Violin and Fiddle Bow Rehairing
By Ryan Thomson
This started out as a reply to a
beginnng fiddler who wrote to me
asking if they should try rehairing their
own bow. I intend to gradually update
this page with more bow rehairing
In this picture, Ryan is learning
rehairing from Arnold Bone at UNH
Summer Violin Institute.
You could look for someone in your
area to apprentice with, or take a bow
rehairing class yourself at the"Summer Violin Institute," at UNH, Durham, New Hampshire,
USA. Give them a call to get the course schedule sent to you- 603-862-2015. Also, there is a
good book by Harry Wake on bow rehairing. I met Harry a few years back, at his home in San
Diego, and bought a bow from him.
From my experience, its almost impossible to rehair a bow properly by yourself without
training and some specialized bench tools. I learned this during a summer course in bow
rehairing at the University of New Hampshire. Even though I took the course, learned to
rehair, and I'm pretty skilled with tools, I still send my own bows out to persons in my area
who rehair bows for a living.
I could rehair a bow if I had to, but its much easier to let a pro do it. Learning to rehair
bows quickly and accurately takes lots of time and practice, just like playing an
instrument! Knowing what I know now about bows, I would never recommend that a
beginner try it from scratch, except on a real "junker," for fun. Its really easy to damage a
nice bow if you don't know what you are doing!
I've briefly described and illustrated the construction of violin bows in my book, The Fiddle
and Violin Buyer's Guide. There are also many other sources for violin related information in
This article written by Ryan J Thomson, 2000