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Everything posted by ViolinLove20

  1. The varnish always look extremely impressive, very, very nice job. Your violins inspire me to possibly start making, and I hope you continue this great work for many more years.
  2. I think the color development of the varnish looks great. I hope you're proud of your work, I would be. Also, I greatly appreciate how you take such care and detail in documenting your process.
  3. Hello all, Life got busy and things got in the way of making progress on violin varnishing. Finally, today I was able to test out a new varnishing method and am pleased with it! The pictures below show: A test strip with half tea stain and then half dye stain (with a tiny section of white wood in between for reference). The next pictures were taking later that day after the ground had been put on and the first oil color coat was drying.
  4. May I ask from which company or store in China are these violins from? The back and front look very nice for varnishing practice, and that's what I like to experiment on. Also, your varnishing job looks exquisite so far, congratulations.
  5. Thank everyone for your input. I love how threads will flow and topics will meld as more and more posts pop up.
  6. Renee, That's perfect! I think I'll purchase those. Steve, Labels. I will definitely do that. Lord knows I'd forget what I had done to the test strip in about 30 minutes.
  7. Actonern, I definitely agree that there will be unknowns even if something appears fine on a test strip. Hopefully, with test strips I can use them to weed out good and bad ideas, and then go a step further and possibly apply the nice ideas to an actual violin. Marty, Interesting idea, and it sounds pretty much like what I need. Thanks.
  8. Hello, This question is slightly painful to ask, but where could/would/should I purchase wood for varnishing test strips? Since I don't make instruments, I don't have random wood pieces laying around. Would I be fine testing on kiln-dried wood bought from a local lumber store? Should I purchase some actual tonewood and turn it into test strip pieces? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm afraid I've gotten infected with the 'violin varnishing disease' ...and now I really need a place to test out some certain methods, recipes and ideas. Thanks.
  9. Hello, I am hoping to hear some opinions about the difficulty level of the 'Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia' (violin and cello duet). Thanks.
  10. Here is a photo of the unfinished violin I purchased, now fully color coated:
  11. Hello all, I have finally conquered applying colored varnish evenly to a violin -phew-. For a first attempt with the "right" varnishing materials, I feel really happy with the results I achieved. After the previous catastrophe, I stripped the entire violin (using citristrip) and then redid the whole varnishing process. I did sealing/ground shellac coats, one or two practically clear oil coats, and 2 or 3 colored coats. My biggest mistake is getting dust and the occasional hair caught in the varnish, then being too squeamish to try and dig them out. Any ways to keep the nasties off a drying violin? Anyways, thank you maestronet-ers for providing tons and tons of pages of knowledge for me to read and learn from. I doubt I could've started this journey without you. My next steps are to wait a few days then do a final rubdown, maybe polish with a polish I purchased, set-up (which will be a whole new experience for me), then play it record some sound clips so (if you're interested) you can hear the final product. Thanks! Here are some photos of the violin using no camera flash: Here is a photo using camera flash (like I did in the photos posted earlier in the thread): The real life color is somewhere between the two. I couldn't quite get the pictured color right during the photoshoot.
  12. Lars, That is a very stunning violin. I'd be over the moon with joy if I could accomplish results like that.
  13. Thank you everyone for the answers (and humor ). I think better ventilation is the key for my space, and I will work on ways to do that.
  14. Update on varnishing progress: I received a new order from IV a day or two ago, and everything was in order. Now the fun could begin. The first two coats of IVC varnish went on extremely well. I combined parts: 1/3 tbsp mineral spirits, 1/2 tbsp oil varnish, and 3 or 4 drops of color. BUT, the coats looked pretty much like clear coats so next I wanted to add more color. I did the same ratios 1/3 ms to 1/2 varnish, but the 3 or 4 red drops resulted in a pink color that was undesirable so I added red and brown drops until I liked the color. By then it was around 20 drops of color. I knew something was off the minute I put the varnish on the violin. It was dragging a little more than usual, so I tried to wipe it off but it wouldn't come off completely. I figured I'd at least get it as uniform as possible so I then proceeded to put the "getting sticker by the second" varnish on the violin. I looks pretty darn terrible. The back looks mildly acceptable since I did it first, but the ribs and sides look like murder. Sigh. I bet my problem was too much color extract in a small amount of varnish. But hey, it's better to learn now then on a completely handmade violin. I will strip it and start over tomorrow. I'd appreciate any thoughts or advice. Thanks!
  15. Hello all, After being told my varnishing area smells very strongly, I wanted to do some research to make sure the smells/fumes weren't health hazardous. I've attempted searching, but have come up relatively unsatisfied. So, when varnishing, is there a health risk? Any dangerous solvents or varnishes? Or am I overreacting? I just want to be sure that myself (and others) will remain as healthy as can be. Thanks!
