Bow for cigar box fiddle

Hi everyone. Help please.

Mostly I make diddley bows but recently I acquired a box that lends itself to a fiddle so I built a one-string cigar box fiddle. So far so good. However, I want to make a small bow to play the instrument (I would prefer not to use a store-bought bow if at all possible). Does anyone have experience of doing this or suggestions for what I can do? I think i can manage the wooden part but what can I use as an alternative to horsehair? Any suggestions welcome.



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  •  Thanks for the info, guys. Rather timely since I hope to build a fiddle sometime in the semi-near future and am gathering info.

  • I made a bow with I believe is this below for the stick. I used about 30 inches of it, notched on both sides.
    I string it with fishing line using a looping jig (a board with screws about three feet apart, a bit farther than the stick of the bow)
    For the frog (the part you hold when playing) I used a couple of inches of 3/4" square dowel.  The bow curves outward like an archery bow.12544035474?profile=RESIZE_930x

    • Click the MS Paint diagram above to enlargen it.


    • Tying the end of the fishing line to the hairing job and tying the loose end of the string to the hair.12544202277?profile=RESIZE_930x

  •   Well, I used the old Medieval woodcuts for inspiration and designed a bow like that was just a strong and springy limb bent and notched, with a large diameter piece of nylon Trimmer cord tied end to end.  I have no idea if it would work for your project because my one-string Vaudeville fiddle used a flat-wound guitar string rather than a violin string-also, I had to use sandpaper on the nylon so that it would hold the rosin for more than a few minutes. Worth a try I suppose...

     Now if you have access to power tools you could always cut and layer a laminated handmade bow and fit a standard horsehair insert into it-if you don't want to get fancy a broken hacksaw would likely yield up a good tensioner for one of those...

    • Thanks friend...I'll try the trimmer cord!
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