H.F. Grabenstein
Renaissance • Baroque • Modern
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Custom Bows

Medieval/Early Renaissance Bows
   Northern Hardwoods, Clip-in frogs.

Renaissance Bows
   Clip in or screw-type frogs

Baroque Bows
   Unfigured Snakewood
   Figured Snakewood

   Unfigured Snakewood
   Figured Snakewood

Transitional,Classical Bows
   Banya,Snakewood,or Pernambuco

Modern Bows

from $ 600

from $ 1600

from $ 1700
from $ 1800

from $ 1700

from $ 1800

from $ 1900

from $ 3500

Clip in bows

By choosing to own a clip-in bow you have entered into a much more interactive relationship than you would have had with a later style screw mechanism bow. You have cast yourself back in time and now you must steel yourself to face challenges unimagined by your more limited contemporary colleagues.

Since these early bows do not have an adjustable frog with a screw and eyelet, I supply them with two clip-in frogs. One of the frogs has a higher curve in the hair track [ill. a.] which will “take up” more hair length, making the bow tighter.

In general, the smaller frog will be used in winter when the relative humidity indoors is lower and the hair is shorter. The larger frog will serve in the summer months, when the higher humidity causes the hair to lengthen. In addition to fluctuations due to humidity, all hair stretches to some degree with use.

For those times (and there will be many ) when the bow is too slack with the small frog and too taut with the large one, the authentic, historically informed solution is for the player to slip small pieces of folded paper (business cards work very well ) in the hair track to tighten the bow.[ill. b.]

Now we come to advanced interaction with your early bow. If the hair becomes too slack for even the larger frog with paper shims, you can add some thread wrap at the tip. You will notice that the existing thread is wound in a series of four wraps and then a knot (double granny ), followed by four more wraps and then another knot. You can easily add more thread in the same pattern (four wraps and a knot) to take up the slack.[ill.c.]

Conversely, though less likely, should the hair dry out and become so short that even the smaller frog creates too much tension on the bow, you can very carefully cut one set of four thread wraps with an X-acto or similar blade . This however is SUPER ADVANCED interaction with your bow and might best be left to a professional repair person.

One final note. Because in some of these early bows the hair is free to rotate around the tip, the player must manually align the hair each time the frog is put in place.

Good luck, and please feel free to call with any questions.

179 Walker Hill Road Williston, VT. 05495 USA 802 872-8923