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Balsam Varnish
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Chet Bishop
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

" I would not put this on the spruce."

Is that becasuse of the uneven absorption common in spruce?
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Chet Bishop
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly!
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

actonern wrote:
Balsam resin can be cooked with linseed oil at a 4 parts resin 1 part oil ratio to make a very transparent and beautiful ground coat.
This sounds like Manfio's approach, he uses a thinned version of his varnish to give the wood some contrast before he seals it. Your mix of 4:1 resin to oil, sounds like a very nice ground, not enough oil to make the wood soak up a lot of the oil. I presume you probably have to keep it hot enough to be fluid long enough to rub it onto the wood surface? Or is this enough oil to keep it from solidifying? Would you have to add some turp?
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
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"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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Joseph Leahy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

actonern wrote:
Balsam resin can be cooked with linseed oil at a 4 parts resin 1 part oil ratio to make a very transparent and beautiful ground coat.


Hi Ernie

Cooking separately and then together?
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actonern
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Separately, yes. Once the resin has cooked to your satisfaction, been filtered while hot and allowed to cool, it can be crumbled up and more accurately weighed to establish the oil/resin ratio. Then reheated, incorporated with hot oil and cooked some more.
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After several months, a violin on which I've used my varnish, I'm finding that it is too brittle, and easily rubs off. Allthough I'm extremely pleased with the look, I can't leave the varnish as it is.

What can I add to my recipe to make this varnish more durable without affecting its clarity?

Right now its just resin, gum elemi, and spike lavender. And of course, alcohol.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
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DonLeister
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking shellac, dewaxed, and cook it in to make sure it all melts in. Cooking like in a double boiler, say 180 F or so.
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seedlac might work, I have some of that.
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

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"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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DonLeister
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seedlac will have wax in it, you probably know, which makes it more flexible. Of course, you want some flexibility, maybe the wax would be a good thing?

I was first thinking the dewaxed would be harder and make it more durable but now that I think about it the wax in the seedlac might make it less chippy but more durable overall.
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just noticed Michael Darnton's addition to his on-line book, regarding varnish making, and application techniques. Lots of really good stuff here, and a very good read.

http://www.darntonviolins.com/violinmagazine/book/1varnishing.pdf
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Dave in the Blue Ridge
Southern Violin Association

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"I took the road less travelled, and now I don't know where I am." Marco Polo
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DonLeister
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been a while since I read the part on varnishing but yes there is so much good information in his writings.

I'm not sure if it is in the book but I know he has said he uses an airbrush for some things so I bought one not long go and I love it. Especially for putting on spirit varnishes. What a time saver!
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Dave Chandler
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I've been experimenting with applying spirit varnishes with an air gun, and it is the only way I would put spirit varnish on now. I took an old fiddle and have revarnishd it a half dozen times, stripping in between, and starting to get the hang of it. The type with the adjustable volume works great, so you can lay it on with a few sweeps. I'm finding that using an air brush, you can put a very intense layer on evenly using just a few grams of varnish, which gives you more clear overcoat to work with still keeping the amount of varnish at such a small amount it has minimal affect on the tonal qualities.

It's also a nice way to apply oil varnish, once again you can put on an intense color layer evenly with minimal amount of varnish.
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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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DonLeister
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree totally. I do so much retouching, the airbrush makes it so easy. I wish I had gotten it a long time ago!
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