Materials that I use for bowmaking

Kees van Hemert - Bowmaker

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two different qualities of Ebony are being used for the frogs I make. All ivory is Fossilized Mammoth Ivory. Most silver is Sterling Silver. For modern bows goldfittings are possible too, in different Gold colors, in 14 and 18 carat.
Most shell material used is green or red Abalone.
Best bows have Silverfish shell and Stainless steel high precision screws wit bronze eyelet.
A few other wood species are under trial, for instance European Hardwood for Renaissance vielle and violinbows.


Baroque Bows


For my Baroque bows I use almost exclusively very well selected and quartercut higly figured, Snakewood (Piratinera Guianensis).


Classical Bows


In this relatively short period we find quite a few different woods being used by the bowmakers of the day to accomodate the rapidly changing musical demands, which could not be satisfied with Baroque Bows any longer.
The species that I use for this period are:


Snakewood (Piratinera Guianensis)

Plain, striped and higly figured different specific weights: plain 1,2 gr per cubiq cm, striped 1,25 to 1,3 grams per qubic cm and 1.3/1.4 grams for higly figured corewood.


Ironwood (Swartzia Banya)

1.3 (average) grams per cubiq cm.


Ironwood (Guyana Blackwood)

1.22 (average) grams per cubiq cm


Ironwood (Wamera)

1.25 (average) grams per cubiq cm.



1.13 (average ) grams per cubiq cm.


Pernambuco (Enchinata Caesalpinia)

same specifications as for the contemporary bows (see below).


Contemporary Bows


Almost all my modern bows are made with Pernambuco (Echinata Caesalpinia).
I use Pernambuco of a specific weight between 1 gram to 1.2 grams per cubic cm.
The choice of wood depends on many variables, desired tonal qualities, models, handling etcetera.

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Last modification to this page was done on
[ 2000, 2001 K.van Hemert ]