Daily Archives: March 12, 2008

Hearthcraft Book Update

Total word count, hearthcraft book: 51,541
New words today: 494
Carrot count: 6+

How’s that for misleading? I deleted five pages and ended up with two pages of new/refocused stuff.

I hate, hate, hate that my productive period begins just around two-forty-five, and then I have to pack everything in at four-fifteen. Hate it. But in those twoish hours I do get a stunning amount of focused work done. I only wish I could get into that headspace at, say, nine-thirty.

Guess What, It’s Snowing Again

An e-mail exchange during work this afternoon:

HRH: It’s snowing again. I’m starting to feel like a extra in the Narnia books.

Autumn: I said “Always winter and never Christmas” to Miranda just this morning!

HRH: How long was winter in the story?

Autumn: Over a hundred years.

HRH: Someone please kill the White Witch!

Autumn: Dude, you’re the one with the lion on his house crest. Do it already.

Experiments in Bowmaking

The frog of my main bow cracked last fall as a result of a small boy-related incident. I filled the crack with Krazy Glue and it’s been fine so far. I know, I know; purists are shuddering. I paid about $150 for this bow; it would likely cost me about that much to have the frog replaced. And I love this bow; the balance is perfect, the weight is perfect, and I don’t want to buy a new one.

Except with the spring concert coming up, I’m starting to worry about the crack, and have visions of the thing giving way during performance. My only usable back-up bow is a really heavy one that hurts my hand because the balance is off. Or rather, it was off.

Last night I took it to HRH and asked if he’d be able to shave some of the wood off the head and gradually extend the taper of the upper half of the stick further towards the middle. As it was, the taper went abruptly from a very thick stick to a much thinner section about three inches long at the tip. He said that while he could do it, he’d be uncomfortable because he’d be worried about breaking or ruining it. In return I pointed out that I’d only paid $80 for it, and to have the reshaping done professionally would cost more than that. Also, I still had my main bow, and so if this backup one was to be broken it wouldn’t be a tragedy.

So we took it downstairs and he set up the Dremel. In half an hour we had carefully reshaped the head and upper half of the stick beautifully. It’s lighter and better balanced, and the head is much more elegant than it was originally; it was very blocky before the remodelling. When I was happy with the weight, the balance, and the tapering along to the middle of the stick he buffed it, and I oiled it. Then came the final test: I sat down to try it out on the cello. To my satisfaction it travels well, and the balance is miles and away better than it had been. The fulcrum point is now a third of the way along from the frog end, where it’s supposed to be, instead of halfway along the stick. I no longer feel like my hand is going to fall off or cramp up from fighting gravity when I hold it. I’m going to use it as my primary bow at rehearsal tonight and see what happens.

Daring, but successful. I’d never have tried it with a more expensive or precious bow. It makes me wonder what we could do with a bow blank, a frog, the facings and screws, and a hank of bow hair. It would be interesting to make my own bow.