Replacing Silver Wrapping

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by jbay, May 25, 2003.

  1. jbay


    May 23, 2002
    I have a cheap bow which came with my cello (gasp!) which the wiring wrapping is starting to fall off. I'm intending to mess around and rewire it myself. Any tips on how to go about doing this?
  2. Shlomobaruch


    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    Well, you'll have to replace the entire wrap on the stick - the wire wrapping starts at the end opposite the frog by embedding the wire into the stick, which is difficult work at best. After wrapping the wire it is then secured at the frog end usually by some variety of faux leather, depending on the manufacture. It sounds like something interesting to try, and if you want to, knock yourself out, but personally I'd have to ask myself what kind of quality could I hope to bring to the work that would prevent me from having to repeat it anytime soon. In short, "can I really do this right or am I going to spend a day accidentally sticking my fingers with wire to get a mediocre wrap that will come undone in a matter of weeks?"
  3. Most luthiers who do bow work use a bow wrapping jig/machine. This is a lathe like device that turns the bow sick while the luthier controls the tension on the wire as he guides the wire on to the stick. While many cheaper bows use a small hole in the bow stick to secure one end of the wire wrap, most better bow do not. The luthier starts the wrapping near the frog by wrapping the wire over itself. Then a touch of solder secures it.
    When the end of the wrapping area is reached, the wire is again soldered with one hand while the other hand keeps tension on the wire. After the end is soldered, the wire is cut with a small knife and frequently covered with a 1/8" leather sleeve to cover the solder after the excess solder is filed away. Of course, the area near the frog is usually covered with a leather or snakeskin grip. Without a wrapping jig, this process is a three (or four) handed job. Because of the high cost of pure silver wire (about $30 per oz.), nickel plated copper wire is commonly used on cheaper bows.
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    This is exactly why Bob B. is Da Man.
  5. Matthew Tucker

    Matthew Tucker Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Owner: Bresque Basses, Sydney Basses and Cellos
    Does the silver wire wrapping have any real useful function or is it just traditional decoration? And the bits of false leather that secure it?
  6. On good bows, silver & gold wire are used for adjusting the weight and balance of the bows in addition to the decoration factor. On cheap bows, well...