Dave Slight

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    Manchester, England

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  1. George, that looks like a cleaning attempt gone dreadfully wrong.
  2. Well done for not bidding, you just saved yourself from wasting your money. This is just cheap rubbish, which has had some horrible repairs done in the past, and now someone has decided to "enhance" it further by drawing black bits on with a marker pen to make the clueless think it must be ancient and valuable. A fanciful tale about a prominent estate, and supposed professional use seal the deal for those without any sense. Are you sure it's from an estate? Looks more like it's in a state.
  3. Looks like they could be pillars for closing a crack, the fact they are in pairs suggests this. Pillars are a temporary addition to facilitate gluing, and should be removed afterwards. I assume there will be a crack visible there on the outside.
  4. The new pictures clear it up, at some stage the scroll has been broken off. Retouching not terribly good either.
  5. From the first set of pictures, it looks like the bass side of the scroll has been cheeked. The volute looks much plainer, and you can see where it was feathered out.
  6. Adrian, you can also use a chisel very successfully to fit bridge feet. Often it can be better than a knife for this purpose.
  7. The relevant distance is measured directly between the upper soundhole eyes.
  8. It was a type of unhardened Sheffield tool steel, I don’t remember what the actual composition of the steel was. I shaped all of the blanks to a sharp edge before they went in the kiln. My feeling is that the excellent kiln made the most of the steel, rather than the other way around, but I could be wrong.
  9. When I was at college, we had access to a digital kiln for heating steel, soaking it, and tempering. My tutor advised me to make the most of it. I made copies of four knives and a set of thumb plane irons. To this day, I've never found any blades to beat them. I’ve tried a lot since and only found one commercial type which came close. Had I known at the time, I would have made many more. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
  10. I'm sure they will be wonderful tools, and have excellent steel, but 13 seems a huge number for scrolls. I don't understand why so many of them are the same radius, just in different widths, but this could be down to my way of working. For violin and viola I usually use three or four gouges and a chisel, for cello I use another two in addition to those. I don't think it's unusual to receive new tools just ground from the factory, leaving final fettling and honing to do, just be careful and take your time. At least the one you say has the worst grind is very narrow, so shouldn't take too long to have it perfect.
  11. It seems probable that the Japanese violin mentioned earlier is made using a native timber. You don’t really see that sort of figure in European work. One of our Japanese colleagues may have the answer.
  12. Some info about the history of micro photography, Stanhope lenses and a Nurnberger picture bow.
  13. While it may play very well indeed for a Hill, it is very unlikely that anyone would pay the same, or even close to the same for one in this condition, vs one in fine condition.
  14. Do you know what his favourite beer was? I hope you enjoy the celebrations for your namesake!
  15. It is difficult to be certain from the limited photos, but the corner blocks & linings are looking like later replacements, along with the neck block. One piece tops are by no means unique, and your idea about the scroll is way, way off the mark.