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Melting Rosin Made Easy

Posted by kygarv7 on Monday, October 4, 2010

 

  After doing some research online I couldn't find much information on melting old rosin pieces down to re-pour into new cakes. I first read about doing this in the last chapter of H.S Wake's Violin Bow Rehair and Repair Book. The process mentioned there is very vague and instructs to use an asbestos cover directly on an electric hot-plate's heating coil. I read through a few forums and picked a few numbers to try. I first tried using a double-boiler style setup, but the heat just wasn't enough to really melt the rosin thoroughly so I read about using the oven on its lowest setting. I found that 250 degrees Fahrenheit worked best and it still took a while to really melt into a consistent liquid ready for pouring. If it is not liquid enough you will have a hard time stirring as it will stick to anything it touches if it's not hot enough. Ok, here are the three simple steps I took and it came out fine on my first try:

 

1. You need a metal container to melt the pieces of rosin in. I used an old can of Fast Fret and it's just the right size. I also put a metal ring clamp around the top for something to grasp while pouring. Place the can on an aluminum plate in case you spill it.

 

2. Heat it in an oven around 250 degrees for at least five minutes. Look at it and stir it then put it back in the oven for a few more minutes and get your mold ready.

 

3. Saw a perfect cardboard ring from a paper towel roll. I had to be patient and saw all around the fragile cardboard to get a perfect one-inch tall ring. Place it on a solid surface and pour the hot liquid rosin into the mold. I am using a flat piece of steel and before pouring I placed the oven pan on top to heat the steel surface. This is supposed to keep bubbles from forming when you pour hot rosin on a cold surface. That is the main thing I remember from the book I read and sounded like a good idea. So you pour the hot rosin into the mold sitting loosely on a hot surface and then move the plate to a colder area and let cool for at least an hour. Cut the cardboard carefully and peel off. Hopefully it won't break when you do this, but it will be a little rough on the edges. I melted Piastro Goldflex together with some Super Sensitive Old Oak rosin (also gold-flaked) so the resulting cake looks pretty much like a new one. This is really the first time I have done this and am excited to share it with everyone. Don't throw your old rosin out...re-melt!                              -MG




 

 



6 comments on “Melting Rosin Made Easy”

rosinhead Says:
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 @11:56:10 AM

Thanks for posting this. I think I can manage that when the time comes. Very cool indeed. I like the idea of making your own blend too.

fiddlepogo Says:
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 @12:48:47 AM

Hi Kygarv,

A couple of years back, I got the bug to do some rosin blending.
I had been blending Kaplan Artcraft Dark and Hill Dark on the bow, and liked the combo. The Kaplan was too grabby, the Hill Dark smoother, but prone to chipping if you looked at it sideways, and the thought occurred to me that maybe I could melt the two together, and get a superior blend.

I decided to melt the rosin in a pyrex container with a spout in a pan of water acting as a double boiler. It worked, and I poured the rosin into something (forget what!) that I had lined with foil.
It worked pretty well, but oh, the cleanup- rosin was stuck on the pyrex container, had gotten on the insides of the pan, and both took a LOT of work to get clean. And I don't think I ever bothered cleaning the kitchen knife I stirred it with.
The rosin was usable.... but I didn't like how it sounded!
Two rosins melted and blended is NOT the same as two rosins applied one after the other on a bow.
I decided since I seem to like cheaper rosins ($12 is the highest I've paid so far) from well known companies that get carried in local stores,
it really isn't worth the trouble of melting the stuff down.
I figure those companies must do a lot of experiments to get good working and sounding blends, and I think I'll just let them do the R & D from now on!!!
Or maybe leave it to you... if you come up with a blend that is smooth and grabby at the same time, rosinhead, let me know!!!! ;^D

mudbug Says:
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 @2:01:15 AM

I commend you for your initiative, but I gotta say, with roin being as cheap as it is, with this job as messy and potentially as dangerous as it is, and as little rosin as I use, I'll leave this job to others.

kubasa Says:
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 @8:50:08 AM

That's pretty cool. I always love reading "how-to's".

Tennessee Tom Says:
Sunday, December 26, 2010 @12:33:59 AM

Yep, pretty cool indeed! Next time, I want to see you try adding your own secret ingredients...bees wax, toad toenails, etc...

David M. Says:
Tuesday, February 1, 2011 @1:28:52 PM

Throw a bug in it and sell it for big money as amber!

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