How to Make Violin Rosin

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If you play a musical instrument, you need materials to make playing that instrument easier. Violinists need rosin, a sticky substance, for their bows. When you pull the bow across the strings, the rosin temporarily sticks to the string, pulling the string slightly. Upon its release, the string snaps back into place, creating the characteristic sound of a violin. You can purchase rosin at most music stores, but some violinists prefer to make their own.

Things You'll Need

  • Pine tree sap (Sylvaros)
  • Beeswax
  • Sap-gum wood
  • Table router
  • Table saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Rubber strips
  • Hand torch
  • Tin
  • Prepare the wood molds. Cut a trough along the length of a piece of sap-gum wood on the table router. The large groove will hold the rosin, and the edges will provide a place for you to grip when applying the rosin to your violin bow. Cut the sap-gum wood into molds the size of a matchbox with a table saw and
    remove rough edges with sandpaper.

  • Place the molds side by side and end to end with rubber strips in between each mold. This will prevent the rosin from spilling out of the molds as you pour.

  • Combine the Sylvaros and beeswax in a saucepan and heat the mixture until it is around 300 F. The liquid should have the appearance and consistency of molasses.

  • The rosin must cool slightly before being poured into the molds, but continue to apply a small amount of heat with a hand torch to prevent the surface from glazing over and to force any bubbles in the mixture to the surface.

  • Slowly pour the rosin into a row of sap-gum wood molds. Place a piece of tin over the next row of molds to facilitate moving to the next mold. Avoid pouring rosin onto the edges of the molds.

  • Use the hand torch to again force any bubbles in the rosin to the surface as the rosin cools.

Tips & Warnings

  • The extreme temperatures needed to manufacture rosin can cause serious injury if you mishandle the rosin.

References

  • Photo Credit violin image by Mateusz Papiernik from Fotolia.com
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