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Bow Making Resources
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whatwasithinking
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Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 209
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Bow Making Resources Reply with quote

Thought it might be helpful to collect bow making resources and post them here.

Video:

North America:
Ole Kanestrom "It just takes constant attention of working with the medium in order to understand it." "Sometimes it can take quite a lot of time to extract a bow from a piece of wood." Ole brands a bow
Reid Hudson "Only one to two percent of Pernambuco is suitable to make a high-quality bow."
Morgan Andersen "Playing the bow is important for the final adjustments."
Benoit Rolland "If the tool is well sharpened, you can listen to the quality of the wood." Benoit was the first of 18 graduates of the Ouchard Bow-Making School.
and here "What I like the most is to understand the characteristics of the particular wood."
and here "The essence of a bow is to transfer the personality, the musicality, the sensitivity, the emotion of the musician to the violin--to the instrument."
Watertown bow maker practices musical alchemy
Violin Making School of America "After your training, you can consider that you know how to make a bow, but you are not really a bow maker."--Benoit Rolland (2:25-2:50)
Matt Wehling "A bow modifies the sound coming off a violin. It can accentuate what's good in a violin. You can try to diminish what's not good in a violin."
Interview with Yung Chin: Part 1. Part 2.
Steve Beckley makes a bow.
Thomas Goering "I would love to have a great musician hanging around in the final stages of every bow I make."
Elizabeth Vander Veer Shaak To know what type of bow to make for a player, "I'll watch them play, and watch their relationship with their instrument."
Jack English--who began making bows at the age of 65! And an article in the L.A. Times. Jack passed away in 2016, at age 96.
Michael Vann "I'm always intrigued as to what comes out at the end."
UNH Violin & Bow Making Workshop (Bow making at 3:40-5:29)
Vitula Arcus Short documentary about bow maker Margaret Adie, and instrument makers.
Don Cohen "I make everything by hand, because I'm a compulsive builder."
Jon Crumrine See 49:55-50:48. "Violin making [seemed] very complicated, and I thought that bows were simple. And I learned that bows are not very simple."
Making a button with a baby foret: Part 1 and Part 2. Sai Gao designed and sells these tools.
Ron Forrester
Hanging out with Douglas Raguse. And here
Cutting Down Sides of Violin Bow Head and Cambering a Violin Bow, with John Norwood Lee.
Charles Ervin on the Tourte bow.
Richard Morency, archetier From 20:08
How a Bow is Made, with Jon Crumrine.

Europe:

France
Roch Petitdemange Making a stick, frog and button at the Mirecourt museum. No words are spoken. My personal favorite.
Jean-Fran�ois Daber of Lyon (English subtitles) "It takes at least 10 years to understand how a bow functions, and master this to the point where one can take the very best out of each stick of wood." This shop produces 500-600 bows annually. And here.
Vincent Tricou and various players discuss bows. Vincent sings the praises of Daber's new hybrid bows. (English subtitles)
J.J. Augagneur
Jean Grunberger and Claudia Carmona. Jean graduated from the Ouchard Bow-making School.
Pierre Grunberger Brother of Jean.
Raffin Archetiers
and here Archetiers make bows for violins, violas, cellos and double bass with passion and much attention. Visit a famous Parisian studio run by Sandrine Raffin.
Sylvain Bigot
Arnaud Suard. Arnaud graduated from the Ouchard Bow-making School.
Archetiers & Pernamboucs L�Atelier d�Arthur of Paris.
La marque du canif sur les Chanfreins "The mark of the knife on the chamfers." St�phane Thomachot teaches an apprentice, Doriane Bodart. Michael Hattala and Yung Chin appear toward the end. This is a 27-minute documentary from 1996, on a DVD about various artisans. St�phane graduated from the Ouchard Bow-making School. Doriane prepares for her certification as a master, where she must make a good bow in 15 hours.
Michel Jamonneau Michel graduated from the Ouchard Bow-making School.
Thomas Koenig
Nelly Poidevin

Belgium
Bruno Sporcq
Daoudi Hassan of Brussels and an interview.

