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Nick Allen

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About Nick Allen

  • Birthday 10/05/1991

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  1. Hmm. That doesn't look quite right for some reason... It could be the proportions that you used? I usually just put enough alcohol to make it just short of water consistency when it's fully dissolved. I filter it obviously as well. But this mixture does not look right. Benzoin should be more orange-gold in color, and it shouldn't settle out like that. There is some detritus to be had when dissolving the raw resin, but it's usually just bark and bug pieces with the occasional pebble/dirt.
  2. I use it in my French polish. The self leveling aspects are phenomenal. You can polish and not worry so much about the little rag marks left over because if you just let the violin hang for a day, the little swirls or streaks will just melt down nicely. I will say that French polish with benzoin will take longer to reach a state of cure that is good enough to put back into a case without leaving marks or sticking. It smells so good and that's almost worth the price of admission alone.
  3. In short... No. Pore size is more indicative of species, and there is natural variation within a single species and even within the same tree. But density, speed of sound, and cross-grain/longitudinal stiffness are going to have more of an effect. The pore size is probably more of a correlative than anything else.
  4. Hmm. Thanks for the concise info. I am on the trajectory to make copies/forgeries(not for nefarious purposes) primarily. But having info about all types of varnishes is nice because I can have more tools in my belt when I need them.
  5. Hey Davide. Does the linoxin varnish antique well? Does it chip and shade okay? Just curious. Thanks.
  6. I concur with this sentiment. So many systems have been though of that seem to be the answer. But to me, there is none, or we'll never find it. As Chris said, we're just reverse engineering something with systems that approximate the shape were after. I think that possibly the shapes were made with practicality in mind, and simply to suit the eye. The amount of fudging that has to be done to get these proposed systems to actually fit what were after tells me that we're just spinning our wheels, generally.
  7. I agree with this. To me, as long as the bridge feet are situated centered on the body, and the foot overhangs the bass bar well, and consequently the post as well, then the exact north/south position isn't the most critical thing as a rule. It's all about the individual player and their needs and goals. 328mm seems to work for most people. Some folks can handle 330mm, which I think sounds better personally, but I still try to aim for 328mm, with the bridge sitting on the centerline of the body and the appropriate width for the bass bar. But it all depends and there are no laws.
  8. Thanks! I agree. The dark spots are getting managed. I'm not a huge fan of them. So I can polish/scrape them off, just like one would clean them in real life.
  9. Here's some progress. I'm at the stage where it looks crazy, until it pulls together at the end. My technique so far has been to more or less add and subtract. A million layers of French polish over chips and scratches with some patina in between. The camo pattern in the middle will be sorted out. It looks a bit much right now lol.
  10. Thank you again. I have to say that I've had the privilege of sitting next to some blokes who are really in another league these past months. Ask me anything anytime you're ready to delve into the dark side. I have no secrets lol.
  11. Thanks! The color is quite simple. There is a little trick to get the complexity in the red, as in the diffuse softness. The top too color in the chemical stages in a strange way, but that was okay because it lended to the antiquing later, so you are correct. I was concerned at first, but I stuck to the old mantra of keep calm and varnish on.
  12. Here's my latest with the latest. Working on the antiquing currently. I did the shading and the dings and whatnot. I'm going to start to add patina this week. I still have to let it dry properly after the varnish removal and shading, as well as level some areas that got out of hand a little bit before patina. I'll use a shellac soap mixed with XSL nanoparticles pigments for the primary patina, then a mixture of shellac soap, beeswax soap and more pigment for the cheese layer. Then I'll use the spray gun to adjust the tonality in certain places to enhance any effects I may be after. Then a crapton of French polishing to effectively Brunswick the whole thing and obliterate almost all of the texture, locking in the patina and giving it a more authentic look. I've noticed that most old fiddles of renown have very little texture left, and almost no chipping or crenellations in the varnish save for a few spots here or there, so I avoided any tape pulling on this one...
  13. This is the best advise here. Nothing more frustrating than fitting the feet on a bridge for an old, wonky violin, and it turns out the forehead is juuuuuuuuust a little bit too low for a new bridge.
  14. Stop stealing my name!!! It's mine and no one else can have it because I said so! -Nicholas P. Allen
  15. About to get the first clear coat tomorrow morning.
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