Baker's Violin Rosin FAQs

Category: General

17 results displayed.

Q: How do I order Baker's Rosin?

Baker’s rosins are available only to our registered members and only directly from us.

The reason is because our production capabilities are very limited and also, because we make rosin from living trees our production is seasonal...we can’t make Baker’s year round because weather plays a large part in the quality of the raw sap we use.

If we did allow open retailing our rosins though, we’d “sell” more than we can produce and would end up in trouble, so we use the member list in order to have some control over production and sales.

Also, rosins are pinene based and for our purposes pinene has a useful life of about one year, so we refuse to store or stockpile rosin. Each member order is made fresh, just for them.

We believe that a person should get all of the useful one year life a rosin has to offer and not pay for the time it spends sitting in storage or on a store shelf.

Here’s the problem with mass-producing rosin –

In order to mass produce as todays rosin industry does, one has to create large quantities of product well in advance of the sale.

Then the rosin is stored by the maker until ordered by and shipped to various retailers.

Once at the retailers it will then again sit until finally purchased for use.

We have learned absolutely that production rosins can and do sit in storage and on store shelves for months, sometimes even years before they are finally purchased for use!

This to us means that all too often people are buying dead stale product, but assuming they are buying fresh and new.

For this reason we will never allow our rosins to be open retailed.

As I was quoted in our interview with The Strad magazine, “When someone receives a tin of Baker’s they can be quite certain it was, ‘tree juice’ no more than two weeks prior”.

The only way to live up to that is to make each member order fresh, one batch at a time and then send it directly to the member within fourteen days so, that’s what we do.

To become a member one needs only to fill out and submit the membership request form found -HERE- at our website.

When rosin does become available for you we will send to your email address an, “Invitation to Order”.

Members respond to that email invitation with their order details.

We will then fill the order and package it for shipment.

Once your order is packaged and ready to be shipped we will then send you an email invoice from which payment can be made via credit card through Pay Pal or via Pay Pal Savings.

We also accept personal checks and postal money orders, but in the case of personal checks, first shipment is delayed until checks clear our bank.

We are not yet able to process credit card numbers through email or telephone.

Please, do not contact us to ask when rosin will be available for you...we really don’t know.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:44 pm in General

Q: What is the cost of Baker’s rosin?

Currently, Baker’s rosins sell for $24.50 U.S. per unit, plus shipping.

Shipping is actual, but of course varies depending on location.

Usually, we can ship single orders within the U.S. for about $4.00.

Shipping for orders outside the U.S. generally runs between $8.00 and $13.00.

We are no longer able to ship to China, Hong-Kong, or Singapore, but if one can provide and alternate U.S. or U.K. address we will ship for them using the provided alternate.

In an effort to insure having enough product to take care an ever-growing list, we limit member orders to a maximum of two units per member, per season.

There is however, no minimum order... members are not require to place orders if they don’t wish to.

Once on our -MAILING LIST- one will remain on the list unless a request is made to be removed.

There is no need to re-join each season.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:44 pm in General

Q: How long will it take to get my Baker’s?

Because we make our rosins from the sap of living trees we are also at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Our production numbers and length of season are totally dependent on things like rainfall amounts and temperatures, both of which are of course beyond our control.

Some seasons we can produce more than others, and some seasons run longer than others, but in every case it’s not up to us, but rather Mother Nature.

We have around 3000 members world-wide at present and when a season begins we start at the top of the list and work our way down until the season ends, so it also depends on when you became a member as new members are added to the bottom of the list.

Sometimes we don’t make it all the way through the list before a season ends, and all we can offer new members in exchange for their patience is the promise that Baker’s is worth the wait.

The other choice for us was to close the list off to new members, but in polling our current members we learned that most would rather wait than to do without.

Please remember though that we make each member order fresh, one batch at a time, and it takes about sixteen hours to distill a single batch.

That doesn’t take into account the time it takes us to tap the raw colophony from our trees, nor the time required to assemble and package the finished product.

During season we work 17 and 18 hour days, so believe me when I say we try our very best to take care of everyone waiting.

Please, do not contact us to ask when rosin will be available for you... we really don’t know.

When rosin does become available for you we will send to your email address an, “Invitation to Order”.

Members respond to that email invitation with their order details.

We will then fill the order and package it for shipment.

Once your order is packaged and ready to be shipped we will then send you an email invoice from which payment can be made via credit card through Pay Pal or via Pay Pal Savings.

