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tony echavidre

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  1. Dear all, I would like to close this topic by saying that I had great result with my cooked oil on my latest cello. I will start an other thread on the system that I use to finish my instruments as I propose in my course. I do not want to make any promotion so I won't talk about that here, but feel free to contact me if you have any questions. All the best, Tony
  2. Here we go, On curing oils, I always washed my oils first, but after read Tad spurgeon's articles and experienced with different procedures, I started to elaborate my own. That is a wash with a lime solution. The most important thing to understand is to make water and oil in "intimate contact" for a certain time, in order to have a complete wash of mucilage and to help the oxydation. So first I mix part of lime with water and leave to decant. I then mix the water part with the oil and shake well. It can take a day up to a week to have a clear separations between oil, water, and a mixture of mucilage solution in between. When ready I put the bottle in the freezer for the night, in order to poor back the unfrozen oil in my copper pan. I then heat gently for hours to speed up the aging process of the oil. when cooled I filter, poor the oil in a plastic bottle and leave it outside for months. This finish oil will aso be used for my varnish cooking. To make black oil, I cook it at high temp and add a portion of lime. Cheers
  3. Thanks David! Dear all, I'm back from my summer holiday and I'm glad to reply on this thread. To answer some of you about the maple sample, yes it is (almost) like cheating as you can get good result more easely than on spruce, but to me it the first step to have a possible comparison with what we can observe on some great classical italian varnish. Parts of ribs and head are flat so one can reproduce the same degree of absorbtion on the flat sample. But I agree than a carve spruce top will validate the test. As it is also true for the whole process, I am planning to send a complete set of pictures on the finish on my next instrument, than should be finish in two weeks. Now about the objective. During the last years that I have been preparing all different kind of mediums, I always kept in mind that I should work in the similar context than the old crafmen in order to experience what I was dealing with, and how to make things work with the tools and knowledge that they seemed to had. For instance I find to be rewarding to avoid thermometer and observe the different reactions along the process. But I never cooked on embers! Also if you don't have any UV tubes and your varnish coat is still soft at the end of the day, this make you think twice. Now I find it would be a pity not to use the scientifics datas and sharing experiences that we have today. It is a real plus to perform the varnish skill on every step. On the next part I will tell more about the curing of oil to make my black oil (concindered as a varnish actually). Cheers
  4. I just wanted to post these photos to show the dark and thick oil that I am now using. It is a kind of an oil varnish actualy but doesn't leave any patchiness and burnish very well. The end grain can still absorb some more, not like a filler that would block this effect. So it is possible to add a wash of lake pigments onto it to get a more contrasted effect. I actualy like to do that with a thin coat of protein layer in between.
  5. Fiddledoug, I used to think the same about linseed oil not to be a good choice for tone, but I experiment the same as Sospiri, it actualy tends to give both darker (soft in a way) and brighter than any other primer I've used so far (which is a lot). And to me it's not a disadvantage for projection neither. Giovanni, nice to hear from you too! I've tried all kinds of paste fillers like you do, but was never convinced about it, as it's not an easy and fast work to do, and doesn't permit enough end grain to be exposed, as Manfio also points out. It is a key element in understanding what could have been used, and oil mediums match best this effect, to sit exactly where you want to. So next when you varnish it reenforced the contrast of the flames, without darkening too much. (it doesn't blotch the scroll end grain for instance). They are many exemple on stradivari's instruments, like the Mediceo viola, where you can clearly see that in some places like on the ribs, part of the end grain of the flames are darker because they absorbed more varnish. (I'll send a picture of it for illustration). FiddleCollector, yes some modern materials can work really nicely, like teck oils, and dry even faster than any oil we can cook, but the industries tend to add some synthetics resins that I prefer to avoid. Also the dry film of these oils are very very hard; too much for my own taste. Meanwile here are some pictures of the following of my varnish exploration. One coat of my own varnish in the middle, 3 coats on the right side of the sample. I specially like the way wookworking appear like hills and valleys...
  6. These last times I've been trying to replicate caracteristics that I've seen on old great instruments, especially on Amati's, because I believe it to be an "easier" start as most of the time it looks like they used almost no pigments. So that I can concentrate only on the varnish itself. The first step is to find the right looking ground, that is to me the color of course, but also the kind of impregnation that accentuates the contrats of the flames and prepare the sealed surface for the next step. Also I wanted to compare the two products that I've been using recently, wich is a liquid hard oil, and the other one a viscous varnish with 80% oil . Both must dry fast outdoor. It was surpring to see that the oil alone yellowed the wood a bit more even though the varnish looks much darker on itself.
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