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Ed Shillitoe

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  1. Here's a real innovation in the design of the half-size violin. https://www.facebook.com/stringedinstrumentservices/videos/5239558116068219/
  2. If you are just getting going it would be better to make a few from some other wood first. Pernambuco is getting scarce and you could find yourself spending $150 per stick quite easily! I'll be glad to offer suggestions if you like. I agree that Lynn Hannings would be a good resource. Good luck! Ed
  3. I think it's possible that he slowed down because of health issues. I lived near him from 1979 to 1983 and he told me that he wrote the book because he had had an episode of bad health and did not expect to live long. He did not have an apprentice or any descendants who could be trained in bow making, so he wrote the book in a big hurry to help anyone else who wanted to make bows. After he recovered he was very upset about the book which he thought should have been a lot better! I bought a viola bow from him at the time and it is stamped 1179 on the stick, and also written in pencil on the face. I assume this means November 1979 - but this is not consistent with a bow made in 1964 having a stamp of 1007. On the other hand, your number of 766 could mean July 1966 I suppose - you would need to collect the numbers from other bows for comparison and there are certainly quite a few of them around. The book has a copyright date of 1969. It sounds as if his archives still exists. I liked Mr. Bolander and respected him a lot. He was very helpful to me when I was learning to make bows.
  4. Can anyone share a link to the instrument collection in Berlin that Oliver mentioned? I can't find a catalog or photos at all. Thanks!
  5. This is similar to the question of how to file a replacement ivory face so that it is level with the head, but without leaving file marks on the head itself. I have been taught to do that with a piece of painters tape on either the side of the head or on the side of the file. That lifts one side of the file away from the bow head while the other side takes care of the face. But a pin is surrounded by silver, so that wouldn't work so well. One thing I have done is similar to your method with stainless steel shim stock, but instead to paint the silver plate with frisket - watercolor painters' masking fluid. It leaves a surface probably thinner than the shim and when the file is removing the frisket you know you are done. But its not perfect. I'll be interested to see any other solutions. Ed
  6. I tried dealing with them once. They had a nice old bass bow on their site - I asked if I could try it out and they said no.
  7. The book was originally a series of articles in a Victorian magazine that was full of articles on practical things such as building a bookcase, cleaning a clock, making a stone wall, casting brass at home and so on. After the Heron Allen articles appeared there were a number of letters to the Editor from people who claimed that they made some excellent violins from his instructions. There were a few complaints about the issue of making varnish however. Here is a link: https://archive.org/details/amateurworkillus41886lond/page/n7/mode/2up Ed
  8. Also discussed here: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/345619-using-clay-instead-of-a-bow-knot/&tab=comments#comment-884566
  9. I believe it was published in the 1820s in Germany. A translation was published in English around 1900 and reprinted by William Reeves around 1975. The full title in English is 'Treatise on the structure and preservation of the violin, by Jacob Augustus Otto'. I have a copy of the Reeves reprint which I bought from Mr. Reeves. The book doesn't seem to credit the origin of the picture as far as I can see, and its not exactly the same as your picture either.
  10. You can find a similar diagram in the Heron Allen book on page 137 or in the Otto book in Fig 4. Not exactly the same but at least on a clear white background which might allow a better scan. Ed
  11. You should visit Markneukirchen then! I was there a couple of years ago and its quite an interesting place - but no one in the entire town, literally, understands a word of English! Without German you will starve and never get out! Ed.
  12. Do you have the "Katalog der Sammlung ... ... " by Rudolph Hopfner? It comes with a packet of actual size drawings of many old bows, which include cross sectional drawings of bow heads. Ed
  13. Clever idea Brad. I have a couple of bows right now with this issue. The problem though is that the top of the frog slopes down a little toward the back - this would make it very hard to get the measuring calipers at exactly the same place each time. We are dealing with very small adjustments here. I remember hearing an idea from Rodney Mohr at one of the VSA meetings. He suggested opening up the eyelet hole just enough to let the eyelet stem move up or down. Then putting the screw and eyelet in place in the stick and putting a little epoxy putty in the frog. Then you could press the frog into position down tightly on the stick. When the epoxy had cured the frog would be in just the right place. Whether he did this or whether it was just an idea, I don't know. I also like the insert idea. I'm going to try it out. Ed
  14. Sounds like sealing wax to me as well. When I was a child we had to use it to fasten knots on the string that went around parcels wrapped in brown paper. We got sticks of it from the post office. You tied the knot on the parcel, heated the end of the sealing wax with a match until it got drippy, then quickly pressed it down onto the knot. It solidified immediately and held the knot closed. I expect you could do the same thing with a hank of bow hair.
  15. This week I was due to ship a new bow to a principal of one of the big US symphony orchestras - when I told him it was coming he asked to delay the trial and wanted his deposit back! He has been told that they will not play again until the end of April but of course there is no guarantee that they will restart then.
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