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About Fridolin

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  1. Hello everyone, I’m just back from my first trip to Cremona, where I had the chance to see the instruments at the Palazzo Comunale. It definitely helps to see the instruments directly. The varnish in particular can at least in my experience look very different on pictures and posters. After this fascinating experience I wonder where other great instrument collections are open to the public. Can you suggest anything good (preferably in Europe). Thanks Fridolin
  2. Fridolin

    Amber varnish

    Hi Collin, I have recently started making my own amber varnish. I have found the descriptions given in Geary Baese's book on the old italian varnishes to work for me. The difficult part is to fuse the amber, which requires A LOT of heat. In my experience 300°C is not enough. I use special lab equipment (glassware and electric heat source). You also get a lot of toxic and smelly fumes (It can not be done inside). Once you have fused the amber, it easily dissolves in linseed oil (at a much lower temperature) and it gives a very thick varnish that dries within 24h in my UV cabinet. Good luck if you want to try it, but I suggest to be very careful! Fridolin
  3. Hi everybody! I am currently trying to make a "Vernice Liquida" varnish consisting of a Sandarac to Linseed oil ratio of 1:3. Although I try to follow the instructions given in Geary Baese's book, my sandarac does not want to go (and stay) into solution. Do you have any suggestions or ideas? Thanks!
  4. Hello everyone and greetings from Heidelberg (Germany) I have just finished building my first violin and I have so far found the discussions on this Forum very helpful during construction of the instrument. I have now come to the difficult part of varnishing, and I think I have made about every mistake one can make (I guess this is the way you learn it...). Although I collected a lot of literature on violin varnish, somehow a lot of questions remain unanswered. My first attempt was to varnish with a spirit varnish composed of propolis, mastic and sandarac as described by Klawitter in his book. I was not able to create an even surface and I believe, that my brushing technique caused the underlying varnish layer to go into solution again, leaving bare wood at some spots... Since oil varnish is supposed to be applied more easily, I would now like to switch. I read, that incorporation of resins during drying/polymerization/oxidation of the linseed oil makes the resins insoluble during application of the next layer. My questions concerning this are: 1) Does this effect work only if you boil resins with the linseed oil or does it also work if you first dissolve (e.g. mastic) in turpentine an then mix in the cool linseed oil as it is done for the "Darnton mastic varnish". 2) The Darnton mastic varnish sound very interesting to me. Since mastic is considered to be a very soft resin, I wonder if it would be possible to combine it with other resins. Does anyone have a good suggestion and /or experience with e.g. propolis, sandarac or anything else. Thank you all in advance for your help!