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Plastic violin bow?


polkat
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Was just given a few old bows by a friend, and one of them is rather strange. I'ts a full size octagonal bow that looks rather nice, but on closer inspection to determine the wood, it appears to be made from....humm, maybe plastic. No markings on the stick, but the frog slide is marked Schaller D8P claiming US, Japanese, and British patents. Nice balance and weight.

Does anyone know what this is? Seems to be maybe an early attempt at a composite bow. Might clean it up and use it myself, but is it worth the effort? Thanks!

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Was just given a few old bows by a friend, and one of them is rather strange. I'ts a full size octagonal bow that looks rather nice, but on closer inspection to determine the wood, it appears to be made from....humm, maybe plastic. No markings on the stick, but the frog slide is marked Schaller D8P claiming US, Japanese, and British patents. Nice balance and weight.

Does anyone know what this is? Seems to be maybe an early attempt at a composite bow. Might clean it up and use it myself, but is it worth the effort? Thanks!

Yes, any unusual bow is worth the effort to see how well it works, in my opinion.

I'd love to see this. Pictures?

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Well, sadly, my old digital camera was probably first owned by Ben Franklin, but here's what I got. The first two pics are the tip and frog area......

post-5120-1277526336_thumb.png

post-5120-1277526369_thumb.png

Was difficult to get good shots, and one can barely tell that it's octagon from the pic. The stick has an even, rather dull brown color, without visable grain (fake grain). There is evidence of a grip, but the pad and wire wrap is long gone. I took a knife to the frog channel and scraped away a splinter. Was not wood. Burned the splinter and it melted like some kind of plastic(?). The frog is fully silver lined and solid (I'd save it even if I tossed the bow).

Here's whats on the bottom of the frog.....

post-5120-1277526683_thumb.png

The bow seems older then the new composites out now, and as I mentioned, I suspect that it's an early attempt at a composite-type bow. I'm going to fix it up and try it. Shaller still has some kind of composite bows on it's website, but they don't look quite like this.

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The bow seems older then the new composites out now, and as I mentioned, I suspect that it's an early attempt at a composite-type bow. I'm going to fix it up and try it. Shaller still has some kind of composite bows on it's website, but they don't look quite like this.

Several frogs like that have passed through my hands - I recognize it.

If the plastic bow did, I didn't pay attention.

I've seen very old aluminum (or some such metal) bows from the past...

It looks a tad thick, or is that just the photos?.

How's the camber? Is it sill there?

Do you need it rehaired? If you do, PM me.

Thanks!

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Schaller is a German Company that is mainly known for its guitar tuning-machines, today.

Though they still make synthetic bows.

From Google Patents:

Matthias

Great description, thanks!

By the drawings included, I wonder oif the tips had a tendency to pull forward and away from the interior stiff material? It looks like it may have been a weak point in construction.

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Yes, I know about Schaller and have Schaller's on my guitar. Thanks for the link to the patent. I also looked in up at the US patent Office site. Interesting bow, apparently patented in 1977. It has an aluminum core with plastic laminated over that. The frog is conventional, although the tip uses a screw rather then a wedge.

Looking at the bow directly, I see no distortion at the head, or any indication that it has pulled away as mentioned. I think the photos may have made it look thick, but it is no thicker then other octagonal bows that I've had.

While I doubt that it's a good playing bow, I think that I'll go ahead and fix it up just to see what it does. ctviolin, thanks for the offer, but I can do fairly good rehairs.

One concern is that the plastic is a rather dull brown. What can I use to try and shine it up a bit?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Speaking of German bow, I recently acquired a good example of August Rau's violin bow. It seems less stiff than Pfretzschner I tried before, but more elastic. According to the info I gathered on web, this German maker had many stamps, e.g. Aug.Rau & sohn, August Rau, Aug.Rau, and so on., seem to represent different periods of his bow making. Does anyone here tried/owns his bow? How does his bow compared to those of other German makers?

Frank

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