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About Eryri

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  2. Great thread, thanks for the link.
  3. You could try the following, all of which I've found helpful to make invisible glue line rub joints for backs and fronts. Working back wards... Using a metalwork vice to hold the wood when gluing, as the short length of the metalwork vice's gripping area ensures it will not distort your piece of wood. Hold one piece in the vice, hold the other next to it, use a wide brush to get both surfaces at once and not too thick glue. A fresh batch and the consistency of maple syrup. A quick up and down glue stroke, a quick up and down rub, leave. Do not heat the wood pieces up, to give a longer working time with the glue, they will distort. Plane your two pieces held together in the vice, until they're pretty good. then take them out of the vice and put your plane in, blade up - despite having a Bailey jointer, I find myself using another, medium length Bailey plane. With the blade set extremely fine, you can now adjust high spots in your two pieces. There are various ways to check the fit of the joint - pressing together, twisting and looking through with a light behind. Another one if find very useful is to put one piece in the vice, and balance the other on top with just gravity keeping it there - small gaps where it doesn't fit seem to be more obvious. When you have established where a high spot is, and made an educated guess which side the fault is with, take a see-through shaving with your plane by pressing a little harder in that area as you pull the wood over the plane blade. The plane needs to be razor sharp. The adjustment can take a few strokes to each side, if you're in luck and it goes well, or a bit longer. But bear in mind there is no faffing about clamping up, so you save time there. And the joint is almost impossible to see, as most of the glue rubs out, and hide glue shrinks and pulls in anyway.
  4. I use plain sycamore for wedges. On the head wedge, I cut a corner off, to make a small triangular void into which a knife tip can be inserted to get purchase to aid removal. I also, after hair has dried and I'm happy with the tension, use a toothpick to apply a very small dot of low viscosity CA in the corner of this triangle to wick into the bottom interface of wedge and mortice. I've been doing this for years, and on repeat rehairs there is no problem with removal, or any damage resulting from the glue use . In contrast with an ex J and A Beare craftsman then local to me, who shall remain nameless, who used to fill the head mortice up with thick CA. On good bows too - Tubbs, Hill etc even a Sartory. His use of this practice fell off, as I imagine did his business, when I had the leader of the first violins in to watch me rehair his Tubbs. And I started charging a supplement equal to a rehair to fix this vandalism whenever I came across it.
  5. Good luck with finishing it, and would love to see pictures.
  6. Maidstones. But anyway I think we're done.
  7. Next time you're in a junk shop, look through the pile of sheet music many of them have in some undisturbed corner. Victorian - all piano, piano and voice, violin or piano and violin. As it gets later, you get the WW1 songs, jazz age songs, novelty songs. The vast majority - if I can borrow a phrase of yours - chorded for tenor banjo or uke. You have to ask, who was playing these violins? If - and I doubt this - Mirecourt reached peak production in, say 1920, much of it must have been exported to the US, where, as inferred earlier, the violin would have retained numbers in the folk music area, or even gained popularity due to the exposure to field recording discoveries - Carter Family et al - many of which featured fiddle prominently. I don't have any knowledge of or view on French numbers. However, I ran a successful violin shop in the UK from the mid 80s to the 2000's, so as you can imagine I saw one or two Mirecourt fiddles. Still do.
  8. Another interesting assertion which has not been my experience. If you concede that the violins all conquering popularity began to wane in the last decade of the 19th century, due to the banjo making inroads as the cool instrument to play (Three men in a Boat, 1889, Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar Magazine, 1903), post WW1 numbers must have been really down by then, as the banjo, mandolin, ukelele and tenor and six string guitars were ubiquitous. I'm talking about the UK here, as obviously different conditions obtained in the US, both with Jazz and the recording of what is now called old-time music influencing instrument purchasing. Of course, the french factories ingenuity may have allowed them to substantially increase market share, nevertheless what I see doesn't bear this out - far more 19th century Mirecourt trade violins about than later merchandise. But let it pass...
  9. Oh well, good luck and I hope you prevail!
  10. Sorry for derailing your thread somewhat. I don't think it has anything to do with Derazay, nevertheless it looks a well made and attractive instrument whatever its national attributes may or may not be. To me, has a little of JTL (though a good few grades up from Medio-Fino) as far as I can tell in the pics, (and at the risk of sounding like a JTL obsessive!) I've had a few JTL cellos with similar varnish, labelled Strad. Arching less bulgy, though, but still... The damage wouldn't put me off, though if done by a handyman with handyman glues it might have me thinking twice. You're expecting $ that price its a no brainer, but if its a public auction, it will very likely find something nearer it's true value
  11. I dug around in the workshop slow lane, and found the following... 5 string altoviolin by JTL c1890 Smashed Geronimo Grandini (JTL) JTL no 6, a different one, table off M Couterieux (Laberte) c1920 Hawkes Concert, label absent but c1890, table off Hawkes Professor 7/8 1919 Phebe, JTL c1890 So to be totally fair I've been examining these variously, endpin, mirror and bendalight, and the ones closed I've had a look at thicknesses, particularly adjacent to blocks. And checked the block line is level not angling up to meet a block-platformless front. (Yes, I do own a Hacklinger gauge , Martin).They all check out as not being made from bent wood, except... The only one I could say I couldn't definitively rule out is the Laberte. The arching is very flat, and there is the suspicion of something happening on the lower table treble bout, an inch or so up from the edge, a discoloration which could just be in the wood, and is not hazel. Unfortunately medullary rays on back and front are inconclusive - its very flat, and they're not strong. Internally there is a decent block platform, straight blocks, and the thicknesses are what you would expect, and thicken perceptibly towards the blocks. Nevertheless I'm not totally convinced by this one. The JTL 6 has poor block platforms, and there is some overhang on the top and bottom blocks. Nevertheless there is some platform 80%, say, and nothing else looks suspicious - the arching is nice, full, and looks carved, and medullary rays look as you would expect, so I'm just going to put that down to poor workmanship. All the others? No. So, that's a sample of what, 11 Mirecourt violins, of which one is a possible. To support your assertions " the vast majority of lower level JTL violins are "violons gaufrés" or waffle violins", and "The majority of C20 Mirecourt violins are made in this way", I'd want to be looking at half a dozen or so. Which has not proved to be the case.
  12. You see the top block and block platforms on the plates, or lack of them through the endpin hole. And you're looking along the centre joint, the roof-like internal arching would be clearly visible.