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About sandman

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  1. I've been building furniture for around forty years or so. But not until I started dabbling in violin making a couple of years ago did I ever hear the term "ground." I'm now working on my eighth instrument and I confess I'm still a bit in the dark. The books and YouTube videos I watch all say to apply a "ground" of this or that to the bare wood prior to the varnish. So I do. But I have never have found anything to explain what, exactly, it does. I have assumed that it is to seal the wood somehow or make a better bond for the varnish. Am I correct? Is that all? Does it have anything to do with improving the tone of the instrument? I would really appreciate some words of wisdom from someone who knows what they are doing in this area. I prefer to make educated choices in what I apply. Thanks in advance!
  2. I actually tried the epoxy idea as a sealer. I mixed one part resin and one part hardener to ten parts reagent grade methanol. I used the slow set 15 minute working time type. Results were less than satisfactory. I brushed it on the wood sample (used both maple and spruce) and it took about two weeks to cure to the point of not being sticky to the touch. No better with denatured ethanol as the solvent. Reagent grade isopropanol caused the epoxy to precipitate and never made it to the wood samples. So I abandoned this idea. Perhaps it might have worked better with a different solvent.
  3. sandman


    Thank you, FiddleDoug. I never considered the repair angle. I might pick up some of the zinsser product and experiment with it.
  4. sandman


    Thank you! I have used shellac but mixed it quite thick from dry crystals. I will thin it out and try on some scrap..
  5. sandman


    Thank you. That is reassuring. It is actually my eighth instrument, all violins. The learning curve is still quite steep but I have managed to learn a few things. THe varnish/ground/primer/polish/etc mystery still has me confused. For every piece I read to answer a question I just get more questions. But this forum should be a real help. Thanks for your input!
  6. sandman


    I recently tested polyurethane (Minwax Wipe On Poly in gloss) by applying 3 generous coats to a sheet of Saran Wrap. After the third coat had dried thoroughly I wrapped the Saran around a soda straw. There was no flaking or cracking and the finish seemed to hold up quite nicely. Its a bit "outside the box" but does anyone have experience using it on a violin? Seems like a no brainer but I've never heard of it being used as such. What am I not considering about it?
  7. sandman


    Does anyone have any experience using dewaxed shellac as a ground? Specifically under an oil varnish such as joha Italian oil?