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Berl Mendenhall

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    McConnelsville,Ohio USA

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  1. Like Violadamore, I've known of Addies illness for quite a while. We were both battling cancer and PM'ed each other to check in. Addie and I had other things in common, I love old folk art and he was a very good artist. We both love old tools and old furniture. Sometimes we would talk and not even mention violins. I feel so sad this evening, what a loss.
  2. It is with great sadness that I report Addie has passed away. He had been battling brain cancer for some time. He will be sadly missed by me and many members here. MN has lost a valued member and a friend.
  3. My hat is off to you John. Share the love of a great craft.
  4. Couldn't agree more. Quit worrying about what someone found in their test. They all can be argued about just how accurate they are. Find something you like, there are excellent varnish's and grounds for sale. The key is learn to use it. Application and manipulation are everything. Lowly colophony, mastic, and linseed oil can be beautiful when used correctly. Same goes for good spirit varnish. One other thing is, what you do with the finish after it's dry. How you rub it out can be huge as far as appearance.
  5. I just love old tools especially tools made by artist craftsmen/women with an eye for a little bling bling. Nothing wrong with adding a heart, or a flower, or a vain and leaf. Many early blacksmiths were real artist. There are a more and more tool makers all over the world who have returned to making high quality hand tools. Mostly hand planes I think. These tools are amazing both in design and function .
  6. Mike, thanks for the reply. I was hoping you would add to the discussion. I still think, and I wish someone would prove me right or wrong, that these were the only kind of iron vices produced until the 19th century when the industrial revolution started.
  7. I've had this vice for 25 years. Picked it up at a tool dealer. It is a manufactured vice. Cast iron. You can see the casting marks. The bolting bracket has made in the USA casting. The overall shape and parts look similar but that's where the similarities end. The old one was made by a blacksmith craftsman, mine was made by pouring melted iron into a mold. I believe, and I'm not positive about this, that these were the only type of metal vices made in the 17th and 18th century. I've never seen a really old vice that looks different. These leg vices would be easy for a blacksmith to make. The leg was just part of the way it was made and not for absorbing blows. Also they are usually 39 inches tall. Perfect for filing parts like locks and hinges for violin cases, or gun barrels, and gun locks just to name a few. I believe these vices were in most if not all craft shops. Let's not forget Strad lived next door to a blacksmith. A man Strad loaned money too.
  8. Brad thank you for the link. I've been reading up on these and other vices. I believe these vices were used much more for holding than hammering. It just seems to me these early leg vices were wrought iron and later the manufactured ones are cast iron. It does take much of a hammer blow to crack or break these types of iron. These were used for holding while filing and lite hammering of gun works and other small parts made by blacksmiths, gunsmiths and other tradesmen.
  9. One of my weaknesses. If I could afford it I'd have a museum.
  10. I haven't posted any pictures of antique tools in a while. Here is a wrought iron vice. A real thing of beauty. It belongs to Jim Bode Tools, he is an antique tool dealer. I have no connection to him, I'm on his e-mail list so I get updates on tools. This vice is covered with decorations. The blacksmith took great pride in his work. None of the decorations make the vice work better, but it sure adds to the beauty. Fun to wonder if Strad had something similar on his bench. Anyway something nice to look at.
  11. Wonderful, just another detail about Stradivari's shop.
  12. How about a picture of the case in the same position as the x-Ray?
  13. Addie is right. France, Germany, and I believe England had strict guilds. So strict that in some places if a maker moved from one town to another they had to retrain in order to be excepted in that guild. I don't believe makers in Cremona had such a guild. Some historians believe Stradivari was trained as a lute maker somewhere other than Cremona. When he moved to Cremona he made all types of string instruments, eventually zeroing in on the violin family. This may sound a little outlandish, but no more than some of the other theories. He was such a great artist/craftsman he did great work no matter what he was making. Until we have some real proof of training, it's all guess work.
  14. I agree completely, we forget he was making something relatively new, but in my opinion he did a hell of a job. I don't think there has been near enough research done on his work. Granted they aren't nearly as pretty as the Amati's, Strad's, or even DG's. Also I think there are few left. In the Hill books on Strad and the Guarneri"s they thought both Strad and DG were trying to get Maggini 's big sound. If they were good enough for those two guys to want to copy they must have had something special about there sound.
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