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Found 14 results

  1. Hi all! I did an experiment yesterday by putting a pH indicating dye on a strip of maple. I let that dry, and then applied 5% sodium nitrite solution to it, and placed it in the light box. To my surprise, only after a few minutes of light exposure the dye changed from orange to a cool red, indicating the presence of a base. I had always thought that nitrite reaction produces nitric acid, so, I’m very confused as to why this test indicates as alkaline. Anyone have a possible explanation? Also, I’m wondering if this is a good approach to create a pH neutral treatment? I’m not a chemist, but I imagine one could find the proper salts to add, to make sure the dye does not change color through the process.
  2. 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!
  3. I wanted to start this topic with the hopes that it would become a useful resource for those who are looking to go in a particular direction with wood and ground coloration and are unsure of a place to start. Of particular interest to me is producing a wood color that leans on tan with grey hints. Not much yellow, and very little green. But, it would be nice to see everything that’s out there. If you have examples of any process you’d like to share, even if you didn’t like the result, it would be wonderful to have here in one place.
  4. I’ve been bouncing ideas through my head about the color of aged/oxidized wood and started doing some investigation into wood byproducts when I came across Sodium Lignosulfonate. It’s a byproduct of removing lignin from wood in the paper pulping industry. It is a water soluble powder which can range in color from browns to reds to golds that also has properties as a dye dispersant. Something tells me it could be very good for adding some color to white wood. Any opinions? Thanks!
  5. This picture shows Joe's balsam ground preparation 3 after 3:1 dilution with turpentine. After a while the balsam seems to precipitate out. Has anyone encountered this problem?
  6. I've been building furniture for around forty years or so. But not until I started dabbling in violin making a couple of years ago did I ever hear the term "ground." I'm now working on my eighth instrument and I confess I'm still a bit in the dark. The books and YouTube videos I watch all say to apply a "ground" of this or that to the bare wood prior to the varnish. So I do. But I have never have found anything to explain what, exactly, it does. I have assumed that it is to seal the wood somehow or make a better bond for the varnish. Am I correct? Is that all? Does it have anything to do with improving the tone of the instrument? I would really appreciate some words of wisdom from someone who knows what they are doing in this area. I prefer to make educated choices in what I apply. Thanks in advance!
  7. sandman


    Does anyone have any experience using dewaxed shellac as a ground? Specifically under an oil varnish such as joha Italian oil?
  8. Hello,I have a violin with the neck graft done by Hill's. I wonder how the Hill's finish the neck? It has passed 40 years and the neck is still intact with a glassy look. I have heard that the Hill bow maker finish their bow with boiled linseed oil. Is that the thing they used in finishing the neck? Any ideas? Some image of the neck https://s13.postimg.org/4ad3bz1br/Whats_App_Image_2016_08_23_at_14_59_05.jpg https://s15.postimg.org/8bpybugob/Whats_App_Image_2016_08_23_at_14_59_05_1.jpg
  9. Hi guys, I am currently in the process of varnishing my 2nd violin build and as per the 1st, I am using some of Joe Robson's products. If anyone is familiar with these products, I'd love to pick your brains as to how you use them on your own instruments. For anyone who is not familiar with his ground system, it involves 4 different balsam preparations and then a ground varnish as a final step. Also, there are colors that can be added after the 2nd balsam preparation. In the instructions I received from Joe, he recommends adding the aged wood color to a dilute mix of the 2nd ground preparation. After this, he mentions the aged wood red/brown and aged wood gray green can be added. He doesn't say if they should be mixed with the 2nd ground preparation or whether they are applied directly to the instrument. Can anyone here who's used these ground products help me out? I've got some more of Joe's Alizarin color concentrates and the dark rosin varnish in the mail also. Last violin I brushed on the ground and varnish for every coat, but I've been learning that a lot of makers use their hands to apply the varnish. I'd love to experiment with this approach, but I have no experience in it so I'm a little nervous about ruining the violin. What are you trying to achieve by using your hands? Putting varnish on heavier in some areas? Avoiding overloading the edges? I know there is a thousand ways to skin a cat, but I'd love to hear from anyone about their particular method of working and way they use it. Especially useful if you're familiar with Joe's varnishes. Thanks again and I very much appreciate everyone who is willing to share their experience on forums like this. It really does help someone like myself to find direction early on in learning to make!
  10. While I've always associated the 'Dichroic' qualities of the nicer Cremonese varnish with the ground, Most of the makers (not necessarily restorers...) I know associate it with the varnish layer. Do folks have an opinion about this?
  11. With many thanks to Helen Michetschläger I would start this topic. http://www.helenviolinmaker.com/talks_articles_files/Saltpetre-BVMA_10.10.pdf Come together revive this legacy!
  12. Hello all, I've decided to start this thread as a way to document my violin making adventures. I'm going to start out with my most recent trials in varnishing. I recently purchased a white violin and planned to try the following system on it: Shellac coats (various colors) to seal and ground, then IVC oil varnish for hints of color followed by clear coats and rub down. So far I've completed the shellac sealing and grounding. The pictures below are in chronological order (going from white violin to sealed to final ground coat). I would describe the resulting color as a light golden walnut. Feel free to ask questions or critique my process. Thanks The pictures go: Back, Ribs then Front. Each progression of that pattern represents another step or part of the sealing and grounding.
  13. I wanted to make a new attempt with propolis soap fulton I thought that I remember how to do The formula is 100 gr propolis resin 300 ml water pka 3 g KOH solution, then with alum. I forgot to give 300 ml of water, and gave KOH straight to propolis heated in a water bath. Then I put in a hot solution of alum. Hu, boo, ouu originated clotted mass as Vaseline, displace water. I decanted water. Further warming, but grease is already in a water bath (100 degrees Celsius) a more softened zřemě it got much higher melting point than propolis. Insoluble in water. The turpentine-insoluble, alcohol soluble. After dilution with alcohol on wood very impressive per hour dry and not sticky. You do not know what I made​​? Fulon propolis soap that is not for sure.
  14. Steps 1-5 below may constitute a classical ground approach or system. Without getting into recipe details, It seems to me that this list is the proper sequence of finishing goals that makers ought to be aiming for: 1. CLEAN the wood chemically with a recipe that also seals 2. PROTECT the wood with a second, more durable sealer 3. FILLER 4. FIXATIVE 5. DECORATE the wood by using some combination of the above 4 water-based recipes, which are exceedingly thinned 6. (Your favorite varnish system) The above is based upon experimentation in fine finishing, but I am no maker, so all feedback is appreciated. Thank you, otter (edits added)
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