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About Absilon

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    Playing music, instrument restoration, martial arts, robotics.
  1. I have picked up a container of amber bullseye shellac the other day as per Matthew's recomendation. Thank you Matthew, this should make my life easier in the beggining. I have also just ordered the new 2nd Edition of Brian Epp's book 'The Art of Retouching'. I am still a bit confused as to what I am mixing the dyes/pigments with. Should I be mixing the the dyes and/or pigments directly with the shellac in multiple small batches of varying colors, or should I be mixing them with something else and applying in alternate layers with the shellac? The touchups I need to do will require multiple different colors to be matched on different parts of each violin. In several videos I have seen, the dyes are mixed on a small pallet and the mixture appears to be fairly thick (so it does not look to be shellac), is this procedure only for certain types of dyes and what are they mixed with? Should I make the first coat of just shellac with no dyes to seal the wood? Any thoughts to using watercolors with alternating layers of shellac vs. mixing the dyes with shellac? Starting with three basic colors makes scence in that it will force me to get a better undesrstanding of what effect each major color has on the mixtures color. I will be experimenting with this as soon as I decide which dyes to use. Also, since touchups should be reversable in case you have to re-do them. If I made a mistake and wanted to remove a shellac based touchup is it safe to use denatured alcohol on a q-tip, or will this dammage the original finish? Is there a better way to accomplish this? I intend to take the Hans Nebel's Workshop next summer, but meanwhyle, does anyone know anywhere I can get some hands on training in the NY/NJ area? Many thanks to all for all the wonderful ideas. My head is still spinning with information overload but I will keep learning and experimenting. I will not be attempting any retouching on a violin until I have a much clearer idea of what I am doing. And yes, this is by far the most difficult part of restoration, but I am very passionate about this and will never quit so keep the usefull tips coming. Best regards
  2. Any thoughts on using this metric digital guage form Harbor Freight to build a graduating tool? http://www.harborfreight.com/1-inch-sae-metric-digital-indicator-93295.html Is there any reason I should not go digital?
  3. You're right it's a fingerboard. I stand corrected. I will pick up some Xylene today and run some tests on it. Can never have enough toxic chemicals in my workshop. I'll update this thread and let you know how I made out. Thanks to all.
  4. l33tplayaI know it was Fiebing's dye because the person that did this stupid thing told me when I bought the violin from him. Don't know what he was thinking. I tried Mineral Spirits on it last night and it seems to work, but very very slowly, removing only a tiny bit at a time. It does not seem to effect the varnish. Going to take some time to get rid of it but I think this will work.
  5. Someone had used Fiebings leather dye to stain the fretboard of one of the violins I am now working on. Unfortunately he somehow got some of it on the finish of the violin. There are several small areas but they are unsightly. I am trying to figure out how to safely remove it without damaging the varnish. Fiebings website says to use alcohol which is obviously a big no no with violins. Does anyone know of an alternative way of getting it off? I was thinking perhaps Naptha or Mineral Spirits but not sure if it is safe for the varnish. Any ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks
  6. I am new to violin restoration and have purchased a number of old violins recently which I have been working on restoring. I'm now at the point where I need to perform some retouching/touch-up work on the varnish but am overwhelmed by the number of different and sometimes conflicting information that I have read online. From what I have read in other forum posts, it looks like most people use a spirit varnish almost exclusively for touch-ups, even on an oil-varnished instrument. Is this perfectly safe to do on an oil varnished violin? Also, what is the best way to tell if an old violins varnish is oil or spirits based? I'm also wondering if anyone can recommend any specific varnish and dye products that I can use for this purpose. I am trying to avoid cooking my own varnish at least until I have more experience with varnishes. I have been leaning towards using Behlen Violin Varnish but I have read that it takes a very long time to dry and I would like to avoid this issue as I can't wait weeks between each coat. Lastly, does anyone have any experience with TransTint dyes? Thank you in advance and best regards.
  7. Thanks to everyone for all the very helpful advice, I appreciate it very much. I have just ordered one pound of dry hide glue and will go to Walmart after work to check out the baby bottle warmers. Is there a specific temperature the glue needs to be warmed up to? I'm new to working on violins but have done some work on guitars and mandolins in the past. I usually learn pretty quickly especially if it is something I'm passionate about. Bought several cheap violins with various issues that I can practice on and having a lot of fun learning.
  8. Hi, Just joined this awesome forum the other day and this is my first post. Any thoughts on using Old Brown Glue (Liquid Hide Glue) vs. traditional hot hide glue. My research shows that it is basically hide glue with urea added to it. I have also read that it is much better then Tighbond liqiuid hide glue. I'm wondering what some of the more experianced members here think about this glue. Thanks in advance for your advice and opinions. Best regards.