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PhilipKT

Is this violin bow stick worth saving?

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More flotsam:

Is this bow stick worth saving? It looks like good wood it feels strong throughout the length, with no obvious weak spots, and the head is pretty, but someone would have to make a frog for it, and frogs aren’t cheap.

Would love some insight from the crowd.

Any guesses about origin?

I’d especially like some guidance about whether the wood is good quality or not. I hope the pictures allow that determination.

About to share a cello stick and would appreciate thoughts on that as well.

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Don’t need to make a frog, you’d fit one from another broken stick. If your aim is to have a bow that plays well the frog will have little impact and you can keep it cheap.

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3 minutes ago, Guido said:

Don’t need to make a frog, you’d fit one from another broken stick. If your aim is to have a bow that plays well the frog will have little impact and you can keep it cheap.

Does the stick look like good quality to you? Can you ID the origin?

I don’t have access to a frog but I could probably buy one from Howard Core or somewhere. But if the stick is nice enough for a custom frog Id like to be able to consider that.

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3 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Does the stick look like good quality to you? Can you ID the origin?

I don’t have access to a frog but I could probably buy one from Howard Core or somewhere. But if the stick is nice enough for a custom frog Id like to be able to consider that.

Looks like a reasonable stick. Maybe someone can say more...

Whoever is qualified and willing to save your cello should have a shoe box of old frogs to help you with the bow ;)

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1 minute ago, Guido said:

Looks like a reasonable stick. Maybe someone can say more...

Whoever is qualified and willing to save your cello should have a shoe box of old frogs to help you with the bow ;)

Hey that’s not a bad idea!

danke!

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Looks like a very simple Markneukirchen bow, possibly pernambuco, but hard to tell by the photos. Such sticks have only a (rather low) value for persons with a big shoe box full of old frogs and enough spare time to adjust them.

Same applies to your cello bow.;)

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I know next to nothing about bows but I know pernambucco is pretty much extinct for bowmakers and the only source is old stock that is in imited supply. Perhaps today the stick is not valuable enough, but one day when there are no more pernambucco blanks (and no other suitable substitute), such stick could be worth restoring (or hot rodding) into a good (or even very good) bow.

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10 minutes ago, HoGo said:

I know next to nothing about bows but I know pernambucco is pretty much extinct for bowmakers and the only source is old stock that is in imited supply. Perhaps today the stick is not valuable enough, but one day when there are no more pernambucco blanks (and no other suitable substitute), such stick could be worth restoring (or hot rodding) into a good (or even very good) bow.

You're very wrong about that. The IPCI actively promotes conservation and sustainable use of this resource.

http://www.ipci-usa.org/

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So are there pernambucco trees still being cut in Brasil? I thought the trade with raw prnambucco wood is in similar state as Brazilian Rosewood.

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There are different qualities of pernambuco and not each log will be a good bow. For cheaper bows they used cheaper quality, and once it's made to a bow it can't be recycled to another.

Therefore it doesn't make any sense to keep all massproduced pernambuco sticks as a kind of future bond, better try not to do damage to the rainforest. For example, eat less Hamburgers.B)

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11 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Does the stick look like good quality to you? Can you ID the origin?

I don’t have access to a frog but I could probably buy one from Howard Core or somewhere. But if the stick is nice enough for a custom frog Id like to be able to consider that.

 

IDing the origin, I would have no idea, but I'm going to stick my neck out and say the wood comes from Brazil cuz It looks like Pernambuco. Does it have the cell walls visible half a millimetre or so apart running around the circumference of the stick? The grain looks a bit wavy in the head, so it's not high grade, what about the rest of the stick, how straight is the grain there as viewed from the side and above?

And surely someone near you has a box of frogs?

2 hours ago, HoGo said:

So are there pernambucco trees still being cut in Brasil? I thought the trade with raw prnambucco wood is in similar state as Brazilian Rosewood.

Yes. Those Brazilian farmers have to make a living and The Pau Brasilia tree grows quickly. If they can find in their local jungle….. The situation is being managed to some degree in terms of conservation. Some bow makers have enough stock of old wood to keep them going for years. The regulations in place are to prevent the endangered status of the tree from becoming desperate. Hopefully the future for Pernambuco bows is good.

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Thanks for lecture, I never paid too much attention to pernambuco and some sources say the tree is nearly extinct in natural habitat. Of course the initiative to replant such trees (same for ebony) is great but how many years it will take till the supply of new wood is able to cover demand? It's impossible to tell how much old stock is there and when it just runs out.

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2 hours ago, HoGo said:

Thanks for lecture, I never paid too much attention to pernambuco and some sources say the tree is nearly extinct in natural habitat. Of course the initiative to replant such trees (same for ebony) is great but how many years it will take till the supply of new wood is able to cover demand? It's impossible to tell how much old stock is there and when it just runs out.