We also accept personal checks and postal money orders, but in the case of personal checks, first shipment is delayed until checks clear our bank.

We are not yet able to process credit card numbers through email or telephone.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:51 pm in General

Q: What makes Baker’s different from other rosins?

Most, if not all of today’s production rosins are made from commercially available hardened resins.

Often these resins are actually a byproduct of the wood pulp/paper goods industry.

Our family rosins are made from the liquid sap of living trees...we don’t use hardened resins.

Much like the process for making maple syrup, we tap healthy living trees in order to acquire the raw colophony we then distill into Baker’s rosins.

We feel that raw colophony from living trees contains far more natural fats and sugars than does the hardened resins most of today’s rosins are made from.

It is these fats and sugars that are responsible for the greater adhesion, control, and tone production that our rosins facilitate, not to mention the noticeably low dust and low noise our rosins are commonly noted for.

There is no comparing rosin made from the sap of living trees to those made from hardened resins, and our users testify to that fact frequently (please see testimonials).

An added benefit is that the way we make our rosins doesn’t kill trees.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:52 pm in General

Q: Do you provide samples?

No, we literally can’t afford to.

We have 80 acres of trees yet struggle to meet the growing demand for our rosins, and to utilize colophony to make samples would mean further shorting the already limited supply for our members who patiently wait for their turns to order as is.

From time to time we have what we call, “pulls”, which are cakes that don’t pass inspection due to the random bug finding it’s way in, a bubble, being short poured, etc, and those are to be donated to our local school music departments.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:52 pm in General

Q: Why is the production of Baker’s rosin seasonal?

We make our family rosins from the sap of living trees.

When the cooler temperatures of winter settle in on us it forces our trees to produce a larger particle colophony.

Unfortunately, large particle colophony results in rosin which is both noisy and dusty, so we just don’t bother, and instead shut down for the season once this change occurs.

Even if the colophony didn’t change in this way, winter temperatures would force production to end regardless because the sap becomes too thick to flow through the tree taps.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:52 pm in General

Q: What is the difference between the two available Baker’s blends?

We produce only two blends of rosin as we do not side with the now popular notion of needing a rosin for every possible situation, ie, orchestral, solo, baroque, etc.

A great rosin should facilitate one’s needs regardless of what the situation is.

Honestly, can you think of any situation where you’d prefer less grip, less range of tone, less control?

Baker’s Original is based off of a very old Cremonese recipe that was popular in the region and day of Paganini.

It is the darker of the two Baker’s blends and is a medium amber in color.

In keeping with the traditional recipe, Baker’s Original is distilled in solid copper vessels over open fire pits.

Baker’s Vuillaume Citron is based from an authentic French recipe that was popular in the region and time of Vuillaume.

It is the lighter of the two blends and is a yellow-green (citron) in color.

In keeping with the old recipe, Baker’s Vuillaume Citron is distilled in solid earthen vessels over open fire pits.

The greater difference between the two Baker’s blends is probably in how they react to different string formulations.

Baker’s Original has found favor with our gut and synthetic string users, while the Citron is most popular with our metal string users and “fiddle” stylists.

It is important to understand that nobody, not even myself can reasonably suggest to you which rosin will best suit your needs, as there are simply too many variables at play.

Bow weight, hair count and width, player technique and style, etc.

Only you can properly discern which Baker’s blend will best suit your playing.

We can paint a picture in general terms, but you truly have to decide for yourself which of the two Baker’s blends best facilitates your playing needs.

I will say this with confidence though....compared to any modern production rosin, either Baker’s blend will most likely make a marked and noticed improvement to one’s capabilities concerning control and tone production, and this is something we hear all the time from users...”I didn’t think I could get tone like this from my violin”....”I was about to trade my cello in on a better one until I tried your rosin”....”Suddenly like magic I can perform complex strokes that were before out of my reach”.

As far as we can tell we’re the only makers left on the planet who make rosin from the liquid sap of living trees and it has been this way for a very long time now.

In fact, most people alive today have never even had the opportunity to play on proper, fresh made rosin and so they have no clue as to what they’re missing out on.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:53 pm in General

Q: Which Baker’s blend should I use ?

Please see FAQ Question: What is the difference between the two available Baker’s blends?

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:53 pm in General

Q: How long will my Baker’s last?

In an effort to discourage the use of rosin past it’s “prime” we designed the size of our cakes to last a typical working musician for about one year.

