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Review: How to Make a Violin Bow by Frank V. Henderson

Review: How to Make a Violin Bow by Frank V. Henderson

Reviewed by David Riggs

Originally published in American Lutherie #25, 1991 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Three, 2004

How to Make a Violin Bow
Frank V. Henderson
Murray Publishing Co., 1977
LCCN 77375025

This may be the most useful “how-to” book you will read on any lutherie topic. If you ever wanted to make a bow; if you like clear, concise directions on toolmaking, sharpening, workbenches, investment casting, the use of machine tools in woodworking, or a good many other topics of immediate concern to those working with instruments; if you can appreciate an easily read treatment of an interesting topic which will be clear to readers with little or no lutherie experience, this book will bang your gong!

The author makes no pretense that his book will fit a craftsman to make his or her living as a bow maker. It does, however, actually show you that to make a very credible violin bow does not require supernatural skill or secret knowledge, a pleasant surprise if you have read other books on the subject which seem to actually discourage you from the undertaking. This is not a subject about which a ton is in print. Not that you need a ton if you have this 182-page illustrated volume.

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