Restoration of E. Sartory a Paris violin bow
Page 1, Restoration of the stick
This gold mounted violin bow by Eugene Sartory has had quite a difficult existence. The butt-end of the stick had been split out--even to the extent that a piece had separated from the stick. There was also significant thumb wear in front of the frog and ring wear to the top of the stick. At the other end of the stick, the ivory tip was cracked and partially missing.
This was a rather complicated and time-consuming restoration, but the bow was worth the effort. The owner dearly loved the playability and sound of the bow, and was very pleased with the result of the restoration.
(To Page 2, Restoration of frog)
The following pictures and descriptions document the restoration of this bow.
These are the 'before' pictures of the butt-end of the stick. Note the ring wear to the top of the handle, the piece that is broken out, and the light shining through one of the cracks in the mortise.
The first thing was to reglue the piece, as well as the other cracks around the mortise. There were five different cracks in total in the butt-end of this stick. The string acts as a clamp around the stick, drawing the cracks together.
After the cracks were securely glued, both screw holes were drilled out to an oversize hole in preparation for bushing and recentering the screw. The tool in the picture is a modern version of the traditional French 'foray' (a hand-operated drill that is slow-cutting and extremely accurate).
In the upper picture, you can see the size and length of the bushing that was fitted into the upper screw hole. The drill bit was inserted into the hole to gauge the depth. In the lower picture, the bushing has been glued into the hole. A small groove was carved into the bushing to prevent hydraulic lock, and upon insertion of the bushing, glue squeezed through one of the lower cracks.
Once the bushing in the upper screw hole was inserted, a similar bushing for the lower hole was made and glued in.
To re-establish the strength of the butt-end of the stick and to make a new button nipple that was centered, an oversized hole was milled into the end. The depth of the hole was approximately half the distance to the mortise.
This picture shows the three different bushings glued into the stick.
To ensure that the new nipple and lower screw hole was centered on the stick, these procedures were performed on a lathe.
This pictures shows the drilling of the lower screw hole on the lathe.
Here is the finished lower bushing with the new nipple and lower hole completed.
Here is the upper screw hole established in the new bushing.
This picture is of the completed job with the screw centered on the stick. The wear on the top of the handle has been filled with filler made from pernambuco dust. The final step is to color match the new wood and material with the patina of the oxidized wood.
Click Here for Page 2
Restoration of the gold-mounted frog by E. Sartory
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