How to Rebuild a Violin Bow (Easy DIY Instructions to Save Money) (2023)

How to Rebuild a Violin Bow (Easy DIY Instructions to Save Money) (1)It's a pain, but it has to be done.

If you have a violin, there will come a time when you need to repair your bow.

Aschange a chainThis may seem like a daunting task. These ties are delicate, and if you accidentally damage them, they can be expensive to replace.

For this reason, many violinists choose to pay someone to refinish their bow. It is easier and safer.

If you can afford it, I recommend you hire a professional.

But you can do it yourself. As long as you know what you're doing.

And if you've reached the end of this article, you know what you're doing.

beginner violinistand experienced players often make the same mistakes. Fortunately, they are easy to avoid if you follow the correct procedure.

My instructions will guide you through the resharpening process, ensuring that you do not cause irreversible damage to your bow.

(Video) Rehairing a Violin Bow and new Silver Winding and Leather


  • 1 Violin Bow Restoration: A Complete DIY Guide
    • 1.1 Things you will need
    • 1.2 Removal of old horsehair
    • 1.3 Purchase and storage of horsehair
    • 1.4 Substitution of horsehair
  • 2 violin bow repair costs
  • 3 Reforming the violin bow: frequently asked questions on the subject
    • 3.1 How often do you comb a violin bow?
    • 3.2 How to straighten the hair of a violin bow?
    • 3.3 How to remove broken hairs from a violin bow?
  • 4 How to Repair a Violin Bow: Final Thoughts

Violin Bow Repair: A Complete DIY Guide

Before we get to the styling instructions, let's take a look at the tools you'll need to design your bow. Many are things you probably already have at home.

things you need

remove old horse hair

How to Rebuild a Violin Bow (Easy DIY Instructions to Save Money) (2)

Of course, before attaching the new hair to the bun, you must first remove the old hair. To do this, just take a pair of scissors and cut the hair, leaving a few centimeters free at each end. Those few centimeters allow you to gain strength for the next step.

Now use the needle nose pliers to grab the end of the remaining few inches of hair on the hairpin side of the bow. Wrap the clips in the hair so that it wraps around the hair.

Continue to wrap the hair around the clips as you pull it out of the plug. Some plugs shed hair much more easily than others. In either case, be careful not to damage the connector.

To remove arched heel hair, first loosen the screw on the back of the frog wedge by turning it counterclockwise. This will loosen the clamp.

You will probably have to spend some time rocking the tip back and forth before it will come loose. Again, be patient. You don't want to damage the wood.

(Video) How to Prepare a Bow | Violin Lessons

Once it is loose, remove the small wooden wedge at the bottom and use the same method as with the pliers on the connector side.

Buy and save horsehair

When buying mane, the general rule is: the lighter the mane, the better. If you can afford it, get lighter colored hair.

To store hair properly, be sure to secure it carefully to prevent it from becoming tangled and useless. An easy way to do this is to use regular bobby pins at the top, bottom, and middle of your hair strand.

horsehair replacement

How to Rebuild a Violin Bow (Easy DIY Instructions to Save Money) (3)

Use the gauge to measure the amount of horsehair you need. It should be about the same width as the point you removed earlier.

Gather cut hair into sections and secure with simple bobby pins or bobby pins so it stays together and doesn't tangle as you work with it.

Use the thread to tie the hair tightly at each end. Use the glue to make the hair stick where it sticks out a bit from where you tied it with the wire. This will ensure that it sits comfortably without any hair sticking out. Give the glue time to harden.

After the glue has set, insert the hair into the top of the dowel (without the wooden wedge) and use a thin stick or screwdriver to poke it into place.

Once you have the correct position, reinsert the wooden wedge to ensure that the hair stays where it should. You want the connector to be flush with the tip of the bow.

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Before securing the hair on the heel or heel side of the loop, remove the bobby pins and use a small comb to untangle any tangles that have formed. You want the hair to form a thin ribbon shape instead of being voluminous like a rope.

After combing it well from one side to the other, reset the clips to prevent future tangles. Tie the loose end of the hair with wire and glue the hair together, as you did the other end before.

Push the hair through the ferrule. Remove the frog loop to give yourself a little more room to work.

Place the hair in the small hole of the frog from top to bottom. Use the screwdriver or stick to get it into the correct position before putting the wood wedge back on.

Finally, push the abalone back and keep the hair away from the ferrule.

After replacing the final wedge, you can quickly apply gentle heat throughout the length of the hair to allow the strands to blend a bit for a more subtle play. then usefulColoniato prepare the bow. Knead and gently apply and rub all over the hair.

He does! He has successfully repainted his bow and is ready to make beautiful music again. Good job!

Cost of restoring the violin bow.

If you do it yourself, the cost is your time plus the cost of the replacement hair. You can easily find good curly hair for under $10, and even very high-quality hair shouldn't cost much more than $20.

If you don't want to do it yourself, you can expect to pay a professional luthier anywhere from $50 to $80. This includes the cost of the mane and labor.

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It's money well spent ensuring your precious instrument is well cared for. This also applies to the cheapest bows, but above all you have the best wood or carbon fiber violin bowmoney can buy.

Violin Bow Rehair: Frequently Asked Questions on the subject

How to Rebuild a Violin Bow (Easy DIY Instructions to Save Money) (4)

These are some of the most common questions I get about violin bow restoration.