Austria
Lena Hamelbeck-Galle makes a baroque bow

Germany
G. Paulus
Irina Feichtl
C. Collinet
Arcus
Hofner Bows
Hofner Strings & Bows Production Bows at 15:18-End.

The Netherlands
Michael Yeats, now in Amsterdam. Formerly in Portland, Oregon. And, more recently, here and here.
International Bowmakers Panel in Amsterdam

Great Britain
William Watson, employed at Hill & Sons from 1945 to 1962. "You got your reputation out of being able to identify things, and restore great things."
Andrew Bellis and Peter Oxley make bows from 'alternative' materials. See especially 4:52-6:13. See the related article, "Bathtub Basses & Bicycle Bows," in The Strad, September 2011.
Career advice on becoming a Violin Bow Maker, by Stephen Thompson.
Richard Wilson "There are very few sane bow makers over the age of 50." ...and maybe under the age of 50?
Matthew Coltman, who primarily makes baroque violin bows.

Basque Country
"Il Archetier" Trailer for what appears to be a major motion picture about bow makers.

Italy
T�te-B�che Violin Bow Development. Gilles Nehr's innovative design.

Russia
Lev Sobol (Moscow)

Switzerland
Bogenwerkstaette Finkel In English. Making a complete violin bow.

Other:
Igor Fomin (Brazil)
Francisco Silva discusses making, and the conservation of Pernambuco in Brazil. (In Portuguese)
China


Some dark humor:
Short movie "The Bow of Death."

Audio:
Benoit Rolland "A violin without a bow is not a violin."
Watertown Bow Maker Wins 'Genius' Grant "A bow is ... the conveyer of the emotion, the personality, the musicality and feelings and the human nature of the instrumentalist to the instrument."
Benoit Rolland and his Violin Bow "If a musician is not comfortable with a bow, he will constantly try to accommodate or to adapt the bow in order to play the music, but it's not an easy life for him or for her."
A Bow to the Bow "A good bow is like the vocal cords--the big ones, that stand up and shout back at you--and have shoulders from one end to the other, like linebackers on a football team."--Isaac Stern.
Interview with Noel Burke "Most bow makers make their own knives...it's such a hard material, you need a very tough knife."
Interview with Eric Swanson, and a reflection on visiting his shop.
Interview with Susan Lipkins on crafting bows, tonal characteristics of wood, and how to choose a bow.
If the Stick Dances--the fine art of making a bow, with Gary Leahy.

Books
Books about making:
Bow Making and Repair, by John Stagg. Published October 2015. Many positive reviews.
Violin Bow Making, by John A. Bolander, Jr, 1969. Perhaps the book closest to presenting the French method of bow making. Some of the language is a bit inscrutable, but after wading through it, there's worthwhile information and wisdom here.
Making a Violin Bow, by Frank V. Henderson, 1977. Mostly self-taught, many of his methods are unique to Mr. Henderson.
The Art of Bow Making, by Joseph Kun and Joseph Regh, 1994. Most procedures depend on special tools and machines.
Bow Making--1,000 Bows and a Tribute, pamphlet by John A. Bolander, Jr. ca. 1956.
Der Geigenbogen, by Friedrich Wunderlich, 1952. Pamphlet on making and repairing. An English-language translation has been made. Updated version, 4 October 2016.
Manuel du Luthier (English translation), by J.C. Maugin, 1834, Paris. This 30-page extract is devoted to bow making, the way Tourte and Peccatte might have done it. Original French version.
The Conservation, Restoration, and Repair of Stringed Instruments and Their Bows Three volumes.