I don't know, but those involved in the regeneration say it takes 35-40 years for the trees to grow to a mature size. I would like to know more. They grow in the hilly areas near the coast  between Rio de Janeiro and a few degrees south of the Amazon delta. There must be many other locations in the world with similar climate and conditions that are suitable?

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Hey folks, a wonderful update on this violin bow stick.

I decided to have my new bow guy, Mike, fit a factory frog. This he did and the results are splendid!

The bow weighs in at just over 59g, And I’ve had two Violin colleagues play it so far, With very encouraging results. They both say it sounds and bounces great, is very controllable and very comfortable. I’ve been going through a rough patch lately, so I am really happy to have some good news. I just wanted to share it with you guys.

 

Edited by PhilipKT

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On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 2:58 AM, PhilipKT said:

Hey folks, a wonderful update on this violin bow stick.

I decided to have my new bow guy, Mike, fit a factory frog. This he did and the results are splendid!

The bow weighs in at just over 59g, And I’ve had two Violin colleagues play it so far, With very encouraging results. They both say it sounds and bounces great, is very controllable and very comfortable. I’ve been going through a rough patch lately, so I am really happy to have some good news. I just wanted to share it with you guys.

 

I do like a happy ending. I wonder if Pernambuco bows will become more sought after if carbon fibre bows become very popular? Although I do believe that Pau Brasil wood is sustainable. Will the market become more specialized? Will the best wood bows out perform carbon fibre?

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51 minutes ago, sospiri said:

I do like a happy ending. I wonder if Pernambuco bows will become more sought after if carbon fibre bows become very popular? Although I do believe that Pau Brasil wood is sustainable. Will the market become more specialized? Will the best wood bows out perform carbon fibre?

Wood is always better.

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51 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Wood is always better.

I hope so. I've never played a carbon fibre bow, but I recently bought a fibreglass cello bow out of curiosity. It is very stiff and plays well. But I know it takes a while to get the best out of a new bow too. I would like to think that the best bows which have the suppleness and stiffness combined will always be superior, but I don't know.

 

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6 hours ago, sospiri said:

I hope so. I've never played a carbon fibre bow, but I recently bought a fibreglass cello bow out of curiosity. It is very stiff and plays well. But I know it takes a while to get the best out of a new bow too. I would like to think that the best bows which have the suppleness and stiffness combined will always be superior, but I don't know.

 

 I have played many carbon fiber bows, and I hated them all. Eventually someone will create a carbon fiber that is physically indistinguishable from wood, and at that point it will be possible to duplicate the qualities of wood so closely that the difference will be insignificant. That will be a very sad day, because it will render artistic excellence in bow making irrelevant.

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On ‎2‎/‎26‎/‎2020 at 10:00 PM, PhilipKT said:

 I have played many carbon fiber bows, and I hated them all. Eventually someone will create a carbon fiber that is physically indistinguishable from wood, and at that point it will be possible to duplicate the qualities of wood so closely that the difference will be insignificant. That will be a very sad day, because it will render artistic excellence in bow making irrelevant.

If that is true, then the value of old bows will rise as they become more collectable. Also, every wooden bow feels and plays differently, so that is another reason for buying them. If the stiffness and fell of a carbon fibre (or will it be graphene soon?) bow can one day match the best old bows, then isn't that a good thing too?

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49 minutes ago, sospiri said:

If that is true, then the value of old bows will rise as they become more collectable. Also, every wooden bow feels and plays differently, so that is another reason for buying them. If the stiffness and fell of a carbon fibre (or will it be graphene soon?) bow can one day match the best old bows, then isn't that a good thing too?

It could be, however, not everybody likes the same bow, so ideally one could buy CF bows with different but reproducible and predictable performance specifications.

Personally, I am concerned about bows becoming another non-biodegradable throw-away object in our throw-away world.

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4 hours ago, sospiri said:

If that is true, then the value of old bows will rise as they become more collectable. Also, every wooden bow feels and plays differently, so that is another reason for buying them. If the stiffness and fell of a carbon fibre (or will it be graphene soon?) bow can one day match the best old bows, then isn't that a good thing too?

For me, and for many, the ability to duplicate perfection diminishes it.

if a carbon fiber bow can do everything a great bow can do, and be infinitely repeated, it would render the great bows valueless except as relics. Why pay 30K for a great Tubbs when you can duplicate it with a CF bow costing a pittance?

I don’t think that time has come yet, and I hope it won’t. Tubbs and other great makers had a gift. Not just excellent material, not just excellent skill, either, but an artistic eye and an ability to create that will be moot if it ever happens.

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Last year we celebrated out Anniversary in Kauaii and visited a botanical garden there that was growning a stand of Paubrasilia trees for future harvest, along with koa and other tropic species.

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