notsodeepblue

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  1. I can see that at this level, a shop would have nothing to offer you in reality. I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss a local violin shop as a good (occasional) source of such instruments: I visited my local violin shop for some strings a while back, and after introducing myself and explaining my interest I also ended buying one of the numerous "project" violins the owner had, which he was confident he would never get around to working on and wasn't going to miss. I would also argue that if you go down this route, you are also getting the benefit of a professional having seen the instrument and deciding it was repairable - the ebay route leaves you with only with a handful of pictures, and your opinion. And as others suggest, this kind of relationship can prove invaluable in the longer term: While it's not impossible that you might get this with an ebay seller, it's significantly more likely you will with a person standing in front of you who shares your interests.
  2. Just subjected the rest of the original spindle to the sniff-test, and no char (or anything else). I don't think I can recall anything of the like when I received it either - thanks for the suggestion though, a readily believable cause of such variation. At which point, I think I will just accept that this is meant to remain a little mystery and leave it be. I will keep my windowsill / dark room control samples where they are for a few weeks, and may post a final picture if it produces an impressive contrast just for posterity. Thanks all for the ideas and thoughts - I've picked up all sorts of interesting links and suggestions as a result.
  3. Thanks for the recommendation - I'll give those a go.
  4. Thanks. The listed density definitely seems to be in the right ballpark. Does Mpingo undergo the type of rapid colour change this wood seems to be capable of? That's something I've only ever associated with pretty looking veneer, and so didn't really consider it. I will go and browse some images - thanks. As a follow-up, after 72 hours sitting on a south-facing windowsill - exposed to occasional, watery English sunshine - my mystery wood is now looking like a rugby jersey: I haven't been able to get hold of anything potent to test it with yet, but did confirm that potassium permanganate had absolutely no effect on a freshly scraped section.
  5. What a fantastic resource - thanks very much for the link. I can't imagine that the spindle I bought could possibly have been that old, but it was in an online wood-dealers "specials" category so perhaps not something they knew too much of the history of either. I have no ammonia or acid to hand, but will do my best to track some down - I will put a drop of whatever I find on a freshly-sawn and scraped face, documenting the before and after whenever I am able to find some (might take a while, but I will make a point of doing this whenever I am able). For the interested, I attach a picture ~24 hours on from cutting (sorry for the slightly washed out colours on the right hand side of the image). The top blank is the colour as-received (i.e. outer surface colour of the original spindle), the middle is with me chasing direct sunlight for a day (6-8 hours total drect sunlight, the rest either indirectsunlight or darkness), and the bottom section has been sitting in a darkened corner of a dark room for the same amount of time: I will keep these two pieces where they currently are for a couple of weeks at least, and update the colours if and when they change significantly. thanks all,
  6. Thanks - that was my first instinct when I saw how substantially different the interior was to the exterior. This timber is so dense (this piece is ~1,200kg/m^3 as-received) that that I thought it might have been a cheaper / less desirable material treated to deceive, somewhere along the supply line where volume or weight was involved. I have taped-up a section of freshly exposed wood and left it in direct sunlight to se how much and how quickly this wood tans - if there is an interesting effect, I will post a picture of the results. thanks again,
  7. That is such a stunning bow - congratulations!
  8. ...me too! It is indeed both, and attached a shot of a rough cut blank that I think shows this better, as well as how the colour bleeds into the surface a few mm and in places more deeply (the cut-surface is straight off the coping saw, no planing or scraping at all): The dark outer surface is the same as when I received it a couple of years ago, and doesn't seem to have changed much when kept in indirect sunlight, along with other timber. It was a 50x50mm spindle that was uniform on all 4 faces of the blank, hence when I saw the colour of the dust while resawing it I became ...confused. I am going to be putting a small sample under uv light later this weekend to see if / how quickly this transformation occurs, but it is a pretty extraordinary difference and hence I was struggling to identify from photographs what it might be.
  9. That's great - thanks. All ideas about what this might be are most welcome, as I've exhausted mine and have no clue. Do you mean Gilles Nehr? I have only seen pictures of his work, but it is deeply impressive. Two votes - it really is amazing how maestronet can find answers to questions like this. Thanks very much. For information, whatever this wood turns out to be it planes and scrapes more cleanly and easily than any other I have experience of ...but almost caught fire when I first tried to cut it with an old, dull coping saw blade (I guess from significant amounts of oil in the wood, and very fine sawdust). thanks again,
  10. I wonder if anyone might have any ideas about what the wood pictured below might be (pictures show freshly-sawn and scraped, and as-received)? For context, I bought a single spindle of this wood online two or three years ago from a wood-dealer (for purposes unrelated to violin or bow making) who described it as "panga" - I assumed the wood I was buying was panga-panga (https://www.wood-database.com/panga-panga/), but as it had a density of ~1,200kg/m^3 (which seemed a bit too high) I had second thoughts and put it on a shelf. The spindle was a uniform chocolate-brown when I received it, apart from the wax covered ends which were near-black, and as far as I can tell the colour hasn't changed since I received it. Today, I decided to resaw it, and when I saw the colour, grain and figure of the wood thought itwas worth trying to cut a bow-blank or two. The wood seems extremely elastic (even compared to my modest-quality pernambuco blanks), and has a nice long ring to it when dropped on a workbench. Not much to go on, but is anyone able to offer any suggestions as to what wood I might have (or even if I should just save myself some grief, and give up on the idea of using it for a bow or two)? thanks in advance,
  11. Interesting idea - it came to me in the box below (a little more red than pink, in person), which I assumed was just somewhere the original owner used to keep once it came off the stick, it but perhaps its been in there from the start and there was no stick to begin with. Are these identifyably Hill packaging colours?
  12. That's really helpful - thanks. On the one I have, the pin goes all the way through the tongue - I don't suppose you noticed if yours was the same?
  13. I only have the frog - It came in amongst a box of luthier bits: I thought it highly likely that it was a Hill Fleur-de-lys, and bought the box to get it - the plan was to use as a reference as I am starting to make my own bows, I just didn't realise it was tortoise (I thought it was modern enough that it was post-CITES and had to be plastic). In the hand, it says "Jan 74" - I presume this was the last date that anyone took the slide off and felt compelled to document the event. Whether that was the date it was made, a date of a re-hai, or the the date when the frog was retired from the stick, I have no idea unfortunately.
  14. ...Well that's pretty conclusive - thanks very much! Not having (knowingly) handled shell before, I am astonished at how much like a modern plastic it looks and feels. I've made a bit of a mistake in this case, and it sounds like this kind of identification is a minefield and best avoided if unfamiliar so not unsurprising. Thanks all for the information - very much appreciated.
  15. Can anyone offer any pointers on how to determine whether a frog is shell, or faux? The frog pictured below has: - A visible surface "grain". - Is not terribly transparent. - Has no obvious lamination lines on the underslide (there are length-wise scratches visible in the images) or mortice surfaces. I (obviously) have no experience of handling or identifying shell, but hoped that if it were real it would be more transparent, with more-obvious signs of lamination - I hoped this was resin/plastic, but am not sure because of the surface grain. thanks in advance,