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sugar seal


jezzupe

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Do you think it'll keep getting lighter? I never would have thought that.

I was thinking that the coatings applied were drastically different, with the first being a splash, and the second sample being a pinch.

My concern was does the desired look come at a weight cost?

The original good looking sample is sitting on my scale right now, in front of me. It weighs in at 6.60g presently. The rib blank is 41mm wide by 141mm long, 1.75mm thick and is of Big Leaf Maple. There is a small piece cut out of one corner 9mm by 14.5 mm. This piece was first applied with the hot, cooked down honey solution pictured in post #18, and after dry, I applied one coat of clear short oil varnish based on spruce and mastic resin with linseed oil over the sugar seal for about 3/4 of the length of the rib stock. This may be viewed in post #81.

If the two wood rib samples are comparable in size and density, for a rough estimation, then we have a 3.7 gram and a 6.60 gram rib finished, or a 3 gram increase roughly speaking.

I now know that this was just a first slap of things together for you, and so it was not done with weight in mind.

It will be interesting to see if the look can be maintained while the weight is reduced.

When you consider that some varnishes come in at or around 10 grams for a whole instrument, then weight is important.

As I mentioned, I wasn't concerned about anything at the time other than the visual aspect of it. Now you have all the data pertaining to that particular sample. Are you able to conclude anything further?

The question remains still about the final full instrument weight but it is one step closer.

If you think I'm of ill repute and fudging the numbers for your benefit,

Have I said anything that questions your character?

If you think that this is the case, Then I want you to know that it is purely accidental and I truly apologize!!!

I was wondering why, what looked like a heavy sample was never weighed, but did not even think I was questioning your Integrity.

While I can see now that it is possible to infer this from my question of "missing" unfavorable information, I had no intention of implying it was deliberate, but thought at that time it was 'convenient'.

Since you say you were "concerned about anything at the time other than the visual aspect of it."

I myself was concerned about the tonal aspect of this, and so we got our wires crossed.

I appreciate your 'honest cander' Bill and letting me know!

Thank You!

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Michael would you mind mentioning what those other substances are the give similar sparkle with more depth? I've already used amber shellac on the one I'm working on now but wouldn't mind trying other grounds in the future.

Dude, by now you may have noticed a slight reluctance of violin makers to get real specific with varnish "stuff" and or particulars, asking a violin maker about his varnish is like asking him what kind of wuwu' he likes on his chacha', know whut' I'm sayin' Verne ;)

Consider any info a gift ;)

I mean just think about it, you could be stuck on a desert island somewhere with a piece of highly flamed maple that MUST get sealed, if only to make it look nice. You just happen to have 2 packs of sugar with you, so you can make some brine sugar seal{not the mammal}or you can spend hours extracting fluids form sea crustaceans. I think its an easy choice :)

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Do you think it'll keep getting lighter? I never would have thought that.

The original good looking sample is sitting on my scale right now, in front of me. It weighs in at 6.60g presently. The rib blank is 41mm wide by 141mm long, 1.75mm thick and is of Big Leaf Maple. There is a small piece cut out of one corner 9mm by 14.5 mm. This piece was first applied with the hot, cooked down honey solution pictured in post #18, and after dry, I applied one coat of clear short oil varnish based on spruce and mastic resin with linseed oil over the sugar seal for about 3/4 of the length of the rib stock. This may be viewed in post #81.

After this dried, I applied one coat of colored varnish made up of spruce gum and mastic in linseed oil, with madder lake coloring and a small amount of asphalt dissolved in turpentine. This is what is pictured in post #121.

So there's the details of the original piece. Now, because I didn't anticipate having to justify anything to anyone, I neglected to weigh the rib stock before I applied anything. As I mentioned, I wasn't concerned about anything at the time other than the visual aspect of it. Now you have all the data pertaining to that particular sample. Are you able to conclude anything further?

I currently have a test piece that I did weigh to see what affect the cooked down honey has on that parameter. I have provided the before and after weights a few posts back.

If you think I'm of ill repute and fudging the numbers for your benefit, I'll send you the ounce or so of solution I have left, and you can conduct your own investigation. All I ask is you pick up the tab for shipping. It probably wouldn't be more than $5.00 to the U.S. If this is acceptable, PM me your address, and I'll throw it in the mail tomorrow.

Bill, he's just trying to save you from yourself :) well, that and the violin police :lol:
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Yeah, while you guys have been talking, I've been making samples and laying different kinds of varnish on them. In the tests I did, the sugar did one thing very cool, and that was that it reflects with a nice bright sparkle no matter what direction the light comes from. That's a definite good thing, necessary in my opinion, and scarce but not unique. The thing I didn't like was that it wasn't clear: layers beneath the first cell layer were too clouded over to see through (that's from looking at it through a microscope, something I have a lot of comparative experience with). So my summary at this point would be great reflectivity, bad refractive index. But that one top layer looks great. In my opinion, that's not enough, and there are other non-water-soluble choices that give similar sparkle with more depth.

Michael,

The cloud observation is interesting. I put roasted sugar on glass slides and see no clouding whatever. I wonder what could be the cause of what you see? Are you mixing sugar crystals with water? Could your sugar be crystallizing?