Books about bows and makers:
Bows and Bow Makers, by William C. Retford, 1964. A maker at Hill & Sons for 64 years.
Fran�ois-Xavier Tourte, Bow Maker, by Stewart Pollens, 2001. Contains about 60 pages of text, and 15 pages of bow photos. Many illustrations throughout.
The Bowmakers of The Peccatte Family, by Paul Childs, 1996. [Dominique was] "A bowmaker who shaped his bow much more by instinct than by reflection." About 54 pages of text, and 75 pages of color photos.
Jean Marie Persoit, His Life and Work, by Paul Childs, 1993. Contains 17 pages of text, and 29 pages of color photos with descriptions. In English and French.
Pajeot Bow Makers of the 18th and 19th Century, by Sydney Bowden, 1991. Contains 10 pages of text, and 20 pages of color photos with descriptions. In English, French, and German.
The Bow: Its History, Manufacture, and Use, by Henry Saint-George, 1922.
Bows for Musical Instruments, by Joseph Roda, 1959, pp. 82-92. Not widely considered an authoritative source.
The Bow Drawings of Scott Zumberge, 2002. 112 fully-dimensioned drawings of bows by respected makers, all measured in inches and grams.
Quelques consid�rations sur l'archet et les archetiers fran�ais, a booklet about French bow makers by Pierre Vidoudez. (English translation)
Arthur Bultitude and the Hill Tradition, by Richard Sadler, 2000. Nice history of Hill & Sons, and their instrument and bow makers. Little about bow making.
Der Goldbogen, by Daniel Brueckner, 2002. Contains 172 pages of color photos with descriptions. Bows by old and modern makers. In German, English, and French.
Drawings of Bows by Famous Bowmakers, by Armin Schlieps. 1985. Drawings only, without dimensions.

Posters and Full-scale Books:
Les Grands Archetiers Fran�ais Posters of fine bows by Duchaine and the Tourtes. Video of the posters
Full-scale books of old and modern fine bows, from Darling Publications of Germany.

Articles and Dissertations:
Step-by-step guides to making:
"The Hill Method of Bow Making," by Tim Baker. Journal of the Violin Society of America, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 63-117, November 2002.
"The French Method of Bowmaking," by Noel Burke. British Violin Making Association, 10th Dartington Violin Conference papers, 2004. pp. 29-42. "The rigorous style of the French method, rather than being stifling, serves to mark out the parameters within which the maker can seek out his or her own individual style."
"Applying French Aesthetics to the English Method of Bow Making," by Peter Oxley. British Violin Making Association, 2d Dartington Violin Conference papers, 1996. pp. 43-70. "The French method of thicknessing the stick derives from having fixed measurements of gauge at various points along the centre of the stick. It is then cambered relative to the strength dictated by the thickness."
"The Mother of All Buttons," by Peter Oxley. Newsletter of the British Violin Making association, Spring 1998. Issue 11, pp. 19-24. Oxley takes us through the stages of creating the replacement for a lost gold-mounted button from a Tourte bow. Nineteen monochrome photos. Color photos are provided in the 2002 Dartington Violin Conference papers.
"Making a Baroque Bow," by Philip Brown. The Strad Magazine, December 2012.
"Making a Baroque Violin Bow," by Roger Rose. The Strad Magazine, August 2007.
Thomas Gerbeth's detailed description.
"Making a Bow Button," by Bernd Etzler. The Strad Magazine, August 2015.

Other articles about making:
"The Making of Bows," by Max Moller. --Violins and Violinists, Vol. 18 No. 4, July-August 1957, pp. 151ff.
"Making the Bow," Radcliffe Magazine, Winter 2010.
"Back to the Future," by Russ Rymer. Strad, May 2004, pp. 468-473. Tim Baker advocates returning to the freer traditions of the French masters.
"From mollusc to frog," by Padraig O'Dubhlaoidh, Strad Magazine, Oct 99, Vol. 110, Issue 1314, p. 1084ff. Mother-of-pearl.
Articles by Maker Roger Zabinski: The Head; Shaft, Camber and Taper; The Frog and Button.
"Bow Observations," by Stephen K. Perry, 2010. His analysis of bow stiffness isn't universally accepted.
"Sticks and Tones," Strad Magazine, January 2009. Carbon vs Pernambuco bows.
VSA Journal A variety of excellent articles about bow making, repairing, and the history of making. Interviews with important makers. Back issues available for browsing on line to members, and in many university libraries.
"A Predictive Model for the Adjustment of Violin Bows," by Fr�d�ric Ablitzer, et al. The model presented in this paper may be useful to bow makers who are interested in the objective characterization of bows.
"Panel Discussion: Innovation in Bowmaking" VSA, 2008. Selecting the wood, and getting the most from the bow. "I gave up the idea about a perfect bow working for everybody in a perfect way, and started thinking about the whole thing as a system, violin, bow, and player."
"(Re)Balancing a Bow, or How to Save Elephants," by E.D. Freeland. Controlling the balance point when replacing an ivory tip with silver.
British Violin Making Association. Conference transcripts and newsletters containing articles about makers and making, by people like Bernard Millant, Peter Oxley, Klaus Gr�nke, Tim Baker, and Noel Burke.
"Copying a Maire Bow," by Andreas Gruetter. The Strad, March 1997. p. 270ff. And some notes at his site.
The Tourte Model Bow, by Charles Ervin.
Practical Acoustics of Instruments of the Violin Family, by Jan James. Chapter from a book by Mr. James, devoted to a thorough discussion about the bow.

