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David Hornett

Latest 5 1/2 Tassey Tiger

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Hi All,


My latest Tassey Tiger, with metal ends. I call it a 51/2 inch, but the way I have inserted the metal blew it out to nearly 5 3/4 inch.


I eventually got the gold leaf (well in this case, silver leaf) skill under the belt.


At some stage I will get a Youtube clip up of someone playing it.


The metal ends certainly add a lot to the volume and spread of tones, compared to the wooden instruments, but they required a change in construction; so the instrument's weight, with the higher box, longer screws and buttons and the extra weight of the metal, and thicker box frames added 200 grams over the wooden ended instruments, to bring the instrument to 1.3kg.


P.S. Nickel silver (German Silver) is not very kind to scroll saw blades.


All the best,



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A work of art to be sure. looking forward to the clip. Questions: did you make the leather embossing tool, or was it made for you, and is it a roller, or flat stamp?

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Thank you all for the nice comments.




Re. the stamps (embossing tool/patterns), they are a flat hot foil press system. I drew up the designs, took a picture, sent them off to a company I found on line. Twenty minutes later at a cost of $US20 each they had it  returned, converted to the right size and line strength, and a format that would run a CNC die cutter. I then emailed it off to the die / stamp maker for cutting. The designs for the end leathers and bellows are different, so two embossing tools (stamps) were needed to be designed and cut. I chose hard brass, rather than softer alloy so they should well outlast me. Cost a pretty penny, BUT, a very kind person gave me the industrial 1930's hot foil press and a box of hot press foil (gold and silver) which needed but a minimum of tinkering with and jig making to get up and running, so it was win win. And I found the machines Operation Manuel on the net as open access.


Now the jig is set up the operation is very fast, 10 minutes for both end leathers and hand straps, and about an hour or so for the 96 bellows leathers, once I have skived the leather to approx. .10 - .20 mm.


Interestingly, the system also embosses wood, and I was thinking of embossing under the handles like Lachenal, but held back thinking it overkill.


All the best, David

Edited by David Hornett

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