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Everything posted by charliemaine

  1. Thank you. So a viola then.... Lauren Rioux's 5 string viola made by J. Cooper is very nice. I know several other players with Cooper fiddles and they look and sound fantastic. You're lucky to own one.
  2. Excellent maker. Could you possibly post body dimensions?
  3. Who is the maker of your 5 string?
  4. I make 5 stringers and it does sound like yours is too new to evaluate. The best advice is to give it more time to settle in before making any adjustments.
  5. It is a nice gouge and I've done a lot of carving with it. I have a few of these old English and American cast steel gouges in this size. I really only need one so time to pass it on.
  6. You could try listing it on Ebay. I've had good luck selling there. Looks nice.
  7. Thinning out my gouge collection... Vintage Thomas Ibbottson Cast Steel, English Gouge, 26mm wide, 130mm long, 150mm boxwood handle. Bought and shipped from UK. No pitting in excellent condition. Crack in handle is stable. Sharpened & ready to use. Price, $45.00 plus $10.00 shipping to US/48
  8. New Stubai gouge bought from Diefenbacher Tools. $60.00 plus $15.00 shipping Violin Gouge, 30mm This long handled gouge makes the job of carving violin, viola and cello plates faster and more enjoyable. The specially designed ash handles allow the user to make powerful, efficient cuts for quick removal of excess wood. They are tempered to Rc61 and are guaranteed to hold a razor sharp edge for hours of productive, uninterrupted carving. Overall length 13″. #5 sweep. Made in Austria.
  9. No iron mines that I know of but there are other minerals being mined. My neighbor is a mineral engineer at one of the mines. The wood is noticeably harder than most of the big leaf that I've carved. It'll be an interesting piece to finish.
  10. That could be the reason since we do have mineral mines in the area. This is bigleaf maple from the northwest. The late wood grain is pretty tight which tells me the tree grew higher in the mountains where the mines are located. Normally bigleaf grain lines are wider in the coastal trees. Have you seen this before?
  11. At first I thought maybe spalting but that usually doesn't stay within the boundary lines of the late wood. And the maple is not soft. The maple is hard to carve (.61sg) usually spalting is light and soft. So my guess is some kind of staining. Any other guesses?...Mr. Bress?? @Don Noon, have you seen anything similiar in your torrefied wood?
  12. The early wood in this maple piece has dark and light color streaks in the same year. I've never seen this before. Usually all early wood is the same color. So when this is finished certain sections will have a plaid look, which I think is unusually cool and appropriate being a 5 string fiddle. Still,... I'm curious as to what caused these dark colored streaks?
  13. It's been some time since I last used Alchemist amber varnish. Before that I was using Koen's amber and sandarac varnishes. And before that I was using your amber and PRSM varnishes. What I liked about Koen's varnish was the long open time. Plenty of time to mull pigments/lakes into the varnish or make a mineral ground slurry. I also like that his varnish was solvent free. So after he died I looked around and found Alchemist amber varnish. And after trying I found it very similar to Magister varnish. It was solvent free and had a long open time. The last time I spoke directly with Mr. Fels and I had mentioned I was using Magister varnish but could no longer buy it. He told me he knew Koen and that he met with him and showed him how he cooked his amber varnish. So I think Alchemist and Magister amber varnishes share lot in common although I don't know what oil/resin ratio Koen used. I'll try what you said and mix the 3:1 Alchemist amber with a 1:1 amber and see how that goes. I have some amber and copal varnish from Nunzio that I'm still testing. If you have some freshly made amber varnish I would like to buy some. I do remember your amber varnish being very good. Your varnishes were the first ones I ever used. Someone asked what is the deal with this discussion. The point of this thread for me is to become familiar again with varnish making and find or make a suitable varnish that I can use to varnish a few more instruments. Having never used rosinate varnishes before it's also a new experimentation into these. By summer's end I want to have enough varnish stored so that I can focus just on the woodworking. Thanks Joe.
  14. I received confirmation from Alchemist Varnish that Mr. Fels' dark amber varnish still uses a 3:1 resin/oil ratio. In case others are interested in this varnish, they suggest using the dark amber on instruments. "We always suggest to use the dark amber varnish for the musical instruments that is still the ratio 3:1 The clear is used by painters, please let me know if you want me to change it in to the dark amber varnish." "I looked up your old order and you bought the dark amber varnish, so you know." Kind regards Elisabeth Alchemist Mediums
  15. Oh boy, two different opinions from two respected members...well,... I forgot that I made a pint of 1:1 amber varnish last summer so I'll try reheating it and add more oil to it and see what happens. I have also sent an email to Mr. Fels asking if he is still using a 3:1 oil/resin ratio. If so I'll buy some and mix that with a 1:1 varnish as Joe suggests. Then do some more testing. I forgot how expensive all this experimenting and testing can be. I've also found no problem polishing a longer oil varnish to a satin or gloss finish. It may take longer for the long varnish to cure enough to polish than a leaner varnish. At least that's my experience. Using the right product definitely helps.
  16. Joe, I have both amber and copal varnishes at 1:1 oil/resin already made and they are a little too hard. I'd like to fatten up the varnish by adding more heat bodied linseed oil. Is this advisable? I also still have some of your linox. Another option...would you be willing to make for me a longer amber varnish? I could buy some from Alchemist but the last time I talked to Mr. Fels he told me his amber varnish was 3:1 oil/resin. A little too long perhaps, I was thinking more like 1.5-2:1 oil resin. I want durable and flexible.
  17. I'm not concerned in making a historical Cremonese varnish because I don't antique. I've been saving a beautiful maritime (Pinus pinaster) colophony I purchased from Portugal. I'll try liming some of it and see where that goes. For now I have enough amber and copal varnish, hopefully things will start to dry out here soon. It's been fun reviewing the older threads and there are many more to read.
  18. Wow,...that's great. I like using both of them. In fact that is what I'm experimenting with now. How much lower in acidity is Baltic Amber and fossil Copal compared to plain and limed rosin? Is the acidity lower because of it's age? I'm also trying to make the amber and copal prepared varnishes more flexible by blending in a little more oil. Good or bad idea? It seems to be working...my samples are softer, less chippy and more abrasion resistant.
  19. Reading through older threads and found there are a few well known makers here who are not using rosin in their varnish making. A quick search will reveal who they are and their reasons. It would be helpful to know what resins they are using without disclosing their proprietary recipes. One of them posted this... "The "problem" is whether you want to try to accurately replicate the old varnishes with all their defects, or if you want to try to improve them in their protective properties by increasing their durability. There are other resins better than rosin to be used with a natural lower acidity, but the high acidity of rosin is what makes it react and is the responsible for color change with cooking, and that is a really nice thing." What are some of these other resins...?
  20. Joe, What method do you use to measure the acid number/ph of the limed rosin?
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