Living Makers:
Paul Siefried and Ole Kanestrom
Paul Martin Siefried
Frogs among whales, The Strad, November 2003. Interview with Ole Kanestrom.
"Sisters are Doing it for Themselves," The Strad, July 2007. Sarah Mnatzaganian writes about women instrument and bow makers.
Interview with Harry Grabenstein
Interview with Elizabeth Vander Veer Shaak
An apprenticeship with David Hawthorne. �In general, a very flexible bow has a bigger, warmer sound. I�m interested in the best sound for a bow so I�m looking for a certain kind of flexibility, which can either be a function of the wood � is this wood strong? If it�s strong, did I maximize strength in the way I constructed it? Which is both a function of the thickness and the taper of the stick, and how you�ve curved it"
Josh Henry
Matthew Coltman. People have tried making bows on machines, Coltman says, but it wasn't a success. "It's the taper that foxes them."
"A Bookish Craft that Complements a Mix of Skills," Interview with Donald Cohen by Amanda Abrams, Strings Magazine, May 2013, pp.65-66.

Past Makers:
"Flower of Invention," by Benoit Rolland. Strad Magazine, February 2015. The works of French bow maker Joseph R�ne Lafleur.
"American Master," Strad Magazine, November 2012. Interview with William Salchow.
"Fast Master," The Strad, August 2007, by Matthew Wehling. Discussion of bow makers Joseph and Andre Vigneron.
In Conversation with Isaac Salchow and Paul Childs. Discussion about a Tourte Bow, and F.X. Tourte himself.
Interview with Giovanni Lucchi (Scroll down for English-language translation)
"Aspects of Tourte's work that have made him almost universally accepted as the Grand Master of Bowmaking," by Peter Oxley. British Violin Making Association, 8th Dartington Violin Conference papers, 2002, pp. 55-82. 104 color photos.
Biographies of some modern makers

Repairs and rehairs:
Restoration and repair techniques from Triangle Strings.
Gilles Nehr: How to Rehair a Violin Bow - Part 1: Making the Plugs and Part 2: Making the First Knot.
Restoration of a Sartory Violin Bow, by Josh Henry.
Josh Henry (grip & wrap)
Re-Hairing of Bows, a booklet published by William Lewis and Son. Consists of a reprint of two articles from Violins and Violinists magazine: "Some Notes on the Re-Haring of Bows," by Max Moller, Volume 20, Numbers 2 & 3, March-April and May-June 1959;
and "Additional Notes on the Re-Hairing of Bows," by Ernst Lohberg, Volume 20, Number 6, November-December 1959.
Rehairing and replacing a head plate
Violin Bow Tip Repair, by Daniel Olsen Chen
How to Change Bow Hair by Daniel Olsen Chen. The hammer used for the spread wedge seems a bit scary.
Daniel Schranz demonstrates frog-first rehairing
Kacy Sp�rer explains rehairing
Igor Fomin Rehairs a Bow
Rehairing the Bow by Hammond Ashley Violins
Repairing a Kittel bow with Gorilla Glue
Filing a head plate. At Raffin Archetiers.
"Removing a broken screw embedded in a bow stick," by Eric Lane. The Strad Magazine, July 2016.

