It is extremely important to find a quality bow technician for your bow. Someone who is dedicated to maintaining the value, originality, and reliability of your equipment. Whether it is something as seemingly simple and routine as a rehair to a more involved tip plate replacement, it is important not to economize on quality work. In the past two weeks I have encountered a bit of sketchy of work that I felt compelled to share:
DO NOT REMOVE ORIGINAL WOOD
This frog was modified to use a nail for the rehair. Never modify a customers bow, never remove wood, especially like this. The frog has been vandalized so that the original mortice is not even usable. Restoring this to original condition would be costly and time consuming.
DO NOT TOUCH THE HEAD
The head of this bow has been hit with a file in multiple spots when the tip plate was replaced on this bow. The first photo depicts damage to the back of the head; in the second photo, file marks are evident on the side of the head. On a nice bow, you are causing serious devaluation.
WHY ALL THE CROSSED HAIR!?
Two different bows I took apart had bird nests for hair. It is okay to have a crossed hair or two combed back under the slide, but this is just too much. If a bow comes apart like this, it is likely that the ribbon of hair has uneven tension and may have additional crossed hairs in the playing ribbon resulting in poor response and tone.
SOME THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
These may not necessarily be any fault of a bow technician but worth noting. The first bow has a crack on the back of the head. The tip plate is made of silver and has a pin behind the head mortice and was originally made this way. This could eventually result in a pin crack to the back of the head as shown or also be caused by a rehairer fitting too tight of a block. The second photo is a tortoise shell frog from a very nice bow. When seating the block in the frog, if the frog is not properly supported, it is possible to cause a crack like this. So care must be taken when rehairing or working on these bows.
Unfortunately, work like this is all too common. Take the time to find someone with quality training and experience, not someone willing to practice on customers bows. If you are having difficulty finding someone local to your area, I am happy to recommend excellent people that I know who do tremendous work. Also, I am happy to offer consultation or services by mail. I just absolutely love talking about music, instruments, and bows!
cell: (248) 561-4657
office: (248) 457-5203