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Is this a deal or not?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Stereo Joe, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. While I was dropping off my bow for a rehair, I was talking with the bowmaker and asked what he had for sale since I'm in the market for an upgrade. He doesn't make any in my price range (under $900) but he showed me a stick he had been working on that cracked near the frog end. He figures he could glue it up solidly, finish the bow and then sell it to me at an affordable price. He's going to glue it and roughly finish it in order for me to try it out first. Assuming I like it and want to purchase it, he would finish it properly.

    Could this be a good way of acquiring a bow from a well-reputed bowmaker that would normally be out of my price range? Or is buying a cracked bow just asking for trouble down the road?
  2. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    I bought a bow that has a repaired crack not far from the tip. Whoever repaired it did a great job; it's nearly invisible and never going to fail.

    Will the bowmaker stand behind the repair?
  3. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    If you like the bow, then it could be worth considering. If you don't like it, then crack or no crack, it isn't a deal.

    If the bow survives the bending process and becomes a bow without further problems, and the maker stands behind his repair, you should be ok. Usually G2 epoxy or a similar glue formulated for bow woods will be used and depending on the extent of the crack, some new wood might be added as well. The glues available now are fantastic, and often the repair can be stronger than the original wood. I had the pleasure of working on a Sartory that had been broken in half more than 20 years ago and glued, and it has survived under daily use to this day with no signs of trouble. Pay particular attention to the camber (the bend in the bow) and make sure that it is flawless, and the stick is perfectly straight. With a repair like this, you cannot make adjustments to the camber (at least in the area around the break) for the remaining life of the bow.

    If you intend to have the bow for the rest of your career, it could be a good option. If you want to sell it down the road for one reason or another, broken bows (even those by famous French masters) typically lose anywhere from 40-90% of their resale value.

    If the maker is willing to finish the bow and let you play it without pressure to purchase it, then you've got nothing to lose. Try the bow. If it really is "the one", hands down better than anything else you can possibly afford, and you can see yourself playing it for the rest of your career, go for it. If you aren't completely in love with it, could see yourself trying to sell it down the road, and/or aren't in a huge rush to upgrade, there will be other bows that come along.
  4. Thanks guys. I think I'll evaluate the bow as I would any other and not worry about the crack.
  5. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Can you say who the maker is?

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