History and Exhibitions:
"Bow Heirs," by Benoit Rolland. Strad Magazine, April 2003. A look at traditional apprenticeships at Mirecourt. "Four main principles have underpinned French bow making: maintaining the correct posture at the bench; creating a specific set of tools; learning to analyse the wood vibrations; and the concept of a single master bow-maker whom students should try to emulate."
"The Bernard Ouchard Bow-Making School in Mirecourt, France, from 1971 to 1981," by Olivier Fluchaire, 2011. Available via Proquest Dissertations & Theses Full Text, at many university libraries.
German Bowmaking of the 19th and Beginning of the 20th Centuries, by Klaus Gruenke.
Tourte Exhibition, London, 2008. Low resolution catalog. Originals and copies of Tourte bows.
French Bows of the 19th Century, by Philip Kass.
"Pearl fishing," by Padraig O'Dubhlaoidh, Strad Magazine, Nov 99, Vol. 110, Issue 1315, p. 1210ff. Shell species used by 19th-century French bow makers.
Saving the Music Tree, by Russ Rymer. Smithsonian Magazine, April 2004.
"Violin Bow Construction and its Influence on Bowing Technique in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries," by Pepina Dell 'Olio.
"The Bow's the Star of the Show," The Strad, February 2012. Ariane Todes reports on the Masters of the Bow festival.
The Creation of the Modern Bow. A look at Tourte's bows.
"Life Through a Lens," by Philip J. Kass. The Strad, October 2005. A look at Vuillaume's picture bows.
Practical Acoustics of Instruments of the Violin Family: The Bow, by Jan James.

Research:
Theorie de L'Archet, by Edmond Charron. Paris, 1916. Doctoral dissertation on the scientific principles of the bow. In French. Partial English translation
Publications of Knut Guettler. A variety of research papers by the late Dr. Guettler.
Knut's Acoustics for Bowed String Instruments. A variety of videos and sounds.
Publications related to acoustics for bowed-string instruments.
Study of Violin Bow Quality," by R. Causs�, et al, 2001.
"Observations on the dynamic properties of violin bows," by A. Askenfelt, 1992.
"A look at violin bows," by A. Askenfelt, 1993.
"Numerical optimization of violin bows with varying densities of the wood material," by Peter Carlsson and Mats Tinnsten (pp. 47-50 within the Proceedings of the Stockholm Music Acoustics Conference,
August 6-9, 2003.)
"Observations on the violin bow and the interactions with the string," by A. Askenfelt, 1995.
"The Physics of the Bowed String," by John C. Schelleng, 1974.
"The Oscillations of a Bowed String," by A.H. Benade.
"The Hyperbow Controller: Real-Time Dynamics Measurement of Violin Performance," by Diana Young, 2002.
"Wireless Sensor System for Measurement of Violin Bowing Parameters," by Diana S. Young, 2003.
"Bow Statics & Kinematics: Carbon-Fiber vs. Pernambuco" January 2009.
"Pernambuco Wood (Caesalpinia Echinata) used in the Manufacture of Bows for String Instruments," by Edenise Alves, et al. 2008.
"Effects of the Width of the Bow Hair on the Violin String Spectrum," by Erwin Schoonderwaldt, et al, 2003.
"Analysis of Bow-hair Fibres," by Alexander Mayer, et al, 2007.

Articles from the Journal of the Catgut Acoustical Society (1964-2004):
Bow Design for the Violin Family, and A Cello Bow Design Curve, by Maxwell Kimball, Nov 1964
On Making a Violin Bow, by Maxwell Kimball, May 1969
The Search for the Perfect Bow, by Otto Reder, May 1970
The Structure of Bow Hair, by Robert Fryxell, Nov 1973
Some Aspects of the Bow, by R. T. Schumacher, Nov 1975
The Legacies of John Bolander: Opportunities for Bow Research, and Violin Bow Dynamics -- An Initial Response to John Bolander's Plea, by John A. Abbott and William M. Abbott, May 1990
The Structure of Bow-Hair Fibers, by Fran�oise Rocaboy, Nov 1990
The Violin Bow: Center of Gravity - Center of Percussion, by Maxwell Kimball, May 1995
Bounce Tests, Modal Analysis, and the Playing Qualities of the Violin Bow, Nov 1995
Bowing with a Glass Bow, by R. T. Schumacher and S. Garoff, Nov 1996
The Bouncing Bow: An Experimental Study, and On the Kinematics of Spiccato and Ricochet Bowing, by Anders Askenfelt and Knut Guettler, Nov 1998

