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Bob, the fit of the underslide where it meets the talon looks pretty wanky for a great maker like Voirin --replacement?

Apparently not,ive noticed it often with Voirins but not so much with Martins.

Heres another from a slightly different angle but still visible. It lifting slightly at the back but still a gap.

post-3446-0-55518300-1419101963_thumb.jpg

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Well if you think about it, only the flat edges of a round mortise like these prevents wobble. Two semicircular surfaces will rotate pretty easily against each other, a slight gap wont interfere with this.

 

As to your earlier query I imagine that the closer a side joint gets to a right angle the less side movement one would expect.

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I have noticed that some bows when examined closely  ,  the facets and the frog slide are not a perfect match. Often the two side facets are perfectly or near perfectly matched and the middle one has a slight gap . I dont know whether this is intentional or not but i have heard of one maker saying he does this intentionally to reduce friction or something. Even makers like Peccatte have a slight gap sometimes but you can never be certain the frog is or isnt original to the stick. Anyone else heard of this??

I also think in the past makers made bows so fast that a perfect fit was often overlooked ,particularly in the 19th century.

 

Yes, the more I think about this PARTICULAR quality, the more I am inclined to believe that the central gap IS intentional - in particular, on bows made in great quantity, where the frogs and the sticks must fit well and match "quickly"... since, if and when the two side angles only need to be inclined at the proper angle then, if they match the angles on the stick - when there's a gap on the center facet, the frog will still ride on the two side facets well.

That is, if the two side angles of contact DOmatch.

It would seem like a great deal of 'play' with regard to "exact fitting" would be allowed this way, and the frog would still ride the stick at least fairly well...

 

 

There are a lot of details having to do with bows and frogs, that I am now just really realizing the scope of the project and the variation of details that are possible.

 

Of course, thinking about it, making bows by hand and not in great quantity - where the frogs and sticks are mass produced - an exact fit of all three facets would be desired?

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I think nowadays makers dont have to make a dozen or more a week any longer to make a living ,so they can afford to take time on details ,Same can be said of violins ,etc... todays instruments are often far more technically accurately made than years ago but i think they become slightly sterile looking.

One example of quickly made ive brought up on here several times but no-one ever provides an answer. Peccatte supposedly could make several bows a day over a very long working life. Peccattes make big money but where are all these lesser quickly made Peccattes. The only reason i can see is experts refuse to name bows as Peccattes if they are lower quality possibly for market reasons. Instead many are described as Peccatte school ,workshop,etc... with no real attribution.

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I think nowadays makers dont have to make a dozen or more a week any longer to make a living ,so they can afford to take time on details ,Same can be said of violins ,etc... todays instruments are often far more technically accurately made than years ago but i think they become slightly sterile looking.

One example of quickly made ive brought up on here several times but no-one ever provides an answer. Peccatte supposedly could make several bows a day over a very long working life. Peccattes make big money but where are all these lesser quickly made Peccattes. The only reason i can see is experts refuse to name bows as Peccattes if they are lower quality possibly for market reasons. Instead many are described as Peccatte school ,workshop,etc... with no real attribution.

I'm sure if he was able to make several bows a day there were people behind the scenes making pieces for him. Partially finished frogs, buttons and roughing out sticks would be huuuuge time savers.

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Im sure he must have had some help but how does an expert really know for certain which were made by him entirely and which he just finished off . Ive lost count of the Peccatte `school` bows ive had in the past and sold and some have to me  all the traits of Peccatte (D) but i`ve never had a explanation of who made them other than the loose description of school/shop. According to several sources of the amount of bows he produced over 40 or more years ,he either produced a huge number of bows or it is misinformation spread from generation to generation.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, after endless questions on my part, and endless (at this point in my learning experience - at least) answers on Mr. Henry's part, I have come to the point where I have decide on a Tourte bow as my first attempt at making a bow from scratch - including the frog, which, at the first I had considered buying, but I have since discovered, much to my pleasure (and dismay), that the frog is really considered part and parcel of a handmade bow of any consequence.

So, on to the bow itself, and to the frog ! 

I have tapered both of these first (well, my second set really...) sticks into square sticks  - tapering from around 10mm square at the frog end, down to a 5.5 - 6 mm square right behind the head, or tip, which is being shaped, right from the start, with the Tourte design in mind, and with "Tourte" templates for the head's shape. (as shown).

 

Yes, call me slow - as that is what I am at this point in my bow making career...

this is an art, I feel, and I know what art generally entails - which is much thinking and planning, and attempts at understanding - and very little acting or doing - but what acting that I do, I hope, is in the correct direction to get such a result as that which I desire - which is a violin bow that plays well - and holds its own as a first bow...

I know that my first violins, outside of my teachers reach, left MUCH to be desired, and I am attempting to avoid some of my 'impetuousness' in this regard, with the bows. 

And so it goes.

