify more detailed ID.
I still use 4711, since it has the older rich gals (whose husbands had millions of dollars in life insurance, but are now deceased), all over me like flies on chit. LOL
They're just hoping to move up on your waiting list.
First I gotta get a new wardrobe... It's not that far to Ann Arbor.
The wardrobe connects to Narnia, not Ann Arbor. It’s a common mistake…..
The reason we say "4711" here in the US is because we can't pronounce Kolnisch Wasser. We don't even have the right key on our keyboard to type it properly. There is no oe.
Here is some quick background. I live in California. During the first COVID surge, our state shutdown anything that was not a drug store or a food store. The Luthier who rehairs my bow was forcefully closed thus temporarily put out of business. Many businesses in this area faced the same fate. Many businesses did not survive. It was very sad to see.
Larry, the "bow mites" are most typically infesting the case, not the stock of new hair the rehair person has.
David is right, my damaged bows were examined for 1 second by the luthier who instantly said the case needed to be thrown away. I did so and got rid of both bows which were junk. New bow, new case, problem solved.
Anything to do with strings, bow rehair, rosin, etc., etc., I spend what's needed to get the best. For me, it's worth it to obtain the best possible voice from my instrument.
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