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Jeremy Davis

Strip and Refinish - It's going to happen...

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McBenet   

quick question: do you install the saddle before or after varnishing?(I ask because I've seen it both ways.)

Jeremy,

My preference, and it is only that, is to varnish with saddle off. First of all, I just like haveing the thing out of the way. Makes it easier for me. Second, I don't like tell tale signs of varnish on the saddle. And third, if you varnish with the saddle on and you get varnish down into the small gap between the sides of the saddle and the the edge of the top plate, you will have the same problem you would have had if you had left no gap on the sides of the saddle and this presents the possibility of saddle cracks re-appearing on the top plate.

Makers usually like to "play their instruments in", "in the white" and therefore install the saddle before varnishing and (understandablely) often don't want to remove the saddle to complete the fiddle when they varnish. Most of them are probably more skilled than I am at doing a proper varnish job with the saddle on and I don't offer any judgement on their choice, I just find it easyer with the saddle off.

Hope this helps,

-----Barry

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iburkard   

I'm not sure what to recommend... personal preference. If you plan to set up the instrument right away with a soft-ish finish, it would make sense to install before, so that you don't have to risk marring the finish while installing/clamping. It's easy enough to mask the saddle and gaps to the left and right, or scrape the areas clean later.

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Ok, I successfully filled the crack and managed to lighten it as well. I think it'll be much less noticeable once my varnishing is done. Speaking of which, can anyone direct me to any instructional videos (online) that would be good to look at? I'm very much interested in the "hand-applied" approach (you know, being a sculptor an all..) and seem to remember seeing some videos with that technique a while back. Something having to do with 1800 and violins, but unfortunately didn't bookmark it at the time. Anybody know what I'm talking about?

I am interested in opinions on brush vs. hand application BTW...

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MikeC   

I think this is what you are looking for.

http://www.oldwood1700.com/videos_aplicacion.aspx

The videos are on youtube

I would reccomend the hand application. I did it for the first time recently. Thinned artist oil paint with a little uncolored varnish that had some drier in it. I think it has a drier because I didn't have as much workin time as I would have liked so it may be better to thin the paint with something other than what I used. I dabbed some on with a brush as shown in the videos then spread it in a thin glaze with my hands as shown but I didn't use rubber gloves as shown, just bare skin. Hey, it cleans off with turpentine! :) One thing I like about doing it this way is I put a little extra color in the coves of the C bouts because I wanted it darker there. Pattted it out from there with my finger tip and got a very smooth even transition from the dark area to the light area. Looks almost like the effect you could get by spraying with an air brush.

one place where I did use a brush was on the ribs and ended up getting some brush hairs in the varnish. Lesson learned, use a better quailty brush!

in this thread you can see some pics of how mine turned out with the hand application

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=323377&st=0

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