The first step is selecting ebony. This block is Cambodian ebony which has been cured for nine years. I have worked with this particular lot before and it will take a high lustrous polish with a rich black color. Not all ebony will produce these results. Ebony of this quality is extremely difficult to procure. Look to future posts on bow making materials for further information on this topic.
Here we see the block roughed out. Beginning dimensions have been established and the block is now trapezoidal and symmetrical. The flanks have been hollowed just a bit. A hole was drilled through and a channel has been made down to the hole with a handsaw. This is the very beginning of the throat, an important stylistic point for the maker and connoisseur. All of the work that you will see in this ongoing frog series is done with hand tools right on the bench. An historic French maker, say Dominique Pecatte could sit down at my bench and make a bow with the tools at hand.
Now a shelf is established on the base of the frog. This shelf is the same depth as the thickness of the bottom of the sterling silver ferrule or passant. You can view photos of the tools and techniques used in this process at my website, http://robertmorrowbowmaker.com.Bow making, cello bow, cello frog, French method bow making, traditional bow making