  16. IV has been so wonderful when helping me with the damaged package. They replaced the shipment (at no cost) and handled the situation like pros. I think I will continue to buy from them. The new shipment should arrive soon, so varnishing progress will finally be made. I'm going to first try to achieve a deep golden base color coat, then build from there. Mike, I'm glad you're reviving that fiddle! Test strips are great, but a test violin is even better! I'd like to see how you experiment with it.
  17. Hello all, I have a question for you guys. After applying many thin shellac coats, I decided to rub my violin down with pumice and linseed oil. The surface is now very smooth, but the process has seemed to highlight the few 'uglies' that were in the wood. For example, before the rub out, impurities in the grain were really hard to see. Now, after the rub down the impurities seem to stand out more. Any thoughts?
  18. I think, after reading these comments, FedEx is the safest option for future use? And the people at International Violin offered to replace what was broken or ruined, so we're in that process now. Also, the people and International Violin (where I by all my supplies) are always very nice and helpful. I have a good feeling that things will work out well.
  19. USPS has completely destroyed my package. It finally showed up, but to my dismay, when I opened the package the bottles of varnish had shattered, spilling the varnish all over everything (including my new varnish book). I'm pretty much at a loss for words...but I won't let this discourage me too much. Being angry won't fix the problem. Hopefully things will end up okay.
  20. Thank you Mike! I used clear, amber then garnet shellac in lots of very thin coats, brush applied. The violin is from 'Decor Music'. I'm really excited to put the color varnish on but have been having major troubles with my package in USPS. It hasn't moved in days (according to the tracker), also the expected delivery day was the 2nd, and they have yet to reply to an email sent asking for help may be a while before any progress is made.
  21. Hello all, I've decided to start this thread as a way to document my violin making adventures. I'm going to start out with my most recent trials in varnishing. I recently purchased a white violin and planned to try the following system on it: Shellac coats (various colors) to seal and ground, then IVC oil varnish for hints of color followed by clear coats and rub down. So far I've completed the shellac sealing and grounding. The pictures below are in chronological order (going from white violin to sealed to final ground coat). I would describe the resulting color as a light golden walnut. Feel free to ask questions or critique my process. Thanks The pictures go: Back, Ribs then Front. Each progression of that pattern represents another step or part of the sealing and grounding.
  22. Hello all, I'm just doing a little progress report. A while ago I stripped my practice violin and proceeded to varnish it in this fashion: 3 or 4 coats of dilute amber shellac, sanding with 1500 grit micro mesh in between coats 2 coats of color oil varnish, brushed on then patted out, also sanding in between coats 3 'rubouts' which was me 'burnishing' a mix of tripoli and linseed oil with a rag to smooth the varnish out I am happy with these results for the types of materials that I have (mostly hardware store things), and even happier that all this practice is paying off. I would include a picture but the ones I took are just awful, so maybe they'll be posted later. Hopefully soon I will have all my supplies to begin varnishing a nice new white violin I recently received. I've purchased shellac flakes and hammerl varnish from IVC and will begin varnishing when they arrive. Thanks!
  23. Ah but we know how the earth was formed...varnishing on the other hand, we may never know the secrects of the old masters!
  24. Craig, Sorry to hear about your stroke! But I'm glad to hear that memories are coming back. Also thank you for the notes about shellac. Ct, I might seal with a clear shellac to make sure blotchyness is avoided then move to a colored shellac. Em, I figured that starting topics for each would be very annoying, and yeah it will be nice to have a place to reference older questions I had. Might I add, as I surfed maestronet I found a picture of a violin that supposedly only had shellac on it so far, and it is my absolute favorite picture of a violin I have seen. Do you all think it just has shellac on it? (Its attached below) And merry Christmas!
  25. And, Here's an update on my latest varnish trial. I started with 3 or so coats of dilute canned shellac, sanding (much to roughly) in between coats. I then applied coats of color oil varnish (artist tube colors), also sanding in between. I finished with 2 coats of clear oil varnish. My varnish is a mix of tung oil, turpentine and linseed oil. I finished by rubbing a mix of linseed oil and tripoli onto the back, which brought a nice (ish due to my beginnerness) shine/smooth to my varnish. For a new trial I'm fairly pleased. Things that bugged me: There are still lots of bumps and particles in my varnish. This is probably due to the clumps of oil paint that accumulate in my varnish jars and brush cleaning jars, will filtering the varnishes fix that problem? Also, the varnish is rather opaque but I am guessing that will go away once I purchase transparent oil tube colors. Constrictive criticism would be greatly appreciated!