joerobson

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About joerobson

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  • Birthday 06/18/1950

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    http://www.violinvarnish.com
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    Trumansburg, NY

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  1. Instrument cradle for varnishing. Bicycle inner tube cut for fingerboard clamping. Pieces of parchment paper cut to go on varnish jars under the cap...non stick lids! on we go, Joe
  2. #1 solution (pardon the varnish maker's joke) is Amber Varnish. #2 solution is Shellac on we go, Joe
  3. My inquires say that the families who were collecting the Strasbourg Turpentine are no longer interested in doing it. Joe
  4. Shellac will seal this in place. on we go, Joe
  5. Tony, I see 3 issues here. The hard polished [my guess a protein] ground of some sort does not provide enough tooth for the varnish to adhere properly. The too soft varnish is dry to the touch but not through the film. The heat of your hand softens the varnish. It is possible, if this is an oil varnish, that some extended time in a UV box might help a lot. I would not suggest over coating with anything until the film is dry. on we go, Joe
  6. joerobson

    Japan Drier

    The issues associated with top down driers are related a lot to the varnish and the application. High oil content varnishes are vulnerable. Varnishes which have been diluted with petroleum based sovents or brushing aids like spike oil or raw linseed oil are vulnerable also. A varnish film which is dry to the touch may not be dry through the thickness of the varnish layer. It is then tempting to apply another coat...and then another...etc. When set up time comes the evidence of this will be the bridge scooting or sinking into the varnish. Safer to use a varnish which dries on its own. on we go, Joe
  7. joerobson

    Japan Drier

    Japan ...cobalt drier...is a top down drier. Fairly useful in thin coats. Care should be taken on thicker coats. on we go, Joe
  8. joerobson

    Wood densities

    Balsa carves well.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. I'm in Trumansburg, just up the lake from Ithaca .
  12. 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
  13. 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.