For others it can last much longer, but we are strongly opposed to using any rosin that is more than one year old past the date it was created as we believe that pinene, the basis of most all rosins has a useful life period of about one year before oxidation and evaporation begin to rid it of it’s fats and sugars content thus degrading it’s ability to perform at peak.

We’ve done our best to offset this natural degradation by housing our rosins in U.S. government certified food-grade tins.

In our opinion, this is the best storage medium currently available short of vacuum sealing.

Although cardboard or cloth is a common packaging for rosins they are both porous and therefore not the best protection from the ambient environment.

Plastic is also porous and for those who may doubt this we suggest asking a K-9 cop if his “partner” can sniff through Tupperware :)

In an effort to encourage proper storage, our cakes are adhered to the tin lids so that when you put the lid back on you are also storing the rosin in the best practical environment possible.

Although few in number, some members have found this arrangement to be inconvenient, and for those members we gladly offer to ship their orders with the cakes loose within the tins rather than adhered to the tin lids.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:53 pm in General

Q: Do you make rosin for cello?

Both Baker’s blends are formulated for the violin.

I believe that in order to make a great rosin one must first be intimate with the instrument for which it’s made. I have that intimacy concerning the violin, but sadly not so with the cello and I wouldn’t know a great cello rosin if it fell on me.

Having said that, for reasons we’re not yet clear on, Baker’s Original has become very popular with cellists around the world and our cello playing membership is growing steadily.

To be frank, I would think a cello rosin would need to be much more soft and the only explanation we can come up with as to why our Original blend is finding favor with cellists is the uncommonly high level of adhesion it offers....this is one of the benefits of making rosin from living trees.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:54 pm in General

Q: Why is my Baker’s is lighter/darker in color than it was with my last order?

Our rosins are made from the sap of living trees.

The trees are constantly affected by weather, and so then is the colophony/sap they produce.

As summer rolls on, the sap tends to become darker than it is at the start of the season.

Also, there is that fact that no two trees produce the exact same colophony, so as we harvest sap from different tree groupings the tint will sometimes vary.

We are mindful with our packaging and have several “check points” in place to insure that mistakes are minimized.

Regardless of variables concerning the trees, because the distillation process is completely different between the two Baker’s blends, the Citron is always lighter than the Original.

Believe me, if your rosin has a burgundy seal then it is Baker’s Original, and if it has a forest green seal it is Baker’s Vuillaume Citron.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:54 pm in General

Q: Should I clean or replace my bow hair before the first application of Baker’s?

Should I clean or replace my bow hair before the first application of Baker’s?

Baker’s does not usually blend well with modern production rosins and so yes, it is important to start with new or well cleaned bow hair.

Often hair that has lost it’s ability to produce proper tone is not actually worn out, but just clogged with old rosin.

Instead of the expense of hair replacement we’d like you to first consider a proper cleaning, and the way to do this is with rubbing alcohol...not soap and water as some may suggest.

Pinine, which is what the base of most if not all rosins is, is not water soluble, and soap is an emollient not a degreaser, so all that soap and water can really do is thin out and spread the old rosin around.

This results in the filling in of the tiny irregularities in the horsehair, leaving in their place a flat surface which of course cannot create useable tone.

Many ppl because of this believe that their hair is clean after using soap and water, since it will no longer produce tone, however, the truth is often that the hair has only become clogged and too smooth to perform the grab-release action required to generate tone....try a cleaning first and save yourself some money.

A detailed outline for properly carrying out this suggested procedure is available -here-.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:55 pm in General

Q: How do I remove old rosin from my bow?

Sometimes, and for different reasons bow hair needs a good cleaning. I often hear about folks using soap and water to clean bow hair, but let me explain why it's not the best method to use.

First off, pinene which is a component of rosin isn't water soluble and second, soap is an emollient. The combination doesn't break down or dissolve the old rosin, but instead softens it and moves it around.

What ends up happening is that the rosin becomes soft enough to fill in the tiny irregularities in the horsehair, thus creating an unwanted smoother surface.

People are fooled into thinking that the rosin has been removed because the bow will no longer generate useable tone, but the rosin is still there.

The only reason the hair can no longer create useable tone is because it now has a flat, smooth surface, which means there's nothing there to grab/release the string...no tone.

After cleaning bow hair that way, people apply their new rosin and then wonder why their bow no longer accepts rosin or performs the way it used to.

