Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index Violin Forum/Message Board
Provided by Lemuel Violins
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Leather grip

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index -> Bow Making Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
wm_crash
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 140
Location: Wilmington, DE - USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:29 am    Post subject: Leather grip Reply with quote

Howdy,

Just curious, how thick of a leather do you guys use for the bow grip? I see Henderson suggests 1oz thick, but it kinda feels a bit thin to me. I checked my kid's bow (cheapo stock stuff that came with her violin) and it seems thicker, kinda feels like 3-4oz.

Also, assuming I have some snake skin, which is notoriously thin in itself - around 0.5oz. How would that be used for a grip? Wrap it twice, or pad it with some 1oz leather such as sheep/lamb/goat/shahtoosh?

cheers,
wm_crash, the friendly hooligan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
whatwasithinking
Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 209
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully you'll get responses from more experienced folks, like Ed, but here's what I've tried.

Using the chart at http://www.gnnusa.com/leather_thickness.htm it seems that most of my lizard skin is around 1.5 oz, if I'm measuring it correctly. Some of the thinner material is about 1 ounce, and I don't like to work with skin that is much thinner than that. I did a bass bow recently with soft cowhide that was around 2.5 ounces, but I thought it looked rather fat when finished. Probably okay on this bass bow, but might have looked really incongruous on a violin bow.

When I sorted through the lizard skin box at the leather store last week, I skipped the really thin pieces--they looked like they would be very difficult to skive. Looking at the skins I've used, where I really liked the appearance when I was finished, I'd say they were between 1.25 and 1.5 ounces.

I really enjoy the appearance and feel of black lizard, and tend to use that when refinishing a bow, unless it's just too cheap a bow, or the owner wants to keep it looking the same as before, when it had something like cowhide. There are some nicely-finished bows with brown lizard, and I have some of that, too, but haven't used it yet. I looked at some ostrich leather, and might try some of that, but it's mostly rather thick.

I've wrapped the stick with linen paper when I wanted to fatten it up, before wrapping the leather. I guess there are other ways to do it. I've thought of trying papyrus.

What materials have you tried?

Bob
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
whatwasithinking
Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 209
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya know, I don't think I've ever seen an article exclusively about leather wrappings. What did Tourte use, I wonder? I don't recall seeing any really old bows with original lizard. This seems like the kind of research that might show up in a VSA Journal. After all, there are all kinds of papers on things like screws and eyelets, buttons and frogs, chamfers, thumb plates, etc. Maybe I just missed seeing them. I saw a Simon bow, I believe, with lizard, and the leather extended back along the top of the stick, above the frog. Looked weird, to me. Perhaps it obscured some damage.

Edit: Here's the Simon bow.


Last edited by whatwasithinking on Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wm_crash
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 140
Location: Wilmington, DE - USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What materials have I tried? Nothing so far, I just like to get all my ducks lined up as far as prevailing practices. My first target is a rehab of a Vuillaumish snakewood bow, the kind with the curly "ivory" frog. It needs a couple of things: wrap, grip, tip, plugs, hair. I already bought supplies and just need to get it done. For the leather grip specifically I have white monitor lizard (2.5oz) and sea snake (0.5oz).

cheers,
wm_crash, the friendly hooligan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
whatwasithinking
Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 209
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, at least you know what kind of leather you have. I have black stuff, brown stuff, white stuff, maroon stuff, and grey stuff. What kind of creature provided it, I couldn't really say. I recall asking the salesman, and he could identify some of it, but not all. I guess it doesn't matter. I still find skiving to be challenging, but I keep getting better at it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wm_crash
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 140
Location: Wilmington, DE - USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leather doesn't seem to be too pricey. I've been mostly looking to supplement my stock from this seller:

http://stores.ebay.com/Wholesale-Leathers?_rdc=1

I tend to go for natural hide colors, I hate stains and dyes - and that comes from my woodworking hobby.

cheers,
wm_crash, the friendly hooligan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mat Roop
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 839
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally use leather only for thumb grips…. three kinds... common is cowhide ( not lamb or deer or other) 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 oz brown or black, but don't use old leather garment leathers as some have suggested too me, because it is too soft and the thickness is never quite right... and it never looks new. On special bows I use my favourite, a brown snakeskin, but with snakeskin you need to be careful of the orientation of the scales on the skin (should be same as it wraps on the snake) and the scales should be no larger than1.5 to 2 mm, otherwise they will rtend to catch on fabric and pull the scales off. The best thickness is 1 1/4 oz. If you are going over faux whalebone finger grip, a thicker leather looks nicer as does a better job of the filling the indents of the fingergrip lapping.
The other skin I have is 1 1/3 oz fish skin ( salmon if I recall right), but it is incredibly tough and hard to work with, so I use it only if someone specifically wants it, Or I am in an experimental mood!
I have some 3 oz leather, but it is way too thick.
Have not had the chance to get any lizard skin.... but maybe someday!

