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Small Bow for Psalteries and Dulcimers

Small Bow for Psalteries and Dulcimers

by Tony Pizzo

Originally published as Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #38, 1976

This data sheet provides plans for a small, simple bow (especially well-suited for bowed psalteries) which I am still in the process of developing. There is no need for frogs and threaded shafting, etc. as the bow hair is held tightly by means of tension. Until information on simple bow making becoms more accessible, bows such as this serve quite well. (The shape is adapted from an illustration in Lynn Elder’s “How to Play the Bowed Psaltery”, and as I developed my bow through a process of trial and error from that initial point, I don’t know how far the similarity carries from there. At any rate thanks to Mr. Elder.)


bow — mahogany (or other hardwood 13" × 1 1/4" × 5/8" (or 1/2")
shims — rosewood inlay strip 1" × 1/8"× 1/28"
doweling — 1" lengths of 1/2" and 3/8" diameter dowels
bow hair — approx. 13" length (suggestion..“Chieftain” Nylon Bow Hair available from International Violin Co./1421 Clarkview Road, Suite 118/Baltimore, MD 21209.

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