I have a couple of pieces of poplar about the right size.

Then I found this link from a bow maker who seems to know... http://andreasgrutter.com/2015/04/how-to-make-your-own-bow/

Anyone done this?

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Hi Gervase, have rehaired many, many violin bows over the years but never built one. The applying of hair in a traditional bow is a tricky skill to do well, but the way shown is far easier.

I would test the springyness of the timber you choose as it has to maintain tension on the hair, and not stay bent over time. I suppose one could use a fibreglass rod with wooden fittings, given some thought.


nice. at the end of the article hes telling you to tiller the bow just like a Longbow..lol

I know that violin bows are made from a special wood that's rapidly disappearing.

If I were to try and build one I would probably either do a sort of laminate or just plain go for fiberglass rods. These can be found at kite shops like Into the Wind or eBay. That's the only thing I can see that would hold the stresses involved.

I ordered some hanks of horse hair today... 

From the dimensions mentioned in the article, I would need to start with something like a 3/4" by 1 1/2 by 36.. Maybe poplar.

Need to rip the stick to something like 3/4 by 3/4  and then cross cut to 32 sounds like... I'm not too good on metric conversion, but I do have a couple of metric rulers and actually prefer using metric.

Not too worried about the wood. He said any hardwood. I have had bad playing experience with fiberglass bows, so that's totally out. Besides most of the fun is shaving the stick to the correct size that feels about right... can't do that with carbon fiber.

This project looks fun and simple enough. But... the one issue is that you can't adjust the frog like you do on a normal bow. So it's a matter of getting the hair cut to the right length... likely a bunch of trial and error.

Other than that, it might be possible to tighten the hair a little with different size frogs. They look easy enough to file...

Yeah, the fixed frog is what made me mention having the bow become "fixed" in its curve over time and losing tension on the hair, due to not being able to slacken off between playing. But inventive thinking could make the frog adjustable in a number of ways.

You mentioned using a hardwood, and I agree, but isn't poplar a softwood? However it may have the springyness needed. Fun project. 


Taffy, I don't think the frog is attached in any way, except by the horsehair, so when you are finished playing, you can arc the bow and the frog should fall out... odd way to loosen it... but should work.

Poplar is considered a hardwood, but is pretty easy to carve... so I guess it's on the softer side.

I headed up to big box store today and elected for a 5/8 inch dowel. This is made of some kind of poplar, is already rounded and in the correct rough size as recommended in the article.

Cut the dowel at 70cm (about 27.5 inches), but I managed to split the tip while drilling the hole.  So one tweak to the instructions might be to first drill the hole at 1 cm from the end then cut the stick at 70 cm.

Anyway the dowel was 6 feet long, so I have quite a bit left over.

Hi, I missed the frog fitting, thanks for pointing that out. 

I understand Poplar is a flexible timber so should work ok for your purpose, it falls into the hardwood category but some samples are softer than pine. I think there are over 30 different types.


Wow.. 30 different types? I hadn't realized...

Anyway, I did some carving on my dowel last night. Will try to post a few pics soon.


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