Trade Secrets, from Strad Magazine:
"Packaging Bows for Transport," by Benoit Rolland. January 2008.
"Winding a Bow Grip from Silver and Silk," by Matt Wehling. June 2008.
"Inserting a Microlens into a Bow," by Matt Wehling. June 2009.
"Modifying Woodworking Planes," by James Ham. July 2009, pp. 54-57. Reshaping the toe and adding a movable throat plate to small planes.
"Repairing a Bow using a Toothed Patch," by Giovanni Lucchi. October 2009.
"Restoring Bow Frogs," by Giovanni Lucchi. September 2010.
"Centering a Button Hole," by Matthew Wehling. February 2011.
"Reattaching a Bow Button," by Matthew Wehling. August 2011.
"Removing a broken screw shaft," by Eric Lane. February 2013.
"Drilling out a broken brass eyelet," by Matt Wehling. August 2013.
"Building an ebony stop into a bow frog," by Matt Wehling. April 2017.

Sites and blogs:
Morgan Andersen's Journal "I think an analogy to wine comes close to explaining why something that seems so simple produces such a wide variety of results."
Robert Morrow's Blog "The bow is a very mysterious object, which provides an endless challenge for the maker." And photos at his photographer's site.
Charles Espey's Blog "Apart from the quality of the wood, the camber is probably the single most important element of the bow�s playing quality."
Workshop of Eric Swanson
A. Cavallo Violins--Bow Making Blog
Roger Zabinski's Blog
Howard Ball (photos and videos)
Ken Altman (making stick, frog, and button)
John Greenwood �The sound truly emanates from the stick, and if you don�t have the highest quality wood, no matter your skill, you�ll end up having a mediocre bow.�
Jean-Luc Tauziede
Paolo Sarri's Blog
Bow Restoration, by Michael Vann.
"A bow on the couch," by Andreas Gr�tter. "The ultimate quality of a bow depends about 50% on the quality of the stick, but the other half is the use that is made of a particular piece of wood."
"Bow Sound"--an interview with senior makers
Testing Bows Helping players find a good bow
Alternative woods
Atelier Sandrine Raffin--Archetiers
French Bow Research Institute
Gilles Nehr, creator of the T�te-B�che Bow.

Tools and Materials:
Sai Gao's own designs
Cremona Tools
Rehairing tools
Lynn Hannings' tools and supplies
Planes
Alberti Design Tools for luthiers, violin makers, and bow makers.
John Aniano's tools
"Making a drill bit for a Parisian eye," by Matt Wehling. The Strad Magazine, October 2015.
Fettling a plane
How to Tune Up a Block Plane
Unboxing, reviewing & fettling a new stanley 60 1/2 sweetheart low angle block plane
Cyanoacrylates: A Technical Discussion
Working With Pre-Ban Ivory
What's the Alternative? Potential ivory substitutes.
How to test for Pernambuco wood.
"The potential of Ip� and Ma�aranduba woods in the manufacture of bows for string instruments," by Eduardo Luiz Longui et al, 2010: Vol. 31, No. 2.
"Anatomical investigation of pernambuco wood sticks used to manufacture bows for strings instruments," by Samuele Ciattini, et al, 2012. Images of high- and low-quality wood used in bows.
Pernambuco conservation efforts in Brazil. English language translation appears in notes beneath video.
Does my bow really need a passport? Musicians, policy experts, and music industry professionals discuss current issues facing musicians while traveling: ivory regulations, carry-on instrument policies and artist visas.
"Characterization of the wood quality of pernambuco (Caesalpinia echinata Lam) by measurements of density, extractives content, microfibril angle, stiffness, color, and NIR spectroscopy." Schimleck LR, C Espey, CR Mora, R Evans, A Taylor and G Muniz. 2009. Holzforschung, Vol. 63:457-463 "The quality of a bow is the cumulative expression of the anatomical, physical and mechanical properties of the wood used to make it."
"Potential Brazilian wood species for bows of string instruments" E. Longui, D. Lombardi, and E. Alves. 2010, Holzforschung, Vol. 64:511-520. Ip� and Cumaru are found to possess qualities similar to Pernambuco, and show promise for use in bow making.
"Instrument makers fret over the disappearing �Music Tree�"

