Now that the cello has been put back together, I can talk a bit about the cheap bow that I ordered well ahead of the repairs. The bow arrived broken. Not cracked, but really broken. Obvious grain run-out all along the stick –

The break was not clean and some wood chips were absent, making me wonder if it wasn’t shipped broken.*

A quick look through Strobel’s Violin Maker’s Notebook revealed that cyanoacrylate glue** is the stuff to use on cheap bows to repair a broken stick.***

The first step is to unscrew the adjustment nut until it comes all the way out. Gently wiggle the frog loose and set the whole thing down on your work surface. It is very important not to twist the ribbon of hair as you work with the rest of the bow. Don’t kink the hair up, or handle it much at all or you may end up with a hopelessly tangled mess.

Because the break was long and fairly flat I was able to use a couple of squeezy clamps for the repair. Note the paper towel to soak up any superglue spillage. It was allowed to cure for a couple of hours before the clamps were removed. The repair seemed solid, if not pretty –

I fretted a bit over the missing pieces of wood and debated wrapping the stick in wire or leather to make it look better, but decided to see if the repair would hold before wasting any time on it.

The frog was reassembled, the hair tightened and it seemed to be okay.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. So far it has handled better than expected. The hair is a bit loose, but overall it performs just fine for a couple of amateurs playing around in the living room.

* It’s not always a good idea to buy stuff on eBay, but there was no easy way to procure a cello bow for very little money and I took a chance. The seller said that the cello bows (they had multiple listings in their shop) were out of stock when I wrote to complain and asked for a replacement. I ordered some other stuff from their shop in lieu of getting 80% of my money back and they did not ask me to ship the broken bow back, so in a way this is a “free” bow, but I still feel a bit ripped off.

** That’s Super Glue to us common folk. It does vary in viscosity and efficacy, and what you get can be a crap shoot, but this little tube worked fine this time. You can even get it in black, which makes a repair of this sort almost invisible.

*** This is a very cheap bow of no monetary or sentimental or historical value – a repair like this on a valuable bow should only be attempted by a qualified repair professional. That being said, why not fix your old stick instead of buying a new one?