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Cameron Smith

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  1. Wow! Now tru-oil is a product I can get in Australia... In my city in fact! I may yet do some experiments with varnish making for my own satisfaction, but if Tru-oil is good enough for Michael Darnton (at least for one instrument that by all accounts looks excellent), it's good enough for me! Thanks for the input, I'll get a bottle I think...
  2. Thanks everyone for your input! I have eventually somehow found a varnish source in an adjacent state that was previously ordered from Germany, but with dangerous goods shipping costs it will still cost ~400 USD. I therefore think that I will just try making my own varnish as I can get some good colophany/copal as well as purified linseed oil for ~75 USD. Will my first ever attempt be successful and worth it financially? Possibly not, but the violin I'm making is my first, always an experiment, and has some small imperfections in purfling/scroll as I learn a new craft. I'm happy to have a go experimenting at least once more with varnish making and if it is a disaster; well, I know where I can invest some coin into
  3. Awesome! I'm looking at probably trying Edgar Russ's varnish recipe he has described on Youtube or perhaps Michael Darnton's recipe. I've only been able to source shellac, colophony and gum copal in Australia however, so I don't know if Edgar's or Michael's recipe would quite work for me as they both recommend amber and mastic, respectively, and I can't get my hands on either. Anybody have any good (but simple enough for a beginner :D) recipes involving only those resins I can lay my hands on?
  4. Hi all, I'm an amateur maker in Australia approaching the varnishing stage for my first violin, but am having troubles sourcing any sort of violin varnish in a land far from Europe or Joe Robson... Do any Australian luthiers here know of a good source for (preferably oil) varnish that doesn't involve me paying absurd overseas shipping costs, and whether that's even possible with our Dangerous Goods import laws etc? I've had a look at Hammerl and OldWood varnishes, but 40 Euros of shipping even for a very small bottle of varnish seems a bit steep for my tight uni student budget... I'm honestly thinking making my own varnish from colophany or gum copal might be the way to go if I want it cheap(ish)!
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