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Found 1 result

  1. Jacob

    Varnish making

    Rather than continuing the "Seeding" thread, I thought it might be better to start a new one, with the following thoughts offered for comment. The "firm pill stage" is held by many as prerequisite for a good varnish. However, the original "Marciana" recipe does not mention this, and at least two members of this forum (Melvin Goldsmith and Neil Ertz) apparently don't cook up to that stage. Gum spirits as a thinner, either during cooking or for subsequent further thinning, is also frequently mentioned as an absolutely vital component of a good oil varnish. However, gum spirits didn't exist during the classical Cremonese period. For one, the Marciana recipe does not call for the addition of gum spirits during cooking (or at the cooling stage). Cooking the resins for considerable periods of time in order to enhance the color also seems to form an important part of the process advocated by many - except that it is always mentioned that additional coloring matter will need to be added prior to application. So why bother with extra cooking in the first place, espacially if this may ruin the varnish? Many current recipes call for a cooking temperature of up to 300C, both for the pre-cooking of the resin as well as for the oil/resin cooking. I'm treading on dangerous ground here, but in my personal experience, the higher the temperature, the more the chances of inexplicable varnish faults. About "testing" a particular concoction: applying to strips of wood instead of to a finished instrument first - that's good, it's a no-brainer. However, if someone goes against conventional wisdom (urban legend?) with a particular recipe, and states that it is still good after five years, how does one answer the question "what will it be like after 50 years?" It would be nice to hear from varnish makers who can attest to the "goodness" of their product after 50 years, but I know I won't care a rat's @ss about what I slapped on a violin when I'm 110 years old (don't worry, I won't get there). About some of the contritubions in these varnish threads: I think we all respect the fact that some posters may have proprietory knowledge which they do not wish to share publicly, and I, like many others, appreciate their contributions on these topics. May I suggest that care is taken in posting comments which may elicit further inquires compromising a commercial situation, causing further inquires to be snubbed. Firstly, such comments are not helpful at all (since they are no more than teasers), and secondly, it can make further innocent and honest inquires seem to come from delinquent schoolboys too lazy to do their own homework/too stingy to buy their own lunch, when in fact the opposite may be true. In short, one shouldn't open avenues down which one don't want/can't afford to go. It can make other participants in the thread look unnecessarily stupid, and can give some posts a commercial air which I'm sure isn't intended. Interestingly, I noticed on Keith Hill's website that he is now offering his varnish for sale due to public demand, at prices pretty much comparable to any other commercially available varnish - clear indication that more people are looking for a varnish rather than a recipe. If it were to make financial sense to me I would buy any of the high-end commercial varnishes without question. I'm very grateful for all the feedback I received in the "Seeding" thread. There are quite a few ideas in there worth pursuing. Viva Maestronet.