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Posts posted by Fridolin

  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).




  2. 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


    Good luck if you want to try it, but I suggest to be very



  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?


  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!