As an anecdote, I recall bringing a restored violin to a school teacher for trial at her school, and I brought along my Tourte copy bow with the snakeskin thumb grip so she could try the violin. She loved the bow better than the violin and asked what the grip was... I said snakeskin... she became silent and sat down head down and speechless for a moment.. I thought she was having a faint spell. Turns out she was... she has a serious phobia of snakes!
I offered to replace the grip if she wanted the bow & she said she'd buy the bow as is.... as therapy for her phobia.

Cheers… Mat
_________________
Violin makes everything better!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mat Roop
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 839
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of leathers, are there any that are restricted to international trade such as is ivory or some shells? ... maybe we should be careful and know what species of leather we have.
Cheers, Mat
_________________
Violin makes everything better!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
whatwasithinking
Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 209
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Mat. I'll have to admit that some of the material I have is no doubt snakeskin. I just don't know exactly what variety. Nice tip about orientation. I'll have to watch for that.

I've heard that bullfrog leather can be good, but haven't seen any in person.

I knew a guy in California who used to go running when I did, and he hunted for rattlesnakes, from which he'd make belts and things. He never got bit while catching them. Then one day he was picking up a box outside his workplace, and one was hiding behind this stack of boxes. It got him. And I never knew anyone else there who'd come even close to getting bitten. Revenge?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
whatwasithinking
Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 209
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mat Roop wrote:
Speaking of leathers, are there any that are restricted to international trade such as is ivory or some shells? ... maybe we should be careful and know what species of leather we have.
Cheers, Mat


Don't know about restrictions, but it seems that parts of wild animals need to be declared. That is a point made here:
http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/330501-bow-headplate-questions/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mat Roop
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 839
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I guess the salmonskin grip on my bow being a wild animal product needs to be declared????
What a pile of useless bureaucratic *@#**?!!
_________________
Violin makes everything better!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
whatwasithinking
Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2013
Posts: 209
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mat Roop wrote:
So I guess the salmonskin grip on my bow being a wild animal product needs to be declared????
What a pile of useless bureaucratic *@#**?!!

Well, was it a farmed salmon? Then maybe it would be considered domesticated!

Edit: Farmed salmon are, indeed, considered domesticated. But can you prove that it's farmed? Or that your mammoth plate isn't elephant? Hopefully some reason will emerge eventually.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wm_crash
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 140
Location: Wilmington, DE - USA

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What species of snake would that be to yield 1.5 - 2mm scales? The ones that are largely available on ebay (mostly rattlers) seem to have scales a lot larger than that.

I did buy 2 skins of Karung snake (apparently a trade name for Elephant Trunk Snake) and it seems pretty soft and not very scalish. If it weren't for the blue dye, I'd like it a lot.

cheers,
wm_crash, the friendly hooligan


Mat Roop wrote:
On special bows I use my favourite, a brown snakeskin, but with snakeskin you need to be careful of the orientation of the scales on the skin (should be same as it wraps on the snake) and the scales should be no larger than1.5 to 2 mm, otherwise they will rtend to catch on fabric and pull the scales off.
Cheers… Mat
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mat Roop
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 839
Location: Wyoming Ontario

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Idea as to the species... Picked it up from a local leather shop. Here is a pic of the leather... It has a nice amberish brown colour... goes nice with most bows.
The whole piece is 29" long, but that may be only the tail. the widest part is 8" wide making the diameter of the snake at that point about 2.5"

Cheers... Mat
_________________
Violin makes everything better!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
wm_crash
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 140
Location: Wilmington, DE - USA

PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The good news is that snakes are ready to come out (at least where I live), and tanning snake skins isn't that big of a deal. I like DIY stuff, except for growing my own pernambuco.

cheers,
wm_crash, the friendly hooligan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Violin Forum/Message Board Forum Index -> Bow Making Forum All times are GMT - 4 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group