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Drilling butt holes


Guido

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I've been drilling screw holes into bow handles with a free standing drill press, the bow held vertically by a table vice with most of the bow protruding down through the table. You get the picture.

Now I'm about to buy a new mini lathe for many reasons (something like Sieg C3, but let's not discuss mini lathe brands and models).

I would like to then also use the mini lathe to drill the screw holes in bow handles and wonder how to go about the necessary modifications.

John Stagg (in his book) suggests a set-up that is actually somewhat similar to my drill press solution - just horizontal instead of vertical.

He puts the drill bit into the headstock, which sounds easy enough, and makes sense as you want the drill rotating, not the bow. Then he modifies the tailstock with a 4-jaw chuck to hold the bow, which is protruding out the tail stock bore at the other end.

This last bit about the tailstock sounds troublesome. Any practical advice and guidance for this?

Also, if you clear out the tailstock bore to feed the bow through you'd lose the hand wheel and the ability to extend the tailstock towards the headstock... how are you supposed to move the bow butt and the drill towards each other? What am I missing here?

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Going by the diagram and caption "made using a vertical slide attachment".

The tailstock isn't used at all, it's a vertical milling slide on its front with a chuck mounted to the face you'd normally mount to the crossslide.

https://www.warco.co.uk/lathe-milling-slides/302954-vertical-milling-slide-myford-ml7-lathe.html

Which seems overly complicated tbh, when you can just mount it in the headstock or use the vertical slide as designed 

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11 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

What's the problem with chucking the bow in the headstock, and the bit in the tailpiece? Just don't spin the bow so fast that it flops about from centrifugal force, and drill with a low relief angle bit to prevent hogging.

These new mini lathes generally start at 50rpm. I suppose one could swirl the head around at that speed when mounting the handle in the head stock. Is that what people do? I have no practical experience in this regard and just assumed it was a bad idea... and rather try to turn the drill than bow.

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The methods available to you will depend on how your lathe is configured and equipped.  I drill bow butts on my lathe by passing the stick through the spindle and holding the butt in a split sleeve mounted in a collet.  The drill is held in a tailstock-mounted chuck.  I will  try to find the pictures of my set-up that I have previously posted on this forum.  I don’t like the idea of holding the butt in a chuck because of the problem of centering it, and because I worry that I would either not tighten the jaws enough or I would tighten them too much and crush the wood.

I suggest that you watch Rodney Mohr’s bow making video to see how he drills his holes entirely by hand.

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I have an Alberti tool which takes all the guessing and danger out of boring bow butts. I have a Bow Badger which does a similar job, but I think the Alberti is more accurate. I have also used my mini lathe with no disasters and have done it by hand on new bows. With a bit of practice and some patience they all will work. It is just that some methods work better than others.

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You can see Rodney Mohr drilling a hole in the butt of a new bow in a Youtube video.  He centers and aligns the hole without a lathe or any special tools and fixtures other than a foret (bow-driven bow maker's drill).

To find the video, search for "youtube Covid-19 Violin bow making: Day 5, Hour 1 Fitting the frog to the stick".  He starts the hole at 35 minutes and 20 seconds in.

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On 4/20/2022 at 12:47 PM, David Burgess said:

Somehow, I doubt that the OP was unaware of all the opportunities for double-entendre. ;)

The mixing of human sexuality and violin esthetics certainly does present many opportunities

which can be even more entertaining and lucrative than violin making.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/christies-to-auction-iconic-man-ray-photograph-of-nude-woman-for-record-5-million-or-more-11644933600

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/20/2022 at 3:49 PM, Brad Dorsey said:

You can see Rodney Mohr drilling a hole in the butt of a new bow in a Youtube video.  He centers and aligns the hole without a lathe or any special tools and fixtures other than a foret (bow-driven bow maker's drill).

To find the video, search for "youtube Covid-19 Violin bow making: Day 5, Hour 1 Fitting the frog to the stick".  He starts the hole at 35 minutes and 20 seconds in.

Rodney Mohr's Company "Learning Trade Secrets" has posted several vids on bow making, from blank to finish.

If not already done, I suggest sorting from Date Added (Oldest)

www.youtube.com/c/LearningTradeSecrets/videos?view=0&sort=da&flow=grid

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8 hours ago, Bill Merkel said:

...a floor-standing drill press...

For drilling the butt hole on a drill press, the Kun/Regh "The Art of Bow Making" book suggests clamping a block of wood about 1 1/2 inch thick on the table and drilling a hole through it just big enough for the butt to fit through snugly.  Then insert the bow through the hole from beneath and drill the screw hole.

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