I'm taking a class this semester in the glass lab called Glass Band. The goal is pretty amorphous: make glass instruments. Anyway, one of the guys who's integral to the class is Mark Stewart. Put simply, this guy loves sound. When he first met with us, he brought a case stuffed with strange and awe-inspiring noisemakers. They included bouncy balls with coat hangers poked through them (more about this later), single reed plumbing saxophones (not in any particular tuning), and a daxophone (feed that to YouTube). I'd been toying with the idea of making a bowed instrument for a while, but that did it for me. I first browsed craigslist for bows, but all of them were way out of my price range. I ended up buying the cheapest bow from Amazon that had decent reviews. When it arrived, I gave it a good scrubbin' of rosin and started bowing things. Ceramic bowls are great, glass bowls are also fantastic. Almost anything metal and hollow is interesting. Bicycle spokes are beautiful and eerie when bowed. I bowed my guitar and my uke - what a change in sound! I have to make a bowed bass soon. But first: fiddle. The guitar and uke have no curvature in the bridge or nut, meaning that the fretboard is flat and all of the strings pretty much lie in plane. This makes it hard to bow any of the strings individually. The fiddle I made has two strings, raised well above the resonating membrane, to make for easier bowing.
1"x4"x18" maple board
any kind of screw
2 pieces of fishing line
a $40 bow
I sure do like to build em cheap.