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Hi, I attempted some reverse materials engineering while also rereading David Beard's useful post: http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/327011-a-classical-ground-system/page-2#entry559369 I've abandoned my attempt to achieve a ground system that is entirely water-based. Here are my goals – as implemented, do they make any sense to you? Where specifically would you disagree, and why? 1. Open pores. Aqueous. Apply a hot solution of saltpeter (very little if any potassium nitrate) and sugar of lead (lead acetate) in vinegar. Dry in sunlight or even pass the wood near a fire. Repeat the step on select areas as needed order to achieve surface uniformity. The step would both age the wood beneath and anticipate the need for a chemical drier which the next layer requires. Lots of lead has been found in some of the Italian master violins, while Sacconi did insist on a “process of oxidation.” 2. Preserve, chemically clean, and seal. A diversity of plant-based hydrocarbons. Grind up finely and soak a variety of such plant materials as turmeric, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne, etc., in gum turpentine. Filter and apply gently warmed. Extracted plant oleoresins are used in many organic synthesis procedures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin 3. Beautify: color wood and enhance contrast Alternate the first two steps above. 4. Harden surface for protection. As for the “secret ground coating” - how about creating a kind of “lake,” one which is built up with two recipes, one that also results in an elasticized silicate of lead, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and aluminum? Sacconi insisted that a silicate that did not close up the pores was present in Strads. 5. Varnish. 6. Polish. Comments? Thanks all, otter PS - Jezzupe, do you not see a role for honey or sugar in this ground system?
Hi, In his book about Strad's violins, Sacconi emphasized the openness of the wood's pores, even after application of the silicate and application of the varnish layers. Am I correct about this? Do you suppose that the opening of the pores was very likely a coincidental or spinoff result when Strad was chasing a quite different craft goal, or set of craft goals? What could it, or they, have been? What sequence of today's chemical tricks might work to open the pores? Something resulting in in-situ Aqua Regia? otter