Weird and Wonderful:
"The Bowmaker's Cats," by Gregory Spatz. A (possibly) fictional account of visits to a bowmaker's house/shop.
Mouth-Operated Bow
Self-Rehairing, Adjustable-Tension Bow
Folding Bow
Perforated Bow
Button with Built-in Pencil
Self-Rehairing Bow
T�te-B�che Violin Bow Development

Any other good ones out there?


Last edited by whatwasithinking on Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:51 am; edited 518 times in total
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Mat Roop
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Joined: 24 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea... nice links. Will take time to go thru them all!
Cheers, Mat
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ctviolin
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: Re: Bow Making Resources Reply with quote

whatwasithinking wrote:
Thought it might be helpful to collect bow making resources and post them here. Could this become a sticky, if we assemble some good ones?

Any other good ones out there?


WWIT

Thanks bud, this is an absolutely great collection of reference points! And the start of a great bow making thread...
I know it's going to keep me busy for quite a while.

I will admit to having a great deal of trouble getting started with anything lately. In particular the mostly "self-teaching" regarding making bows from some of the raw wood I've got hanging around.
After making so many (or few, depending on your viewpoint) violins, I thought Id be able to jump into bows fairly easily.

How wrong could I have been?

ct
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Ed Shillitoe
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice idea wwit.

Do you have this?

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KLqIB890hR_zoA3bH7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBvZWY3Z2dlBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDVjEyOQ--?p=bow+hair+china&vid=5ac39aa892941a1a9ca21fb360fe38b1&l=2%3A39&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DV.4794876642787480%26pid%3D15.1&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.veoh.com%2Fwatch%2Fv659658KkDDk8MQ&tit=Violin+Bow+Hair+Processing+in+China&c=0&sigr=119gi3p8f&age=0&fr=yfp-t-900&tt=b
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed,

Very interesting. Do you think they actually keep track of which hair came from stallions, vs mares?
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Ed Shillitoe
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whatwasithinking wrote:
Ed,

Very interesting. Do you think they actually keep track of which hair came from stallions, vs mares?


I've no idea! Probably not.

How about this: The Art of Bow Making By Joseph Kun and Joseph Regh. It describes a very idiosyncratic method, as does the Henderson book. Also there is "1000 bows and a tribute" by John Bolander, and The Bow by Henry Saint George. The Strad magazine has had various articles also, on making baroque bows, a baroque frog, a portable jig for frogs. And there is a chapter in the Bachmann encyclopedia.

I'm not saying I recommend all of these or even any of them! Just helping to make your list complete!
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Added the Kun & Regh book, as well as the old one by Saint-George. I haven't seen the short one by Bolander--I'll have to place a request via ILL. I think my favorite is still Violin Bow Making, by Bolander. At least he uses the French method, vs the other, more machine-oriented methods. It does take a bit of time to sift through the awkward sentence structure and punctuation. I also enjoyed the article by Tim Baker, about the "English" method used by Hill & Sons. There are helpful tidbits in the Tourte book, and even in the Henderson book, though it's very un-French. I was intrigued to learn that at Hills they were using something like a heat gun for cambering, and this was quite a few years ago.
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Ed Shillitoe
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I think the Bolander book is the best. Here is a picture of him in 1979:

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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that a younger you, Ed?
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Ed Shillitoe
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whatwasithinking wrote:
Is that a younger you, Ed?

