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Charles Espey blog 10-7-2011
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Nick Walker
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:27 pm    Post subject: Charles Espey blog 10-7-2011 Reply with quote

In his blog post he made a comment regarding using an unlined frog to provide brilliance. I was aware of inexpensive bows with unlined frogs and old, historical bows with the same. I was not aware of unlined frogs in modern master bows.

How accepted would this practice be in modern making? And is it to detrimental to the delicate under slide area to make a common practice?

I have thought about using a veneer of pernambuco instead of silver or nickel. Thoughts?
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nick,

There are modern makers who are making "nude" frogs. This makes the frog more fragile, but might reduce the damping somewhat, which should improve the sound. Andreas Gruetter is doing some frogs like this, and in some cases has made new frogs, or repaired old ones, using carbon fiber instead of silver.

I'm repairing an old French bow right now, and replaced the silver underslide with pieces of CF. At 0.2mm thick, it's not much different than the silver it replaces. My favorite bow of all time was a Simon, that had no underslide. Maybe a coincidence that it lacked the silver, but another, modern bow made without a slide sounded a lot like the Simon. I believe both bows also had silk wrap, vs silver wire. That might also have made a difference.

So I've wondered about this, too. If you try this, please report the results.

Bob
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Nick Walker
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you form the angles or use separate pieces for the CF?
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cut three pieces to fit the three facets. I think it would be difficult to shape it without cutting. It's much stronger than the thin silver or nickel. I don't know why this isn't done more frequently. Aesthetics? But you can only see that carbon is present by removing the frog.
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Nick Walker
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found some .007" veneer which is close to you CF thickness. This may be more like paper in a wood product though. I'm wondering if use it across the grain of the ebony if it would provide any strength or not. I may purchase some to try.

I'm pretty sure my file skills aren't up to taking something from a few mm to tenths of a mm.
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it black? You could also use some black silk to make a slide replacement. I experimented with this, using G2 epoxy, in which was mixed either ebony dust or concrete dye--I can't remember which. That makes for a pretty strong underslide treatment.

Last edited by whatwasithinking on Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nick Walker
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not black. There were several options. One was Eastern cedar which I'm intrigued by as cedar is used for guitar tops.
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of modern makers going without an underslide, at times:

http://www.mattwehling.com/whatsnew.html

http://www.robertmorrowbowmaker.com/bows/indexflash.html


And Andreas Gruetter discussing his carbon fiber underslides:

http://www.andreasgrutter.nl/content/about-my-own-bows.html
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick,

In giving this a bit more thought, there might be a drawback to using material with lower density than pernambuco. The liner might end up behaving somewhat like a rubber gasket, thus reducing the performance of the entire system: stick, hair, frog, instrument, player. I think this is also a drawback to using certain adhesives in bow and instrument repair. You want the glue to be acoustically transparent. Some glues act more like rubber gaskets.

I don't know this for a fact, but suspect this might be the outcome.

Bob
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Mat Roop
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: French chamfer Reply with quote

On a violin bow head, can anyone tell me the characteristics of a french chamfer vs Italian , german or british?
Thanks... Mat
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:59 pm    Post subject: Re: French chamfer Reply with quote

Mat Roop wrote:
On a violin bow head, can anyone tell me the characteristics of a french chamfer vs Italian , german or british?
Thanks... Mat


Hi Mat,

I'd be interested in that, too. I've never seen an Italian bow, except a photo of one reputed to be by Stradivari. Are there some around?

In 1995, Yung Chin did a presentation about chamfers at a VSA conference. One interesting statement he made was that even French makers used files to smooth out the chamfers, although they began the cuts with a knife. I know that some have claimed that the old French masters used only a knife. IIRC, Mr. Chin suggested that you could often spot a German chamfer because they would file every hint of the knife cuts off, until the chamfer was very smooth. And that seems to be a primary indicator of French bows--they left tool marks behind, while the Germans didn't.

Yung Chin also said he believed Pajeot was left-handed, by the way the chamfer was cut.

And I know nothing at all about English chamfers. I think I have one English bow. I'll have to go and look at it. Might you have some chamfers to look at?

If Ed's around, I know he has some very old bows, maybe from France. He might offer some interesting insights.

Bob


Edit: Yung Chin, and not Morgan Andersen, had spoken about Pajeot being left-handed.
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'm a dog with a bone.

I looked at several French bows, and several German. I'd say that the left and right chamfers on every French bow were cut differently from each other, with different widths and even a slightly different taper. The right chamfer was almost always wider than the left, looking down the stick from the frog.

Some of the German bows were also different, but the difference was usually more subtle. Some of the German bows were very symmetrical in the way the chamfers were cut. None of the French bows were like that.

Please note that I claim no expertise on this at all. I read some statements by authorities, and looked at some bows. That's it.
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Mat Roop
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My humble apologies....to the OP, and others... I had intended this to be a new topic... don't know how that happened.
And thanks WWIT... good stimulative thoughts. A chamfer is such a simple matter, I had never given any thought to it, until someone mentioned it and to my disappointment, he (an expert) would not clarify.. so I am on the search.

BTW... can a moderator move these last posts to a new thread??
Thanks, Mat
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whatwasithinking
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured that Charles Espey must have written about chamfers.
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Nick Walker
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem. It is an interesting subject. I'm often out of my element when it comes to the vocabulary of bow making. An illumination is a good thing, even if it's off topic.
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