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bkwood posted a topic in The PegboxI'm using a commercial violin varnish that takes forever to dry, even enough for the next coat. I've never used anything like Japan Dryer. In truth finishing is my weakest link in making violins. I just want something that works. Woodworking is what interests me. I used Heidersine oil varnish a few times and did like that a lot. But it seems unavailable from any outlet now. Does anyone have good advice for using, or avoiding, a drying agent like Japan Drier?
Nice color from Ammonium Rosinate
Marcus Bretto posted a topic in The PegboxHas anyone here ever had experience using an Ammonium Rosinate in oil varnish? I just made up a very small amount, and it seems to have some nice properties! I just want to consult the masses before I make a big mistake in using it for something. Here are some (bad) photos of a thin layer rubbed into fresh, bare rib wood, unsealed. It's a much more lively, rich color in person. Transparency and depth is also not well shown here. I prepared a 70/30 solution of grain alcohol and laboratory grade ammonia (30% Concentration), and to that, I added enough crushed rosin to make a thin spirit “varnish”. As the rosin dissolved, and the solution sat, the color changed from the very pale color of the rosin to a darker amber color. On its own, this color is still too light for anything substantial. The magic happened when I heated this solution to drive off the remaining ammonia, water, and alcohol. Just the heat required to drive off these volatiles and soften the rosinate caused it to transform in color to something nearly identical to my 100+ hour “low and slow” rosin cooks. Perhaps even a tad bit more gold. The resulting resin softened only very slightly with direct water contact, and was soluble in alcohol, spike lavender, and slightly in turpentine. I imagine its water softening can be mitigated, and the turpentine solubility increased with further cooking. Any advice? May I be on to something?
Sharkskin: Has anyone used this for violins, cellos, violas?
l33tplaya posted a topic in The PegboxHas anyone used this? Sounds like something that can be reused, cleaned, indefinitely... https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Sanding/StewMac_Sharkskin_Abrasive.html?lac_guid=eeee7525-3289-e811-80de-ecb1d775572a&utm_campaign=M1952&utm_medium=email&utm_source=EPA&utm_content=M1952_B_20180718
Replacements for Nitric Acid in Varnish Making
Marcus Bretto posted a topic in The PegboxHello all. So I've been reading up on as much information as I can within reason about the use of nitric acid in the cooking of varnish to produce color. Of course, reading about it has made me aware of the potential problems in using varnish produced with nitric acid. Some people claim to have success and others have many complaints from color shifts to drying problems to cracking and all sorts of fun stuff. Putting all of this aside, I have three main questions, both highly related. Does anyone know what quality of nitric acid produces the production of the colorant? Is it the oxidizing quality or the strength of the acid itself? Could the unnatural oxidation be what interferes with the drying time? Also, has anyone tried to achieve similar results with the use of chemical products other than nitric acid?
Hi all, Just put the last coat of varnish on violin #2. Do you do any finishing on your last coat of varnish after it is dry? I got a few little specs of dust/hair in my last coat of oil varnish (it's about 2 days dry now, will probably be a week or so till properly hardened up as I'm running out of natural UV) and I'd love it if they weren't a feature of the final product. On previous coats I've been giving a light sand with 600 grit wet and dry, then burnishing with a soft soft-brite pad and then a cotton rag. That seemed enough to sort out most blemishes and any unevenness. I'm not sure that I want to do that on a final coat. I thought that maybe a french polish might be the best way to finish up so I ordered some fine powdered pumicestone. Last night I was reading Roger Hargrave's double bass build and he said that unless he was antiquing, he doesn't french polish his instruments so it's made me think twice. That and I've never french polished before so I'd need to learn and practice first. What do you do after your last coat? Or do you just get it 100% perfect off the fingers/brush? Thanks again for all the advise, I really appreciate the collective ideas/wisdom of everyone here. Josh
yancypup posted a topic in The PegboxI made a tincture of alcohol and course cocobolo sawdust yesterday. It is an absolutely beautiful color! I need recommendations on adding a mordant so that I can apply it to wood as a stain. I really don't understand how mordants work but I've been told I need one. I don't get around very well so stuff like nosehair of a yak is probably out of the question. I would like to use something simple and available in a grocery or hardware store. Thanks in advance, Dan.
Polishing compound (redux)
speralta posted a topic in The PegboxGreetings, I have followed these boards for a few months, having been researching the process of varnishing violins. I am working on my first violin varnishing project using a slight variation of the method Henry Strobel recommends here. The variant is that I have used Tetley tea instead of salmon colored dilute with the walnut oil, iron oxide and colophony recipe. This method involved tea, 2 layers of varnish with no Uberzugslack (clear overcoat) followed by a rubbing compound. On such a finish, is it still appropriate to use the commercial automotive polishing compounds like t241a, No. 7 and Novus Plastic Polish number 2 (are these all diatomaceous earth?) Or would it be better to try pumice or rotten stone in some polishing oil? If so, what oil? Walnut? Olive? Linseed? Can diatomaceous earth be substituted for pumice or rottenstone? It seems finer than pumice. I have never used rottenstone. Any suggestions and/or warnings to the newly initiated would be appreciated.