Trade Secrets: Designing and making a ferrule

1- Cutting the silver

This small part of a bow frog can have a huge effect on the bow’s final overall style

By Éric Gagné

Bow maker based in Montreal, Canada

There is a reason why the ferrule is the first part I make when I start a new bow: it is the key piece that acts as my guide through the whole bow making process. As such, for me, the design of the ferrule shapes the whole concept of the bow. I find that ferrule characteristics are central to the bow making process, as much as they influence the final result – they embody the artistic spirit of the bow.

I use the ferrule’s shape, proportions and curvature as guides to determine the bow’s overall style. If its proportions are strongly connected to those of the frog, and then to the bow itself, the ferrule ultimately influences its playability.

For example, the width of the ferrule will give the width of the hair, while its height influences frog height, then head height, then hair height, then camber possibilities. This is why I project the ferrule’s lines and volume into the frog’s profile and shape.

Ferrules also have some mechanical aspects that I find can contribute to lengthening frog longevity. These are among the things I keep in mind when I design and make a ferrule…

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