books on violin bow construction

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Matt Atkinson
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books on violin bow construction

Post by Matt Atkinson »

Anyone have a book on how to make a violin bow? I'm not finding much.

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Bob Gramann
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Re: books on violin bow construction

Post by Bob Gramann »

I just got one “How to Make a Violin Bow” by Frank V Henderson. I bought it from a maker who’s selling out his library. Abebooks has a copy for $200. I haven’t opened this one yet and don’t plan to make a bow anytime in the near future. Maybe I could loan it to you?

Matt Atkinson
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Location: New Hampshire

Re: books on violin bow construction

Post by Matt Atkinson »

Thanks, Bob. That's very generous. I am just starting a fiddle so it will be a while before I get to making a bow. I'll definitely let you know!

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Bob Gramann
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Re: books on violin bow construction

Post by Bob Gramann »

When you get there, pop me a private message or an email (you can find my address on my website) and remind me of this conversation and your need for the book. I won’t remember this conversation. I started my fiddle about 10 years ago. I’ve carved the outside of one plate and made the ribs. I only work on it when my guitar business is slow. I’m not complaining but it may be a long time before I finish this fiddle.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: books on violin bow construction

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

If the book is no longer under copyright could you make a PDF of it? I wouldn't mind having a digital copy of it if it was available.

A quick check shows a publication date of 1977, so scratch that.

David King
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Re: books on violin bow construction

Post by David King »

In the meanwhile my friend Ken Altman has some really nice pictorial descriptions of various aspects of bow making on his website altmanbows.com . It's not everything you need to know but it shows a lot of the steps in the process. As an aside I remember him telling me that a bow maker of the French school was expected to be able to complete a bow from start to finish in 24 hours of labor.

Ralph Geary
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Re: books on violin bow construction

Post by Ralph Geary »

Try doing a search for a book called "A bow on the couch" by Andreas Grutter. While not a how-to book, I found it a fascinating discussion of the factors contributing to the tone and quality of different types of bows (including how to properly orient the grain on your blank). I have a pdf I found on line, but I don't recall where.

David King
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Re: books on violin bow construction

Post by David King »

It seems like a lot would be dependent on the piece of wood you started with and I imagine how you deal with it is what you learn after making a few dozen or hundred of them. I guess that's just like everything else in this silly business we got stuck in.

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