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Ryan & Brennish Thomson

Updated Feb 2, 2024

This article written by Ryan J Thomson, 2000

Violin and Fiddle Bow Rehairing

Photo of Arnold Bone instructing Ryan Thomson in violin bow repair in 1982 at the Summer Violin Institute at UNH

by Ryan Thomson

Class instructor Arnold Bone gives tips to 

Ryan Thomson as he works on a bow,  

summer of 1982

A beginning fiddler wrote to me asking if they should try rehairing their own bow. 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 learning 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," just 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 listed in the book.

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