As promised, a baroque-ish bow

Edited: April 29, 2020, 4:52 PM · So I finally got around to making my own "baroque" bow. Actually, I made 5 different sticks and strung up two of them, but my newest is by far the best. The tip, frog, and screw are curly maple, and the stick is beech (I think—it's scrapyard wood) which I dyed a reddish-brown. There are some ebony pieces in there, too, which I cut from an old bass bow frog. I didn't copy any particular bow; I just looked at a lot of images of different baroque and modern bows and pulled features I liked from both. As best as I could, anyway.

I'm missing some of the teeny tiny chisels, planes, and knives needed to carve all the intricate parts really nicely, but it turned out pretty good for a little hobby project in my opinion. It's usable, anyhow, which is all I was hoping for to begin with.

This bow shape seems to excel in detaché, sautillé, and ricochet strokes. I find the sound to be a lot more scratchy than a modern bow, maybe because the hair deforms under pressure, rather than the stick. I see now how HIPP players get that funny, scratchy sort of sound—surprising just how much of a difference in tone there is between a convex bow and a concave one!

Pictures of the bow in question:

Anyways. I have a newfound appreciation for the beautiful, crisp edges and perfect symmetry on my contemporary bow! The level of craftsmanship on a nice bow is so high that you don't even notice it until you try making one yourself.

Replies (15)

April 29, 2020, 4:49 PM · Bravo Cotton, the bow looks great! Must have been an interesting project for you!
April 29, 2020, 6:46 PM · Wow, that’s cool!
Edited: April 29, 2020, 7:23 PM · Cotton, good for you! I wonder if you're reviving a possible centuries-old tradition when some musicians may have made their own bows?
April 29, 2020, 7:33 PM · Hah, I wouldn't give myself that much credit. But I did learn a lot, and I have a new sound in my arsenal now.
April 29, 2020, 7:45 PM · Congratulations! Looks nice! I never would have even thought about trying to make a bow...good for you!
April 30, 2020, 2:20 PM · Cotton, it looks great! I enjoy your insights into the experience of making your own bow. Thanks for sharing!
April 30, 2020, 4:10 PM · Excellent! Looks like the real deal. Enjoy!
May 13, 2020, 5:03 PM · Respect! You've inspired me to make my own bow now. I've almost finished the frog, but need to put in the eyelet. What is the procedure for that? Also, how long did it take you to complete the whole bow?
May 13, 2020, 7:13 PM · Ah, good luck! The whole bow took me something like... 10 hours? I'm not sure, to be honest. I made it in three days working sporadically.

To fit the eyelet I just drilled a hole with a bit one step down from the diametre of the shaft. No science to it, just as long as it's a teeny bit smaller than the threads on the eyelet. Be careful with this part—you want to make sure the hole is centered and that the eyelet comes out perpendicular to the top of the frog. It's a good idea to use a vice for this part.

May 14, 2020, 2:56 AM · Beautiful indeed!
I wish I could afford one
May 14, 2020, 3:33 AM · Wait so do you 'screw in' the eyelet, or use some glue?
May 14, 2020, 8:38 AM · The eyelet has a threaded end so it can be screwed into the frog. This way, you can adjust its height, and thus how tightly the frog will sit on the stick as well. If it's too loose, the hair will be able to pull it forward and off the stick. If it's too tight, the the tension screw either won't go in at all or it'll be hard to turn.
May 16, 2020, 8:47 AM · Ok thanks for that. 1 final question! The button end of the screw isn't threaded, so how do you secure the button on? Just drill a hole in the button and fill it up with superglue?
May 16, 2020, 9:41 AM · Yep, pretty much.

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