Trade Secrets: Restoring the octagon of a violin bow


A repair method that avoids having to rebuild the whole octagon from scratch

Discover more lutherie articles here

Read more premium content for subscribers here

By Erich Perrotta

Bow maker based in Verona, Italy

A musician brought me an old French violin bow (a Lamy, according to her) to be rehaired, but the part that needed the most maintenance was not the hair but the octagon at the frog. It was so worn that at some points it had reached the mortise containing the eyelet, especially at the corners. Many years of use and poor maintenance had consumed the wood, which was cracked in several places. This is not a particularly strange kind of wear, especially after decades of use, but not all players use bows in the same way and a lot depends on the way they hold the bow, as well as the acidity of each player’s skin…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.