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Do's and Dont's with Bows

Keep your bow in top condition by following a few simple guidelines.


Looking after your bow

With careful ownership, a bow should last several lifetimes. Here are a few basic hints to keep your valuable bow in best condition:

Your bow is valuable and possibly irreplaceable. Only ever entrust it to the care of an experienced qualified bowmaker/repairer, whether for major restoration work or simply just for rehairing. Inappropriate or clumsy work can easily cause damage which may be permanent and result in loss of value.

Always let the tension off as soon as possible after use and clean off any dirt or rosin deposits that may have accumulated on the bow (keep a duster handy in your case for this).

Store the bow carefully when not in use. Check that the bow clips and associated areas inside your instrument case cannot distort or scratch the bow. Avoid extremes of temperature or humidity. 

Prevention is always better than cure, so keep an eye out for early evidence of any fresh wear or damage to your bow. Ask your bowmaker’s advice when you take it for re-hair, he should be only too delighted to inspect it free of charge - if not, consider changing your bowmaker!

In particular, don’t allow thumb or finger wear to develop. Always protect these vulnerable areas with replaceable coverings, usually leather.  A leather to end (over the handle) will also protect an important brand from being worn away.

Take a few close-up photos of your bow – frog, handle (brand), head – in case of theft or if you are considering selling.

Keep the screw and eye mechanism lubricated (petroleum jelly works well) and also prevent debris from building up between the frog and stick. Lubrication here with graphite (pencil lead) helps smooth adjustment.

Make sure your bow is adequately insured and review the level of cover every couple of years - again your bowmaker should be pleased to help. Remember that bows generally not only keep their value but good examples by sought-after makers can also appreciate substantially. 
 


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