They then assume the hair is worn out and so they replace it, undergoing a needless expense.

The best way to clean the bow hair is by utilizing rubbing/isopropol alcohol and a clean cotton cloth.

The alcohol will dissolve the old rosin, allowing it to be completely removed by the cotton cloth.

It's an easy, safe and uncomplicated process. One that you shouldn't be afraid to carry out.

There are some precautions we need to first discuss though.

It's a good idea to cover the wood of the bow with something like plastic kitchen wrap because if alcohol comes into contact with the finish on the wood it could damage it.

Also, the ends of the horsehair "ribbon" are attached to your bow using small wooden plugs. If the alcohol or any moisture for that matter gets in there, those plugs could swell, causing the bow to crack/split. Make sure you have the frog and tip well covered!

Lastly, before starting the cleaning procedure you must be sure to fully relax the tension on the hair. If you leave the hair with tension on it and then get it damp with the alcohol it will possibly stretch and once that happens the hair will no longer be able to be brought back to playing tension. So, make sure you've completely relaxed the tension on your bow before applying the alcohol.

Ok, here we go.
Use a clean, all cotton cloth....T-shirts work great.

Now saturate an area of the cloth about 3 X 3 inches with the alcohol. Wet, but not dripping:)

Next, grab the bow hair at one extreme end or the other with the alcohol soaked portion of cloth. You want to pinch the bow hair so that the alcohol soaked portion of the cloth is in contact with both the top (playing surface) and the bottom of the horsehair.

Now, while pinching the hair, slide the cloth in one smooth, uninterrupted motion to the other extreme end of the hair. It doesn't take a lot of pinch pressure, so be gentle.

Next, rotate the cloth so that an unused, but still saturated portion can again be placed in contact with the hair.

Always start your passes with the cloth on the same end you made the first pass from and simply repeat the pinch and slide part you did on the first pass. Rotate, pinch, repeat.

I usually only takes 5 or 6 swipes like this to remove the old rosin from the hair.

Very important! - Do not tighten the bow hair to add tension until you are completely certain that the hair has dried from the alcohol!

If you tighten the hair before it has completely dried it could stretch and if that happens it will never be able to be brought to proper playing tension again.

That's it! You now have a clean bow that is ready to accept your new rosin.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:55 pm in General

Q: I hate my Baker’s rosin!

Ouch, that really hurts :(

So far this has never happened to us...knock on wood. But in case it does, our rosins are guaranteed.

Just send the unused portion and it’s original tin back to us for a refund.

We would of course appreciate an explanation as to what went wrong so that we at least have the opportunity to initiate change if possible.

We’re a family of musicians, not business people, so the bottom line for us is to provide a quality product and service to our fellow musicians...we want you to be happy!

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:56 pm in General

Q: I suffer from rosin allergy...can I use Baker’s?

Actually, what you suffer from is an allergic reaction to pinene, the basis of most all rosins.

Pinene allergy is a contact allergy, which means if you minimize the contact you then minimize the symptoms.

The reason so many with this allergy have success using Baker’s is only because our rosins produce very little dust and therefore decrease exposure greatly.

So far, everyone who has come to us with this challenge has met with success simply by switching to Baker’s.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:56 pm in General

Q: I broke my Baker’s! Is all lost?

Not at all!

Inside your tin of Baker’s you’ll find a fluted paper lining which can be removed from the tin.

Gather the broken bits, place them in the removed paper lining, place in microwave oven and expose to short ten to fifteen second bursts until the rosin has melted back together.

Then you can peel the paper from the clump and the rosin itself, although not as pretty, will be again fit for use.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:57 pm in General

Q: I’m a retailer and would like to carry your product line of rosins.

Baker’s is only available directly from us and only to our registered members.

This is the only way we can honor our guarantee of the delivery of freshly made rosin.

As I was quoted in our interview with The Strad magazine, “When someone receives a tin of Baker’s they can be quite certain it was, ‘tree juice’ no more than two weeks prior”.

By allowing others to retail our rosins would take from us the ability to insure this guarantee is met and so, no we do not allow our rosins to be open retailed.

Yes, we do understand that it would mean greater profits for us, but we’re musicians first...we are in this for the love of our art, not for profit potential. We do however very much appreciate your interest and are truly sorry that we cannot work with you in this way and it is certainly not meant to offend.

Posted October 26, 2013, 5:57 pm in General