We'll see, I guess, as things progress, exactly how much of this I actually "get" and am able to apply to the materials at hand... 

 

The tools needed for this venture, are very circumscript with regard to their attributes and their usefulness for doing specific tasks... and half of my current thrust, is getting set up "tool wise" in order to complete this venture - that is, with the correct tools needed, to continue with relative ease. 

The many tools needed for making violins (which I already have) are great in number, but they are not the same tools needed, or required, for makiong bows.  It's as simple as that -  I am learning, amongst all the other things...

Not that bow making requires all that many specialized tools (certainly not nearly as many as is required for making violins) but the tools are dedicated bow making tools, and are very necessary in this regard. "this regard" meaning, for making bows with any idea of really succeeding at it... 

 

Ahhh, the things we decide to do and to attempt, in life?

What a joy it is to be alive, and doing something new, engaging, and stretching my knowledge, thinking process, and my abilities. 

My thanks to Josh and his seemingly tireless instruction.

Into my rather dense head.

(thus far that is – we'll see if we can both last the distance... )

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Ok, here's the two new sticks I'm working on.

post-3950-0-42180600-1420653175_thumb.jpg

Then, here are the "square" ends at the frog end of the stick.

post-3950-0-12962300-1420653229_thumb.jpg

Then, here's the head end with the templates.

post-3950-0-15013200-1420653266_thumb.jpg

Then, the two untouched sticks getting ready to be slaughtered by me!

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Then there's a picture of most of the tools I'm using thus far in the sticks shaping.

post-3950-0-91045200-1420653390_thumb.jpg

The new shop mascot (Oliver) looking at the weather outside the window... rainy and snowy I'm afraid.

post-3950-0-00482200-1420653431_thumb.jpg

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I am so happy to have the opportunity to follow you in this venture. I am however curious where you sourced your pernambuco?

 

I bought it (my own pernambuco) from Orcas Island Tonewoods (from Bruce Harvie) way back when it was much more available commonly, and very umm, I guess you could say - very inexpensive...

It is no longer "commonly available" (though you can still buy pernambuco sticks...) or inexpensive.

There are substitute woods that can be used for bows, and bow making though.

I can ask a guy that I know has been experimenting for a long time with various woods, if you're really interested in other woods that will also work in bow making?

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Oliver is adorable.  :wub: I still say a cat is a better companion than a bow...regardless of how fond you may be of the bow...

 

Oliver says; "thanks!" , he says, "I know I'm adorable...!"

(and I agree, about my dog, and my cat, and my wife... what more could I ask for?)

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I feel cheated.  I have spoken to Josh, in great detail, about necessary bow tools and never once did he mention a pensive cat.  :angry:

 

ahh!  Josh is likely somewhat behind the times when it comes to cats...

especially, pensive ones.

I have seen the dogs there though...and they get the "kings" treatment!

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ahh!  Josh is likely somewhat behind the times when it comes to cats...

especially, pensive ones.

I have seen the dogs there though...and they get the "kings" treatment!

 

Yes, there are dogs here, but the cat gets the run of the place.

post-25151-0-54478800-1420665036_thumb.jpg     post-25151-0-28835800-1420665037_thumb.jpg     post-25151-0-10344400-1420665038_thumb.jpg

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OK...

I'm going to venture an opinion here for anyone interested in bow making.

And also ask a question.

Me, I'm interested in making an octagonal violin bow. Well, make that - bows, as I plan to make more than one.

Why?

I don't know why. It's just pretty much what I have a hair up my arse to make - octagonal violin bows.

Perhaps it is simply that, when I have seen them, I have always been impressed by their apparent jewel-like workmanship, that I guessed was involve in their making...

 

If you don't have any prior training or experience in working with the wood or tools used in this field, and decide to just pick up and make a bow - I would suggest that you practice planning a stick - any stick - the length of a violin bow, down to a tapered square, a square that tapers from approximately 10mm, say, at what will be the frog end - down to about 6mm square right behind the head of the bow- and then try planning the length of the stick from a tapered square into a tapered octagon...

 

The mere act of getting the stick down to the appropriate size, as a tapered square, seems fairly easy, at least, it was fairly easy for me.

- and then taking the dwindling square into a tapered octagon shape - using hand tools... is most likely going to waken you to some of the the difficulties involved...

Or, should I say that it wakened me to some of the difficulties involved...

 

I realize that making the stick, is only one small part of making the complete or entire bow, but it is a somewhat difficult or demanding chore, and I can see why it is easier to make the stick round... probably, with regard to violin bows in particular, since they get so small at the tip, end - that the octagon becomes difficult to maintain there.

 

Grrr.

Suggestions welcome.

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Craig, in my opinion there is no difference in difficulty if it is a round or an octagonal stick.

If you intend to make a round stick you first need to make it a really good octagon and then 16th and so on, at least if you want a good control of taper and roundness.

 

So, especially as you are doing some Tourte thing, yes, go for octagon.

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