weller williams

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About weller williams

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    los angeles
  • Interests
    art, modern and baroque music, gardening

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  1. A good painter of musical instruments is the 17th century Italian, Evaristo Baschenis.
  2. I've used Mexican ironwood for nuts and saddles on my last 3 instruments with no problems. WW
  3. Thanks for all the helpful info. I'll save a few logs, and then see what it's like after a few years. Now it's very dense and resinous. WW
  4. A large ponderosa pine fell nearby our house. Is the wood of any value for instruments? WW
  5. I'm very sorry to hear this. I wish you the best and a welcome recovery. ww
  6. Thank you. I don't usually use such figured wood, but maybe it helps the sound. ww
  7. I was working on this last summer when Chet Bishop was finishing his - didn't expect it would take so long. ww
  8. I think that often I do another wash in a 2nd container of fresher solvent before the alcohol, just in case the 1st vat didn't get the varnish.
  9. Take a coffee can and a piece of 1/2" galvanized wire netting. Cut the netting in a circle of a diameter 1" or so bigger than the can. Crimp the edges of the netting so that when you put it in the can it stands about 1" above the bottom of the can. Fill the can 3/4 full with mineral spirits (why waste turpentine for cleaning brushes?) Brush the brush against the mesh to get out the varnish or paint, which settles to the bottom of the can leaving the layer of solvent above the screen relatively clean. Do this scrubbing a few times, then shake out the brush, and rinse in denatured alcohol. Shake again and wash the brush with dish washing soap. I hope this helps. WW
  10. I tried the Heron-Allen rosewood powder/alcohol to turps transfer a few years ago. Got some color into the turps but not enough to really color the varnish made with it. There were some particulates in the solution as well, and the color tended toward just barely violet. Wm. Johnston suggested here exposure to sunlight, which I did with an improvement of the color. The varnish seemed OK, but have put it on the shelf because I became concerned when I read (here also) that it was susceptible when scratched to leaving a white mark. Perhaps adding more oil than H-A recommends would correct that?
  11. Study the scores of composers who write in the style of music that interests you. They are the experts in notation. WW
  12. Thanks for that perspective on the drying of spike oil. The instrument in the photo is appealing, but at that stage another sealer would look just as good. Weller
  13. There is a short comparison of instruments with different varnish and ground colours used over the time by Stradivari here. (it's written in french but the pictures speak for themselves. There are also some very old varnish recipes) My French understanding isn't total but this Girardin lists a varnish of impregnation or sealer made of spike oil of Lavender and sandarac heated and applied to the instrument before varnishing. I've never heard of such, so wondering if others have? Recette n° 7 (vernis d’imprégnation). Enfin le P. Bonanni dit qu’avant d’employer le vernis sur du bois, il faut le couvrir de vernis suivant pour l’encoller : Huile d’aspic……………………..…..8 onces. Sandaraque en poudre……………5 onces. Le tout étant bien incorporé sur le feu, on en enduit tout chaud la pièce que l’on veut vernir, et lorsqu’elle est sèche, on y met le vernis.
  14. I followed the instructions in the Hammerl book on varnishes, which is to select the darker pieces, steep them in hot water with some potash, stir, and soak for a few days. There's a residue which I assume is the resin which the book says isn't soluble in water. What is soluble is the rubber. I strained the solution and used it as a first sealer. WW
  15. Does anyone have experience with myrrh as a sealer? I've used a water solution of myrrh in tests with good results, but haven't tried it on an instrument yet. WW