Making Matters: Secrets of the sticks

MakingMattersMain

New software, soon to be released as a free download, promises to help bow makers measure historical examples and adapt their own methods accordingly. Nelly Poidevin explains how it works

For some time now, I have been using a new kind of tool in my workshop. Part of it is visible near the workbench, but most of it is housed in my computer. It arose from a collaborative project called PAFI (Plateforme d’Aide à la Facture Instrumentale, or ‘platform to support instrument making‘) and is basically a system to measure the thicknesses of the bow stick, its camber and the stiffness of the wood. Each of these is something over which the bow maker has control (stiffness coming partly from the choice of wood). With this system I can record the data for every historical bow that comes into my workshop, and use it to guide my choices when making my own models…

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