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About Geigenbauer

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  1. Hi Mathew, congratulations. I will leave it to the pros here to give advice, but I think it looks very nice. I was amazed to read that this is your first instrument. Congrats again!
  2. Hi Greg, I did not try to dissolve in turpentine since I am trying to produce amber varnish without turpentine. Nevertheless, Kremer told me on the phone that warmed turpentine should dissolve it. Again, I haven't tried.
  3. This was the first attempt. I pretty much ended with coal.
  4. Thank you Húslař and Andreas. It is good to know that the material can be salvaged. For now, I have started with the regular raw amber from Kremer. Let’s see how it goes. The second melting attempt ended with encouraging results (see below). I have not progressed further yet and hope this material will dissolve in linseed oil.
  5. I had posted earlier that I was going to try and make amber varnish using the amber colophony from Kremer. Their German homepage describes this as old material from a Russian amber-varnish manufacturer. Some here on the forum were skeptical about the nature of this resin and I wanted to follow-up and share my experience. To make a long story short: It didn’t work the way I had hoped. I tried to dissolve the colophony directly in boiled linseed oil. Nevertheless, I found that even temperatures around 250 deg C were not sufficient. Only a small amount appeared to dissolve in the oil (based on the color and smell of the resulting oil) but the vast majority formed a gooey black mass that was caught in the strainer. I am attaching some pictures to illustrate. Since at least for me this material didn’t work the way I had hoped I am starting with raw amber instead and will try to fuse/melt it myself.
  6. Good point about hand tool use and particle size. I agree that sanding and sawing (table saw, miter saw) are the main source of fine dust in my shops. I am also set up in the basement and one reasons why I didn’t want to vent to the outside was the rapid air exchange. I was concerned about warm and humid air in the summer (basement humidity) and loosing heat in the winter. I haven’t tried it and it may not be an issue at all depending on where you live. Others seem to have more experience with this solution.
  7. I second the Festool suggestion. I use one of their small dust extractors (CT 26) because it comes with a HEPA filter. I also like the fact that it has an AUTO setting which switches the extractor on when you turn on the tool. If the particle size of the filter is a topic for you than options are somewhat limited. I bought a used Oneida cyclone dust collector with HEPA filter for the larger machines (e.g. bandsaw). Definitely not an option for a small shop. If I run that with open ports and no tool attached, it pretty much works like a dust filter though.
  8. Here are some temperature and relative humidity measurements. I currently run the UV lamps for 5 1/2h with 30min off-periods in-between for a total of 22h/day. I have marked the on/off timepoints with arrows. The lamps started at 3:30pm and were turned off at 9:00pm. The temperature maxed out at about 77 deg and the humidity dropped from 41.5% down to 36.6%. Apologies for the rough Excel job...
  9. I would also like to provide some additional information about the “amber colophony” from Kremer (#60205). I purchased this material because of the information provided on the German Kremer webpage. Here is what is stated on their webpage including a rough translation: “Bernstein Kolophonium” (#60205) Altbestand aus einer ehemaligen Bernstein-Lackherstellung in Russland. Dieses braune, brüchige Harz wird zur Bernsteinlackherstellung verwendet und ist, ähnlich wie Kolophonium, mit Leinöl verkocht für die Geigenlackherstellung verwendbar. Nur begrenzt lieferbar. Old material from former amber-varnish manufacturing in Russia. This brown and brittle resin is used for the production of amber-varnish and can (similar to colophony) be cooked with linseed oil to make violin varnish. Limited stock.
  10. Many thanks for all the comments and suggestions thus far. I will respond step by step over the next few days. I ordered a combined hygrometer/thermometer and will share temperature and humidity readings asap. The cabinet is equipped with a double fan, temperature sensor and control unit. I bought the whole set online. Because the fans are blowing the warm inside air to the outside, I installed an air filter at the bottom of the cabinet to prevent dust from being drawn into the cabinet. I am not sure how well this will work because the cabinet doors are not airtight and there will for sure be some leakage. Below are a few pictures of the fans and control unit.
  11. Hi everyone, I’m an amateur violinist and maker. I am currently trying to pick both playing and making up where I left it almost 12 years ago. Getting all the tools out again and starting on a new instrument is a lot of fun but still as difficult as it was back then. However, having YouTube and forums like this one is sure a great help for an amateur. Many thanks to all that post here. While I continue to work on the instrument, I would like to start the first varnish experiments. Varnishing was a major problem on my first two instruments, and I would like to be better prepared this time. I just finished building a new UV cabinet (pictures attached) equipped with eight 40W GE F40BL (UVA 350-365 nanometer) tubes. I included a programmable switch for the lights, an air filter and a thermostat-controlled fan (AC Infinity AIRPLATE T7). I hope this setup will work. I built the cabinet large enough for a cello (my wife plays cello). Here are a few things I plan to try out first. I would greatly appreciate additional recommendations & suggestions: - How many days are needed for a maximum tanning effect? - Do 1,3 or 5 coats of gelatin have an effect on tanning? - Testing 0,1,3,5 coats of gelatin with different ground coats (thick rosin oil, self-made varnish) - Trying fine pumice mixed with rosin oil or varnish as ground coat over gelatin I will try to make my own amber varnish. Last time I did this I fused the amber myself, but this time bought the amber colophony from Kremer. Does anyone have experience with this product? I am planning to start with a 1:1 ratio of amber colophony in boiled linseed or walnut oil. Any recommendations for one vs the other? Many thanks in advance!