Loose frog?

February 2, 2010 at 11:29 PM ·

I just bought a bow which fits perfectly with my violin last week, but today i noticed the frog is slightly loose. If I hold the stick and push the frog, it will move about a millimeter. Is this a major problem?

Replies (5)

February 2, 2010 at 11:34 PM ·

One milimeter is a big gap, I think, take it to an archetier, don`t try to fix is by yourself.


February 3, 2010 at 02:35 AM ·

Hi Michael, I'm not understanding your inquiry about your bow. You say that when you "push the frog, it will move about a millimeter."

Are you referring to a rocking side-to-side of the frog on the stick? If so, then often simply tightening the eyelet (usually 1/2 turn) might take care of the problem. This is something that can often be done--with care--by a player.

If you are referring to a gap at the back of the frog where it is lifting off of the stick under the tension of the hair, then there might be wear on the eyelet or the screwholes. If this is the problem, then the bow should be taken to a bow specialist for an evaluation and repair.

I hope that this helps to steer you in the right direction of what might be happening with your bow. If you can clarify what you mean, and how the frog is moving, there might be better advice to come. I definitely second Luis's recommendation to get a bow expert to look at it for you. The movement of the frog might be something quite minor, or it could indicate a bigger problem.

Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer

February 4, 2010 at 12:39 AM ·

 Thank you Josh, you quelled my anxiety :). It is merely the rocking side-to-side of the frog, and I will try turning the eyelet 1/2 a turn after I finish my calculus homework. Thanks again! :)

February 4, 2010 at 01:20 AM ·

Michael, as you attempt to tighten the eyelet, be VERY careful not to damage the thin, fragile sides of the underslide. If you attempt to do this with a standard pair of pliers, you will likely hit the sides of the underslide, bending them out. I use a pair of parallel-jaw jeweler's pliers that I have ground down the nose so I can turn the eyelet without hitting the sides.

A method that some people use--but I'm not saying this as a recommendation--is to place the front of the bow screw into the eyelet hole and use the screw to turn the eyelet. This method can also cause damage if the screw threads scrape over the top of the underslide, leaving little tooth-marks in the silver. You can also bend the screw if the eyelet doesn't easily turn.

Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer

May 11, 2016 at 06:06 AM · I've recently purchased a new bow, a big motivation was mostly because I could afford it, and that the old one is facing loose frog problem.

It wasn't the case in the beginning, I dropped the bow several times, its tip, bone piece is chipped, and the frog wiggles about 1mm perpendicular to the axis of the bow. This especially hindered fast staccatos and made my spiccatos sketchy because the angle of the hair wouldn't be the way I would expect it to be when I bow.

The new bow is amazing, the repair on the tip was going to cost me possibly around $100, and the bow itself costed me $300 last summer.

I decided to instead invest in a new bow, and keep this one as a spare.

I still wish to however improve the old bow.

Josh, when you refer to eyelet, do you mean by the button/screw to tighten the hair, or the metal piece that catches it, which is screwed into the frog?

A colleague of mine suggested tightening the latter, and I took a good look today, and it doesn't seem to want to budge. Also, I can spot a little bit of wear/damage on the stick where it makes contact with slide.

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