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hypophthalmus

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  1. So had put this on hold for a while. First because I had to stop and think about how to proceed. And then because of life happening and being generally bad at finishing things. But it's finished now. I ended up changing the mortise in the head to make it rectangular, and it looks much better now. The problem with putting the hair in is because I was trying to follow modern techniques. But the mortises are much shallower, so there's no room for the hair underneath them. A maker of viol bows published some information on his website to slant the ends of the mortise to make room for the hair. ( https://renaissanceviolbows.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/scetch-of-the-mortises.jpg?w=604 ) That's what I did, and it worked very well, so no glue after all. Putting the hair on was still quite difficult, definitely the hardest part of the bow making process. I'm not really sure how much tension should be on the bow. I don't think it needs more, but it might be better with less. I might try making more frogs to mess around with it. The ergonomics of the bow is a bit clunky. The stick is wide at the frog, and I left the frog a bit wider than that. I think making a narrower frog might help. The ribbon of hair is a bit narrower at the frog than the tip. And narrower in general than my modern bow, though maybe it's supposed to be. It also doesn't sit on the entire length of the frog, but I don't actually know if that matters, or what to do about it. A different frog might help though. I only have used two other bows that I can compare it to. One is my cheap modern brazilwood bow. The other was a more expensive carbon fiber bow (JonPaul Avanti) that I eventually sold once I realized that my cheap wood bow sounded much better and was more responsive. Compared to the brazilwood bow, the bow I made sounds much, much richer. Articulation is much easier and more pronounced.
  2. It probably doesn't help on the tip especially that the mortise is a bit ugly. I didn't have the right size chisel, so I sharpened a precision screwdriver I had lying around. I also could find practically no references on baroque mortises, particularly the head. I might have made the head too narrow? But I really don't know.
  3. I got the frog better the second time around. I did the hard parts first, which meant I actually would chop down with the chisel from the bottom without worrying about breaking the it. I'm not exactly finished, but I was eager to try it. Unfortunately, I'm struggling with putting the hair on. I've gotten to the point where I can get the plugs in, but they pop out too easily. At this point I'm considering adding a bit of hide glue. Regarding the little harbor freight planes, I haven't even sharpened them yet but they seem to work surprisingly well.
  4. My first attempt at a frog wasn't a success. The first problem I had was getting the v shape where it sits on the bow. There's no room to chop it from the top with a chisel. I tried pairing it from the side, but it came out very messy. I tried cleaning it up with a file, but that just made it much worse and the angles are completely wrong now. I think next time I'll try cutting the V with a saw. The next problem was the rounded groove the hair sits in. I tried filing it with a half-round file, but I figured out the radius is too large. I think the correct way to do this is probably a gouge, but I don't have one. As an experiment I tried cutting a groove with a chisel, and then rounding it with a dowel wrapped in sandpaper. This seems to work pretty well, but I need a slightly larger dowel.
  5. I drilled out some holes for the mortises while it was still square. Then I planed the octagon, which was a pretty dramatic transformation. This step seems it requires some skill. And maybe some kind of special lighting arrangement -- it was a bit hard to see what I was doing. Part of this might also be the pecan protesting by raising the grain; smoother sides I think would be easier to see. I followed the advice of using a file to taper the tip, which seemed to work well. Looking at the photograph now, it looks like I probably should even that out a bit though. I think making the bow wider like in the instructions linked to in my original post isn't the right thing to do. I thought it might end up being not noticeable later, but it is. And I think it's going to end up looking like an oval rather than round. Although I also planed at 45 degrees to the other faces, which made the sides thinner than the top and bottom. So perhaps it would have been better had I angled it to make them even. Measuring the cheap modern bow I have, it seems that it's not wider than it is tall as well. Presently it's still 70 grams without the frog, which is good. There's not much more material left to remove, so I should be on target for the weight.
  6. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm going to carry on making this one, keeping in mind that I might not have a usable bow at the end. There's a good chance I'm going to make more mistakes, so I might as well make them on a potentially doomed one. In the future, I'll definitely pick out an especially straight-grained board for the blank. Using local woods still sounds more interesting to me. In part because it's local, but also as a way of understanding the differences between species in terms of bow making. Ipe might work particularly well for bows, but I probably won't appreciate the fact if I don't make them out of other woods. In any case, it seems like a wide variety of species with a wide variety of characteristics were used at the time.
  7. I would LOVE to see a good baroque bow first hand. But I don't know anybody. Here's a frog shape that I sketched out that incorporates my mistake:
  8. Finished tapering the bow, cut out the groove for the frog, and cut out the frog blank. Unfortunately, I made the groove as long as the entire length of the frog, not just what was supposed to be the length of what rests on the bow. It is what it is I guess, hopefully it won't affect the function. Right now the stick is 80 grams, 100 with the frog blank. I think there's a good chance it'll be too light once it's done. The lightest examples I've seen are around 65g.
  9. Actually, I actually was able to get my plane to cut much better by adjusting the cutting angle. I finished the taper of the height except for the very tip, which I'll need something else for. I'm going to taper the sides with it too.
  10. I tried looking for some affordable baroque cello bows, but they all seem to have a modern-looking camber. After seeing that all the authentic-looking baroque bows are well over $1000, I got inspired to try making my own. I'm in the middle of graduating the stick, which I don't especially know if I'm doing correctly. I used the measurements here to start with: http://andreasgrutter.com/2015/04/how-to-make-your-own-bow/ And I tried to take some measurements from pictures to determine how fast it should taper. Dividing it in 8ths from frog to tip, I got: 0 7.8mm 1/8 8.25mm 2/8 8.85mm 3/8 9.6mm 4/8 9.9mm 5/8 10.125mm 6/8 10.5mm 7/8 11.475mm 1 12mm For the tapering the width, I'm going to assume it falls off at a similar rate. After that, I'll try to even out the curve under tension like you would with an archery bow. The plane that I have to work with is kind of large for this, and dulls pretty much instantly on this wood. Between maybe 1/8 and 3/8 is planed exactly where I want it. But before continuing, I'm going to wait for these to come in and hope they'll work better for me: https://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece-micro-brass-plane-set-97545.html It seems to me I could probably also whip this out pretty quickly with a belt and spindle sander if I had them. The wood I'm using isn't ideal. It's flat sawn pecan that's kiln dried and casehardened. It's taken a bit of a curve already due to instability, but not too bad, and in a good direction (not side to side). I may need to bend it back a bit correct that. But it'll do for a first attempt. In the future, I might try some local air dried persimmon if I can find it quartersawn. Maybe one day I'll get some nice tropical wood. But it's cheaper ($1-$2 a board foot), and in my opinion more interesting, to use locally harvested lumber. I already messed up the head I think. Some examples I've found look like this, but many of them seem to have the arch of the bow continuing smoothly into the head, which I don't think will be the case with mine.
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