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About BigFryMan

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  1. Hey guys, Most of the coats done on my varnish and when checking to see how dry the varnish was last night I noticed a bizarre new rattle noise while messing with the instrument (violin). I had a look through the endpin hole and can see some light either side of the neck joint between the ribs and the top. I can squeeze them closed with finger pressure no problems. I'm running through the things that could have caused this and corresponding actions. 1. I did a bad job of gluing the top on in the first place/bad glue batch 2. The violin's been in the sun to dry the varnish, maybe it got too hot 3. Perhaps some of the solvent in the varnish (gum turpentine) dissolved the hide glue? For numbers 1 and/or 2 the solution is easy - just re-glue. Will need to wait a few weeks for the varnish to harden right up so I don't risk marking it with clamps. That or keep varnishing until it's completely finished and then fix it. For number 3, I'm not sure what to do. This happened to anyone else? Another possibilities is i didn't shave my top block quite enough or it swelled or something. Really not sure hahaha. Thanks in advance.
  2. Any videos of application and tips would be super useful to a lot of people (myself absolutely) so please do! Really like this method of application, it’s my most even application so far. Can see a little of my fingerprints in the varnish so perhaps I needed to thin out slightly more?Only if you look carefully. The self levelling properties of Joe’s varnish is very good. I think the last coat I’ll apply thin and by brush. Fat to lean right?
  3. Varnish looks fantastic, but all those woodchips and sawdust on your clothes is making me nervous! (Assuming your varnish is wet )
  4. Hey guys, After making the hard choice to strip the back, it's all going pretty well. I am probably one coat away from the back matching up to the sides and top. Was absolutely the right call to strip and re-varnish. This last coat I went the @jezzupe method of dabbing the varnish on whole bouts at a time and smearing with my palm. Then pat with palm and then thumb pat. Worked really well. I would warn that you'd need to make sure the previous coat was absolutely 1000% dry as I think you could easily pull the previous coat doing this at a thick consistency. I've had the practice from the previous coats and now the pain of stripping as motivation to get this right Sorry for the iphone photos, wife currently has the proper camera overseas at the moment. The varnish is just about the right thickness, but the color is not moody enough so next coat will be a thin coat with some lamp black mixed in. See if I can't get a little more richness. As always, thanks for all your help and responses, couldn't learn to do this stuff without help!
  5. If it makes you feel any better, I'm currently 4-5mm fat on my 3rd violin (Whoops) from being lazy creating my mold. I'm still sleeping very well at night because I've learnt to accept my mistakes as part of the learning process. I've made so many its not funny. The current violin I cut off the button and screwed up my varnish and had to strip the back. Now I know how to do an invisible button graft with ebony collett and learnt how to strip the varnish as well. For what it's worth (I'm a beginner too) - not sure your rib mitres would be the same after ungluing and modifying everything. Sounds like a tricky, intimidating process for a beginner.
  6. Very wise advice Joe, thank you! I am learning to enjoy varnishing a lot more now and I think it was a good exercise for me to strip it back, even though it's painful. I've learnt a new skill and it terrifies me less. I do think it will come up well in the end and that's one of the main things. Also gaining a lot more confidence with the varnish.
  7. As incredibly frustrating as this has bee, it would be dishonest not to admit that it is a good experience for me to learn how to strip from this point and to learn that it's not a complete disaster. It will give me more confidence to try things in the future and also to learn the limits of what I can and can't do with this varnish system.
  8. Jezzupe you are always full of good advise and maple syrup insanity! Thanks for that, I know you meant it seriously, but I needed a good laugh
  9. Thanks for all the advise and help guys (and also Joe who emailed me also). This is a painful reminder that you cannot rush these things. Jezzupe you said: " have said that you tried to correct it and it made it worse...that is DEFINITELY TELLING ME DRY TIME IS AN ISSUE...why?" I think that's the one of the most valuable lessons for me to learn here. How long do you typically leave this varnish in the sun/uv cabinet for? I had presumed that if the varnish went kinda rubbery hard (no longer leaves a fingerprint) then it must be good to go. Obviously this is not that case. Anyways, Here's the result: Thankfully it seems like I managed to NOT strip the sides also and top also which is a big win. Most of the ground coat remains it seems, but Joe suggested putting his number #5 balsam coat on which I will do. Now I can learn my lesson in patience and wait for the solvents to evaporate. At least the scroll, top and sides will keep drying I haven't even played this guy yet and I'm ready to move onto number #4!
  10. Thanks Jezzupe, Appreciate the detailed description of your process. I'm not sure I can get terry cloth at short notice and I'm guessing speed is of the essence here. I'll attempt to resolve it as I have nothing to lose (other than very precious varnish), but not feeling very hopeful.
  11. Jezzupe, I’m guessing you are probably right. Unfortunately it’s sitting at home in the sun/up hardening up while I’m at work. It makes sense that I’d softened the coats underneath with the turps I was using to thin out the next coat. Do u think I’d be able to remove with turps as well? Do I have to use the really good turps to remove or can I use the standard hardware store stuff? Arrrgghh this is such a frustrating lesson to learn not to rush the process. I guess after I get the doomed varnish off again it will be significant work to try and match the tint of the top and sides. Do you think it’s worth trying to sand back the coats so I don’t lose it all?
  12. Joe's been really helpful and suggested to try and even up the patchy previous coat, but I've somehow made that worse. I've sent him another email, but he's on holiday so I thought the collective mind of maestronet may be able to help
  13. Hi guys, I'm currently working on my third violin and up until the last couple of days the ground and varnish have been progressing nicely. I have been using my finger to apply dabs of varnish and then the fat side of my thumb to tap and even it out. I have been using Joe Robson's ground system and then greek pitch varnishes and I can't tell you how thankful I am for his knowledge and products. Yesterday as I was putting a color coat on the back, it seemed to be getting too thick and drying too fast so that when I started to tap to even the coats, the varnish was sticking to my thumb instead of evening out. Even after wiping my thumb clean same deal. Perhaps the turps I'd added to thin the varnish was speeding up the drying? Anyways, I tried to double down by adding more varnish to re-wet it in desperation and as I'm sure you can imagine, it just got thicker and thicker and lumpier and lumpier Now i'm not sure what to do. Should I let it dry hard and then sand back the varnish to where it was even? Or would it be possible to wipe the last two coats off evenly with gum turps? If I do wipe the coats off, will it wipe back the last 3 layers of ground also? The rest of the violin seems to be coming along well so i'm feeling pretty devastated to have the ground and first coats come up so well and then to have to strip the back and then try and match it all again Attached some pics for reference.
  14. Hi everyone, When grounding/varnishing a violin, the quantities used for each coat are not large and the varnish precious. What tools do you use to mix up what you are going to use? Most measuring cups you could buy in a kitchen supply shop are too large. Are there specialty chemistry measuring/mixing tools that you use?
  15. @DoorMouse Thanks, that's handy info. I agree that the modes correlate with stiffness, this is why I am paying attention. I don't have the benefits of hands on guidance, I am unfortunately completely self taught. I would love to have an experienced maker grab my plates and flex and pull them because they would have an idea of how a skillfully graduated plate should feel. Because I don't have this, I'm trying to get into the ballpark of correct stiffness by using the weight and modes of the plates as a guide. Then if they turn out to sound great and play well, I know I am in the ballpark to make comparisons on similar spruce or maple.