BowWorks Bowmaking Catalog
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Ordering Info


Highlighted items are linked to images of the materials
Fish and Wildlife Regulations
The Words We Use
The Shells They Used - A review of the historical use of shell inbow making.



(Per Five)

G. Bass
Green Ab Standard
Green Ab Rippled
**Our bass slides in awabi are laminated.
Laminated Shell: Is 2 ply, the top “A” side is one piece .4mm thick with the back side .3mm

more info on two-ply

(Materials for German Bass aslo available in MOP)


SILE10 1.0 mm thick by 10 mm wide 4.75/.5 meter
SILE50 1.5 mm thick by 10 mm wide 4.75/.5 meter
10% discount when ordering 10 or more slide liners, mix & match.


From 4-9 mm in diameter in 0.5 mm increments

Per 10

GDR40 4.0mm 6.50
GDR45 4.5mm 6.50
GDR50 5.0mm 6.50
GDR55 5.5mm 6.50
GDR60 6.0mm 6.50
GDR65 6.5mm 6.50
GDR70 7.0mm 6.50
GDR75 7.5mm 7.20
GDR80 8.0mm 7.20
GDR85 8.5mm 7.20
GDR90 9.0mm 7.20
GDR10 10mm 7.95
GDR11 11mm 7.95


From 4-9 mm in diameter in 0.5 mm increments

Per 10

DJA40 4.0mm 7.20
DJA45 4.5mm 7.20
DJA50 5.0mm 7.20
DJA55 5.5mm 7.20
DJA60 6.0mm 7.20
DJA65 6.5mm 7.20
DJA70 7.0mm 7.20
DJA75 7.5mm 7.60
DJA80 8.0mm 7.60
DJA85 8.5mm 7.60
DJA90 9.0mm 7.60
DJA10 10mm 8.95
DJA11 11mm 8.95

WHITE OYSTER (Mother of Pearl)

From 4-9 mm in diameter in 0.5 mm increments

Per 10

DWO40 4.0mm 4.70
DWO45 4.5mm 4.70
DWO50 5.0mm 3.60
DWO55 5.5mm 3.60
DWO60 6.0mm 3.60
DWO65 6.5mm 3.60
DWO70 7.0mm 3.60
DWO75 7.5mm 4.70
DWO80 8.0mm 6.90
DWO86 8.5mm 6.90
DWO90 9.0mm 6.90
DWO10 10mm 7.45
DWO11 11mm 7.45
Two-Ply Laminated Abalone
These are slide blanks that are made from one piece that is 4 tenths of a millimeter thick (the A side) that has been glued to one or more other pieces to stabilize it and keep the blank flat. The total shicknness is 7 tenths of a millimeter. The pieces are sawn from the natural curve of the shell allowing smaller and thinner shells to give us the length wee need for slides and give greater yield per shell. As the last of the large shells are used up, this is our future. Enjoy! The look of the blanks in finished form is the same as the solid pieces.

Fish and Wildlife Regulations
U.S. Fish & Wildlife regulations state that to import or exprt any shell or piece of shell for commercial purposes you need to be licensed by them. I had a $4000 .00 shipment siezed by thhem because it contained one commercial Geman frog that hade an Awabi slide. The package was held until the shipper gave the scientific name of the shell, the country of origin and the value. Then I had to apply for my import/export license ($100 per year and $55 per inspection. If UPS handles the shipment, they will tack on another $50 for holding your shipment. I have added the scientific name of the shell annd the coiuntry of origin as a resource for you in the event that F&W ever asks you. (Quick hint: "I don't know is always the wrong answer.) Also, for anyone using the "baby abs" for eyes it is most likely Haliotis galabra, South Pacific, but since they ask for a county, perhaps you should say "Philippines."

The Words We Use
We often use words like 'ormeau', 'awabi', 'paua' or 'abalone' in an attempt to describe a species of Haliotis. In reality 'ormeau', 'Freance', 'awabi', 'japan', 'paua', 'New Zealand' or 'abalone' in American English are simple the regional common names for the family Haliotis thapajt have over a hundred members worldwide.

The Shells They Used

As a brief guide I will make the following, brief statements:

The French

The Peccatte school would have, for the most part, been using the Ormeau. This is a member of the Haliotis family that lives off of the coast of North-Western France. It often has a small, tight flame that runs through the shell. It is a very small shell, making it difficult to get pieces long enough tio make a slide. I believe that it was generally worked along the natural curve of the shell and then flattened. Its main value today is due to its historic use and would otherwise be considered too marginal.

The Pajoet school around the same time was using the green abalone from what is now Baja and Southern California. They favored the piece from the inside and around the muscled scar—i.e. the heart—of the shell.

Viorin to modern day French use, for the most part, the Awabi shell from Japan. Japan was reopened fto Western trade in 1853.

The English...

such as the Hills were, for the most part, using White Mother of Pearl for their standard bows. I assume this shell came from Australia due to their relations to the ex-pat felons living there. However,
in fancy, Gold-mounted bows made by such makers as
Tubbs you will sometimes see the "heart" of the black abalone.

The Germans...

In their early bows were using, I believe, fresh water shells that are now either endangered or extinct. Makers such as
Bausch would, at some times, use Green ab heart. In most of the 20th century their silver-mounted bows were fitted with very high quality green flamed abalone with most shifting to awabi in the latter part of the 20th century to the present day.

The American School...

Is too promiscuous for the space and time available.

All prices in US Dollars.
All prices subject to change without notice.

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Bow Making Supplies
PO Box 263, Little River, CA 95456
Phone: 707-937-0570
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BowWorks sells all of the materials needed to make bows for stringed instruments.
If you are a bow maker, bow restorer, or practice the craft of bowmaking as a hobby,
BowWorks has the materials you need.
Steven Beckley makes fine violin bows, viola bows and cello bows.

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