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About joerobson

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  • Birthday 06/18/1950

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    Trumansburg, NY

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  1. Contemporary instruments seem to be [mostly] 0 or 300 years old in the varnish impression. But there are many beautiful years of varnish in between. It important to watch how players handle their instruments. Edges...we could do a workshop or at least a clinic on just edge work. If an instrument has been played the first thing affected is the edges. Joe
  2. Great topic. Here is one trick. Instead of traditional oil colors try these water misable oil colors by Windsor Newton. If you don't like what you have done, wash it off. If you like it, leave it. These actually dry. on we go, Joe
  3. I'm in Trumansburg, just up the lake from Ithaca .
  4. This is an altogether interesting thread. Thanks to those who have provided in depth research. What I see hear largely agrees with what I have learned from turn of the century varnish making texts and 30+ years of varnish making. As I have said many times I am a cook not a chemist. I read and for the most part understand the chemistry involved with varnish making. However a list of materials is not a varnish recipe. A varnish recipe may or may not lead to a useful and repeatable varnish. The varnish made may or may not have the characteristics you desire. Obviously varnish making is interesting and in certain cases addicting..... I offer one piece of advice: if you want to explore this process, choose a resin and stick to it. A particular resin will produce differing outcomes according to how it is pre-prepared [or not] and how it is combined with the other elements of the varnish. My choice is the American Slash Pine in both raw and colophony forms. Through a long and other story I have acquired the resin purchased by Louis Condax [CONDAX, Louis M. Born 1897, died 1971 Rochester, New York USA. Research chemist for Eastman-Kodak. Amateur violin maker from c.1920. Later worked with Simone Sacconi on analysis of classical Italian varnish. 40 instruments completed ] for his experiments. Otherwise I use raw pine resin. I am familiar with the chemical and physical make up of the resin and have thrown away tons of varnish learning to use it to my specific intents. on we go, Joe
  5. Juniper gum has a water soluble/sugar component, some oil and a small amount of the resinic acids necessary for a film forming varnish. I would personally avoid it.
  6. When these studies were published I inquired into the results in industrial settings not related to the violin world. These are incredibly sensitive tests. Both sources confirmed the validity of the tests. Both said that the most likely explanation was that the instruments were made by human hands. on we go, Joe
  7. I will have to go back and check , but if I remember correctly the Greiner varnish was cold solved not cooked. The book is worth twice the price. Order from Brandmair's web page, she makes more that way.
  8. This sounds like my thinking as I did the research on this varnish. However it is possible!
  9. This sounds like my thinking as I did the research on this varnish. However it is possible!
  10. As the final step in Balsam Ground the varnish is thinned with turpentine. As a surface varnish, standard techniques apply.
  11. About 20 years ago I introduced a 4 resin to 1 oil varnish to the violin making community. This is the final sealer for the Balsam Ground. Called the Balsam Ground Varnish Some makers have been successful at using this for violin and viola. Application techniques vary as you might guess. The final finish differs from that which we see on a Stradivari instrument. The research behind the varnish was two-fold. First I wanted to see how resin rich a varnish I could make and have it be liquid and usable at room temperature. Second I was looking for the surface and adhesion characteristics of the Cremonese ground. I feel reasonably successful on both counts. If you attempt to make such a varnish you will need to experiment with the type of resin and the cooking method. on we go, Joe
  12. As I said before, I stand corrected. I was naive about the need for anonymity. Joe