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Varnish Cure time...
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L P Reedy
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Joined: 02 Apr 2009
Posts: 242
Location: Brevard, NC

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should have reread a little. "Volatile" in the description strongly implies drying by evaporation, in which case raising the temperature a few degrees AFTER most of the solvent is gone might speed it up a little, but some formulations release the last of the solvent very slowly.
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kjb
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Joined: 06 Feb 2013
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could also ask joe, he is very forthcoming with the info on his varnish.
again my memory is not that good, but it might not be drying as we think of it more the curing as a chemical process?
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Mikes
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Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Varnish Cure time... Reply with quote

Dave Chandler wrote:
catnip wrote:
I have heard that if you use Volatile Balsam oil varnish it will dry very quickly and give a very hard surface. I have not used it.


I've put several coats of Joe Robson's volatile balsam varnish on a fiddle, and after 2 weeks still holds a finger print for a half hour or so before it disappears, so I'd say its not that fast. I pushed on another fiddle, that got its final coat same time, put on a bridge, and then a bridge lifter to make some adjustments. The bridge lifter took up the varnish underneath, so that has to be revarnished and the start time begins again on letting it set.

An observation - I put these fiddles in the sun, and almost immediately got bubbles coming up through the varnish, so its obvious this type varnish doesn't react to sunshine the way an oil varnish would.

Another observation, I rubbed the varnish with Italian Pumice to cut the gloss, and the next day it was glossy once again. I think its still soft enough it will repair itself yet, just like the thumbprint will eventually disappear.

finally, A QUESTION -- is there a way of speeding up the hardening of this balsam varnish? Yes it acts like a spirit varnish, and you have to put it on real fast, and it does come off with alcohol, or you can thin it with alcohol as well. BUT, it takes a long time to become completely hard.

I think you have to wait till its impossible to put a thumbprint on the surface before you can even rub the finish. I'm thinking 3 weeks or more.


I've experienced the exact same thing with Joe's Greek pitch varnish. This varnish takes many months to dry even in my light box. It eventually tightens up really nice to the wood texture which I like a lot though. Also when it comes out of the light box it does seem really good but then loosens up over the next several days, this is it's self healing characteristic. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but kjb's comments confirm that the varnish does act this way. I need to take one of Joe's classes!
Thx,
Mike Spencer
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 673
Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Varnish Cure time... Reply with quote

Mikes wrote:
I need to take one of Joe's classes!


You and me both!

Thanks for the input. I have strung up one that has been about 4 weeks since final varnish, a little imprint of the bridge feet, but otherwise I have been able to polish the varnish out with tripoli, and it is gorgeous. Will not use a string lifter for some months, but that's OK. Still smelling the varnish, probably will for some time.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
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"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Ernie Martel
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Joined: 01 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been awhile since I posted here. I have done a lot of varnish making and experimentation since. I have found that washing the oil helps the drying process immensely. Since it is the mucilage and junk in the oil that keeps things from drying.

Certain driers can help speed the curing process if the oil is not washed well, as does applying the varnish in very thin coats.

My current varnish needs no driers and I can put a bridge on in two weeks or sooner without any pull up. I attribute this to the way in which I wash the oil.


http://www.tadspurgeon.com/justoil.php


Last edited by Ernie Martel on Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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kjb
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for that link!
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Ernie Martel
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your welcome. Be aware too that resins differ greatly. From different trees and from tree to tree. Some resins are softer than others and are used as plasticizers to soften a harder resin.

I'm using raw Aleppo pine resin that I buy from Greece which produces a rather soft varnish. So I add another resin to it to harden it further. Combined with the hand refined oil, it dries on it's own very well without any driers.
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Dave Chandler
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Joined: 31 Oct 2007
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Location: Mt Mitchell in North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info Ernie.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Ernie Martel
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think taking one of Joe's workshops would really help to understand varnishing terminology and sort out what we think is correct procedure and what is not.

Example: What I consider a thin coat of varnish may be not what you are applying. Joe can answer the how's and why's of varnish application which could be hanging us up.

Like most workshops put on by those with the experience, I think it is well worth the expense and sacrifice.

-Cheers
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed!
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm" Winston Churchill

"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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kjb
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

he dabs a little varnish on a small section, then uses the heel of his palm to work it in hit and pull back so it makes a smacking souind, you can move the varnish laterally this way, and very thin, then move on to the next section. use fingertips where you cant reach with the heel, and some places of course you have to use a brush. But yes the class is great, and ifyou already know about varnish ( unlike I did) you would get a whole lot more out of it, he is very available to talk throughout the 5 days.
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