It's a picture of Mr. Bolander!

Well, OK, that's me on the right.
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ctviolin
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed Shillitoe wrote:
whatwasithinking wrote:
Is that a younger you, Ed?

It's a picture of Mr. Bolander!

Well, OK, that's me on the right.


What were you doing Ed?
Were you threatening Mr. Bolander with that sharp looking stick in your hand?


That's very cool, Ed, did you make your first bows under Mr. Bolanders watchful eyes?

And I'm curious, did you buy or make your own bow making planes?

Thanks,
ct
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Ed Shillitoe
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Craig:

No! Actually they were a couple of sticks that he pulled out of the trash to show me - and I still have them! The point there was that even an experienced bow maker can invest time and trouble in a stick only to find out that it is too weak or has other flaws and not be worth finishing. He had some scathing remarks about a couple of contemporary makers who finished everything, even putting gold mounts on some.

I didn't have the chance to do any work while he watched, but I took several bows to him to critique, and he then showed me what I should have done. It was invaluable - well before the current availability of books, summer classes, and the Internet.

I've never made any bow planes. My first 15 or 20 bows were made by Mr. Bolander's method, using just a Stanley 9 1/2 block plane. You sharpen the blade at 60 degrees so it will plane hard woods. He had a lot a blades and sharpened them all at once, then switched them out when one got dull. For planing the stick after it was curved he just stood up on his toes and used all his weight to make the stick straight while he planed. Up near the head you use a file or chisel. More recently I got a set of three bow planes from International Violin, but I only use two of them. I also have some old garage-sale bows for beech wood.

I hope your own bow project is coming along well!
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ctviolin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed Shillitoe wrote:

Hi Craig:

I've never made any bow planes. My first 15 or 20 bows were made by Mr. Bolander's method, using just a Stanley 9 1/2 block plane. You sharpen the blade at 60 degrees so it will plane hard woods. He had a lot a blades and sharpened them all at once, then switched them out when one got dull. For planing the stick after it was curved he just stood up on his toes and used all his weight to make the stick straight while he planed. Up near the head you use a file or chisel. More recently I got a set of three bow planes from International Violin, but I only use two of them. I also have some old garage-sale bows for beech wood.


And with that you (he) arrived at the proper shape and (perhaps) surface texture?
Very interesting.
I've got a Stanly 91/2 "block plane - and a myriad of smaller planes I've collected over the years. Not specifically bow planes, mind you, because I never really intended to make a bow.
I do believe I'll give this another try - I did get over 50% done (and was happy with the results) before I screwed up the job totally... (well, I screwed up going from tapered square to tapered octagonal)

Ed Shillitoe wrote:

I hope your own bow project is coming along well!


(...see the above admission of failure)

Thank you.

Very interestingly. I've looked on the internet recently, and have seen how experienced bow makers can (and do) go at it with their planes... I've got to say it looks a bit more like a "learned technique" or "learned experience" or perhaps the words "acquired knack" for using the plane in a specific way, quick and sure rather than a slow, careful, (timid) procedure, on the part of the experienced maker.
But I can see that they are still in complete control over what they're doing - they just seem (of course) to tend to do it quickly and assuredly. perhaps I'll start bow #2 this afternoon.

I believe that I just jumped into this quickly.
Then again, for me, that's not an unusual thing...
(Perhaps I'll re-read Bolanders book - this time not rushing thru it...)

Yeah, I'm not about to give up - but until I acquire more skill (or a bit of the necessary plane experience) I'll save the pernambuco blanks and use some rosewood I've got hanging around the shop.

ct
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Chet Bishop
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know of a source for Bolander's book? Last I heard, it was long out of print.

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ctviolin
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chet Bishop wrote:
Does anyone know of a source for Bolander's book? Last I heard, it was long out of print.

Chet


Chet,
This is probably technically illegal, but if you can't find any source, I can copy my copy (xerox) of the book that Mr. S. Compton gave ME looong ago. The pictures, hmm, let me think of how to put this politely, ...suck, but the text is all there.

ct
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