Rental Instrument Care Instructions
IMPORTANT NOTICE: William Harris Lee & Company takes pride in providing rental instruments that are in excellent condition, devoid of excessive nicks and scratches, and cleaned and polished to reveal the natural beauty of the wood and varnish. We understand that they are being used by children, and that a certain amount of wear and tear is inevitable. However, we also expect that the instruments will be treated with the respect they deserve. Please be aware that per the terms of our contract, we will charge customers for the cost of repairing any instrument that is returned to us exhibiting signs of abuse or gross neglect.
Protecting the Varnish
Keep a clean soft cloth in your case, and use it to wipe the rosin dust off of the instrument before putting it away in the case. When allowed to build up on the violin, rosin dust can permanently damage an instrument’s varnish! If over time the instrument becomes excessively dirty, it can be cleaned using (ONLY!) commercially prepared violin polish. DO NOT use furniture polish, guitar polish, or any other substance not specifically meant to clean violin family instruments. DO NOT apply any polish or cleaner over open cracks, open seams or unvarnished areas. DO apply the polish using a few drops on a soft cotton cloth, cleaning one small area at a time. Never pour or squirt polish directly onto an instrument.
Varnish repair is expensive. While we know that instruments will at times receive scratches or very small nicks, we expect students to refrain from purposefully scratching their instrument out of malice or boredom! We will charge parents for the repair of any such damage, the cost of which can be into the hundreds of dollars.
Your bridge has been precisely carved and placed for optimum performance. Should it be accidentally moved, take it to your teacher or to a string repair technician to have it put back in the proper position. The tuning process will pull the top of the bridge towards the pegs, causing the bridge to lean and eventually to warp. Check the bridge often and have your teacher straighten in when it is leaning.
The bow should never be over-tightened, and when putting it away it should be loosened so that there is no tension on the hair when it is in the case. This will keep it from either losing its camber (bend) or possibly warping. If the bow can not be completely loosened, then the hair is too short. Conversely, if you can not tighten the bow to the correct tension, then the bow hair is too long. Bow hair is very sensitive to moisture, lengthening in high humidity and shortening when the air is dry, so you may find that the hair length is no longer correct after a change of season. Whether too long or too short, the remedy is to have the bow re-haired. Contact us if this becomes necessary, as it is covered under the terms of the maintenance agreement.
It is important not to touch the bow hair with your fingers. Oils from your hand will attract dirt and keep rosin from sticking to the hair. Your bow should be rehaired when the hair no longer adequately grips the string, or when a large number of hairs have broken. If the screw of the bow turns easily but the bow hair does not tighten, then most likely the threads on the brass eyelet inside the frog have stripped. The eyelet can be easily replaced by a repair technician.