Stradivari's golden ground varnish


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3 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I did not know we were countrymen. Careful, you are revealing your identity:ph34r:

In any case I have never heard that way of saying of eastern Lombardy, what the heck, I'm not from those areas, I'm from Cremona and it's well known we don't have good relations with neighbors...

However, I doubt the accuracy of your translation :

Felice Gimondi : italian cycling champion, professional from 1965 to 1979

Campagnolo nuovo record : a renowned brand of bike gearbox, a specific model in this case (nuovo record)

Brevettata : Patented, referring to the gearbox above

Maybe you need to improve your Italian...or your english:)

So did you see him training much?

He retired just after Il Cannibale in 78.

I have worked for years to translate the secret code. If you don't understand the dialect, that just proves my point. Do people in England understand what Scottish and Welsh people are saying when they talk funny?

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43 minutes ago, sospiri said:

So did you see him training much?

He retired just after Il Cannibale in 78.

I have worked for years to translate the secret code. If you don't understand the dialect, that just proves my point. Do people in England understand what Scottish and Welsh people are saying when they talk funny?

So you are from eastern Lombardy...:ph34r:

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This is something i did in Nov '18 regards an undercoat. This is known as Black Oil, or Maroger Medium or a variant of it can read more in an article  at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Maroger . It seems this undercoat has a long history in oil painting arts and possibly adopted by instrument makers for its bright yellow color and possibly more important, to assure the varnish will dry.. Anyone who has made a varnish that top dried is familiar  this problem creates, staying sticky..

At 2:40  started  heating 15 g boiled linseed oil .   At 2:46 temp is 400F, no movement,clear color, no smoke   At 415F  light smoke started.  At 2:51 temp is 535F, light smoke, quiet, no rim foam.  At 2:53 temp is 561F , added  1 P litharge  (P stands as an estimate of volume equal to a pea), Turned gold/black, still clear, added another P litharge, turned slight yellow gloss,- At 585F added 1P-   At 2:58  1/4 inch of pink  rim foam  present, no islands ( bits of foam running to edge), turning darker gold (600F). Added  2P more litharge  to a total of 5P lead.

Color in jar is black, spread out on wood is bright transparent yellow. Dries in less than a day

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Fred, I would like to see a picture of this stuff.

I know you are aware of the history of black oil, maroger's medium, megilp, etc as mediums in the oil painting world.; so, I will not say any more.

Have you considered transparent yellow  pigments such as W&N transparent yellow?  This could be added to a thick linseed oil and rubbed on the surface to enhance the yellow-ness of the ground as well as seal the wood.  There are a bunch of  transparent and semi-transparent pigments of various yellow hues that would also work since you are putting them directly on the wood.

Disclaimer:  this is not Strad's or Amati's ground--It's Fred's ground.

Mike D

Edited by Mike_Danielson
fixed Amati spelling
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43 minutes ago, Richard Pope said:

I follow this technique because the Mittenwald School teaches it and it works.  I don't know what else to tell you.  

Do they still do it this way? Teachers and techniques change over the years, I doubt they have only ever had one method.

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I have no pictures of it but i am confident this would be in the top of possibilities from various exp's.and what I've learned. Simplicity alone is a good reason. Buy (Kremers) or make some litharge, dump it into linseed oil, heat and add lead until you get the color you want. They had no thermometers then and most likely  various stages like rim foam,   surface foam  could have been   used as temp  indicators.  On maple it is dichroic, and coats of varnish dry solidly in normal drying times.  I have not tried top wood but i would expect same results. It is good to hear Richard Pope mention it is well accepted in teaching schools.    fred

 

 

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3 hours ago, Richard Pope said:

I follow this technique because the Mittenwald School teaches it and it works.  I don't know what else to tell you.  

Are Mittenwald violins considered to be those in the upper echelons of sound?

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Are Mittenwald violins considered to be those in the upper echelons of sound?

 

1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Do you mean better than a Burgess?

No, I asked the question without any intent to profess anything about mine. What I I had more in mind were the  "golden age" Cremonese.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just finished a bit of ground testing, and I think it illustrates something I've been saying for a while:

  • If finding out exactly what Strad used is an academic project, fine.
  • If the intent is to find out how to make violins that look like Strads do today, it's pretty pointless without considering the color of the wood itself, and perhaps what part 300 years may play in that.

Below is a test of a few things.  The upper wood is modern European maple, torrefied.  It's a fairly dark tan.  The lower wood is also European... 30 years old, but sliced up recently.  The background is a piece of MDF.  It should be obvious that the wood in this case is dominating the appearance of the end result.

From the left, the coatings are: 1) Clear rosin varnish  2) Terpene resin in solvent  3) same as 2), but with some orange dye added. The upper and lower samples were done the same way, at the same time.   The lower wood is decently figured, but maybe not quite as nice as the upper piece.  In a few months (if I don't forget) I'll torrefy some other strips of that white wood to get a more direct comparison.

1211529145_Groundvswood.JPG.c132b0196aca20124620c704ec8429d4.JPG

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58 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I just finished a bit of ground testing, and I think it illustrates something I've been saying for a while:

  • If finding out exactly what Strad used is an academic project, fine.
  • If the intent is to find out how to make violins that look like Strads do today, it's pretty pointless without considering the color of the wood itself, and perhaps what part 300 years may play in that.

Below is a test of a few things.  The upper wood is modern European maple, torrefied.  It's a fairly dark tan.  The lower wood is also European... 30 years old, but sliced up recently.  The background is a piece of MDF.  It should be obvious that the wood in this case is dominating the appearance of the end result.

From the left, the coatings are: 1) Clear rosin varnish  2) Terpene resin in solvent  3) same as 2), but with some orange dye added. The upper and lower samples were done the same way, at the same time.   The lower wood is decently figured, but maybe not quite as nice as the upper piece.  In a few months (if I don't forget) I'll torrefy some other strips of that white wood to get a more direct comparison.

1211529145_Groundvswood.JPG.c132b0196aca20124620c704ec8429d4.JPG

The torrefied wood certainly has remarkable contrast compared to the untreated maple.

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