In a word - no. Alas!
I collected the repaired part of the Arab press that has been with the blacksmith for over a year. The repair looked strong enough. I know that he has not been keen to take on the work but I am glad that he tried. Here we are:
You can see the repair as the light area on the right hand side. The positioning of the two broken parts was crucial and, after spending an hour fitting it, it was with my heart in my mouth that I turned the flywheel. The press started to move but, after about one quarter of a turn, it started to jam. The repaired pieces were slightly misaligned. There was no point in trying to force things with more pressure and so I brought the press to rest and let it be.
My only hope is that I can locate a spare part now. It has been frustrating to have this lovely old press standing unused and it looks as if the frustrations will continue.
So now... a cup of tea should soothe. Then it is back out to the studio to carry on with the illustration. Tonight I will attempt the face. Its death or glory now; if the face fails then all is lost and I start again - the reason why I normally start with the face.
An earlier positive development was the start of the final drawing for the JG bookplate - one of my long term projects that has been on the back burner while I considered the many elements that are contained in the design. I am gradually working through my outstanding bookplate commissions and hope to have them all at least in the rough sketch stage within a couple of weeks.