How often is a violin bow redone?

It mainly depends on how much you use your violin. If you play 4-5 hours a day, you'll probably need to repair your bow 3-4 times a year. If you're not that dedicated, replacing it once or twice a year is usually enough.

How to straighten the hair of a violin bow?

There is a screw at the end of your violin bow. Turn this screw to tighten (or loosen) the bow hair.

How do you remove broken hair from a violin bow?

If you have some loose or broken hairs, you don't need to replace all the hair completely. You can simply remove the offending hair and continue playing with the bow.

If you have loose hair, cut it at the loose part, so that it looks like broken hair. For broken hair, separate the hair from the rest of the bow, and then carefully part it at both ends. Cut close to the frog and at the tip.

You don't want to pull your hair out. By doing this, the grip on the remaining hairs will loosen up a bit and it will be easier for them to break loose or break off more. Always part your hair, leaving the ends hanging over the beam and on top.


Here is a two-part video series that can help illustrate the styling process.

(Video) DIY Hacks on How to Repair a Violin and Save Loads of Cash!

How to Rebuild a Violin Bow: Final Thoughts

Designing your bow is one of those things you have to do but never want to do. It's a pain Naturally,Ofyou don't have to do that. We always recommend having this done by a professional if you can afford it.

However, if you're on a budget, you'll probably want to do it yourself. If so, follow the instructions above and take your time to get it right.

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How much does it cost to repair a violin bow? ›

Have it done by a professional. While many prolific string musicians learn to rehair their bow independently, most musicians take their bow to a professional. The cost of rehairing a violin bow is typically around $50 or less, a bit more for cello and bass bows.

How much does it cost to rehair a violin bow? ›

A violin bow rehair cost about $50-100 on average. This can depend on what material your bow is made of, whether you go to an experienced luthier, and what is the quality of your bow in the first place.

How do you make a homemade violin bow? ›

Cut notches into each end of the cane. Take a few strands of horsehair and stretch them across both ends of the stick. Wrap and tie the ends of the hair through the notched tip. Pulling the loose hair toward the bottom end of the stick, wrap the hair through the notch and around the end and tie it.

How much does a handmade violin bow cost? ›

The best intermediate violin bows are handmade with Pernambuco wood by some of the best contemporary Brazilian bow makers and range in price from $600 – $1,600.

Why do violin bows cost so much? ›

A single violin bow can be worth tens, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars. Each bow requries specific raw materials, like Pernambuco wood from Brazil and horsehair from Mongolia. Much of its value comes down to the skills of the bow maker, who can spend as long as one week producing just one bow.

How long do violin bows last? ›

In general, luthiers tend to recommend getting a bow rehair about every six months. But what people do in practice can be quite different. Those who play a lot might get it re-haired every three months. But if it's still sounding good, others might stretch it out quite a bit longer.

Should I wipe violin bow? ›

We recommend that you use a soft cloth that is dry, clean, and lint-free for all of your bow cleaning. Bow cleaning should be done with this cloth after each use, this is to ensure all rosin dust, oil, dirt, and any general household dust is removed before it has a chance to do damage to your bow.

Why is violin bow hair white? ›

1. The player has applied too much rosin. To determine if there is excessive rosin on a bow, we do a visual inspection of the bow hair. A bow with excessive rosin will have very, very, very white hair and can tend to create a rosin cloud when the player uses the bow.

How often should you rosin your bow? ›

Generally, we find that players are reapplying rosin once every 4-6 hours or solid playing. For professionals, this is usually once a day, but for beginners playing 15-30 minutes a day, we find that once a week is plenty.

How do you make a simple homemade bow? ›

How to Make a Bow out of Ribbon
  1. Make three ribbon loops. Cut the ribbon off just about an inch past the center.
  2. Cut the three loops of ribbon. ...
  3. Cut ribbon for bow streamer. ...
  4. Pinch together the center of ribbon loops. ...
  5. Add the streamer ribbon. ...
  6. Use a zip tie to secure in the center. ...
  7. Add a ribbon knot around the center. ...
  8. Fluffing.
Sep 3, 2022

Can I make my own violin bow? ›

The simplest form is really not difficult to make and you will be surprised that it will work. That is : take a stick, tie some horse hair at both ends and put a little wedge between stick and hair at the frog end, rosin the hair, and you can play.

Can a violin bow be repaired? ›

If the tip becomes unglued, take the bow in for repair right away—regluing is simple, but must be done right. If the beak at the tip breaks off, find it and have it glued back on. If you lose it, some shops can make a replacement, others may suggest replacing the whole tip.

How much does it cost to get a bow fixed? ›

It typically costs between $50-$300 to get a compound bow restrung, on average. A bowstring will generally cost between $50-$200, whereas the tools required to do the restring yourself will cost a further $50-$100. The labor to get your bow professionally restrung can be as low as $20.

Is it better to restring a bow or buy a new one? ›

It largely depends on how much you shoot, how the bow is designed, and how heavy of an arrow you use. Your string's appearance is certainly an important indicator, too. If the strings look ultra fuzzy, frayed, or dry and brittle, then it's probably time to swap them out for a new set.

How much does it cost to have a bow restrung and tuned? ›

If you get new arrows, a new string or a new arrow rest, or if you notice string stretch or change your draw weight or length, it's smart to get your bow tuned. A typical bow tuning service costs $40 to $70 and takes about an hour.


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