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Related to its welding....

its kina like this

note 43 seconds:

It s not exactly the same but kinda the same thing

The sugar is the ink from the picture trapped in the cellulose paper, and the silly putty is the varnish, of course they don't separate like that, but its the same principle

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Dude, by now you may have noticed a slight reluctance of violin makers to get real specific with varnish "stuff" and or particulars, asking a violin maker about his varnish is like asking him what kind of wuwu' he likes on his chacha', know whut' I'm sayin' Verne ;)

yeah it's easy to say you've got something if you don't have to prove it. So what's the point of even saying it. everyone's got a secret. Which reminds me... my brilliant idea earlier didn't pan out

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"yeah it's easy to say you've got something if you don't have to prove it. So what's the point of even saying it. everyone's got a secret. Which reminds me... my brilliant idea earlier didn't pan out "

Just to be fair...some of the makers on this forum have been incredibly open about everything they do. Some not so much. If a maker has one small thing he doesn't choose to share, that is his privilege. My wood supplier doesn't say what he does to prevent mold growth. Famous chefs don't share their "secret ingredients".

When someone has been so open in teaching exactly what they do, and finally says, "OK, that's as far as I can go..." why accuse them of being secretive? Their work proves the validity of their claim (or not). Nagyvary has made all sorts of claims, but the few people I know who have seen his work weren't too impressed. The experts on this forum are a horse of a different hue. They have been proving their prowess for years, in the open market.

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oh I agree, it's great that people are willing to share as much as they are and as a complete noob I apprciate it. If I happen to discover something unique and special that would set me appart from the crowd then I'd probably keep it to myself as well. Nothing wrong with that... just sayin why even mention it then.

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yeah I realize Michael was just pointing out that there are alternatives. I guess it's like old Mr. Edison with his light bulb. You may have to try 6,000 different things untill you find what works best.

Well I have a long weekend coming up.. better get busy...

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So my summary at this point would be great reflectivity, bad refractive index. But that one top layer looks great. In my opinion, that's not enough, and there are other non-water-soluble choices that give similar sparkle with more depth.

Care to share what the other choices would be? Pretty please?

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Maybe this sugar seal thread won't die if someone can find a way to polymerize sugar with cellulose.

When we consider:

(1) Cellulose is a polysaccharide formed of repeating units of glucose, i.e., a 'polymer of glucose'; and

(2) Sucrose is a disaccharide derived from glucose and fructose; and

(3) Scraping cellulose 'breaks' certain bonds, then

maybe it's not so unimaginable to comprehend how the two [sugar & scraped-cellulose] could indeed 'polymerize'.

Jim

post-6775-0-33661200-1300889757_thumb.png

post-6775-0-30611400-1300889770_thumb.png

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When we consider:

(1) Cellulose is a polysaccharide formed of repeating units of glucose, i.e., a 'polymer of glucose'; and

(2) Sucrose is a disaccharide derived from glucose and fructose; and

(3) Scraping cellulose 'breaks' certain bonds, then

maybe it's not so unimaginable to comprehend how the two [sugar & scraped-cellulose] could indeed 'polymerize'.

Jim

Agarose and agar (directly extracted from seaweeds) are polymeres of sugar, like cellulose but they won't caramelise. They can form a gel (very useful in many application) and are basically insoluble in water at room temperature. But they won't be very good for what matters here.

I tried wit agar to no avail. Of course I made a gel that I brushed on top of some maple scraps but this gave nothing interesting and it's colourless anyway.

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Still trying to decide how to varnish # 3 and never got through a chemisty course. To play catch up, I do read wikipedia, assuming I know the right key words, but don't get too far by myself.

I have a hunch that sugar was polymerized with wood in situ, resulting in a new wood material with unnatural branched chain carbohydrate structures having pretty high cross-link densities. That's as far as I can go.

Now cross-links can be formed by chemical reactions that are initiated by heat, pressure, change in pH, or radiation. Wikipedia also says cross-links are the characteristic property of thermosetting plastic materials, that in most cases, cross-linking is irreversible, and the resulting thermosetting material will degrade or burn if heated, without melting.

Sooo, was heat somehow used, or could it be used, to cross-link sugar with the wood, at or on the wood itself at time of application?

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15 minutes with a skillet, a couple spoonfuls of sugar, and a bit of boiling water. A couple pieces of wood. It'll answer more questions that reams of postings.

I'll add as Bill Yacey did, anyone that doesn't like the idea, don't use it. I don't know if I like it, but it's interesting and simple, and I've wasted far more time on other varnish experiments in the past.

In some ways I wish I understood the chemistry better. I have the feeling that many of the material properties of sugar that have been cited are irrelevant.

On the other hand, it's far easier to just try it, see if you like it.

I melted the sugar until it turned black and smoking. Added water. Brushed it on the wood. I didn't measure the weight gain, didn't think of it, but it didn't appear to be much 'thicker' than brushing on watered-down shellac, and less thick/heavy than varnish.

I haven't read most of this topic since a lot of it seems to have happened over the weekend when I don't visit Maestronet.

I would view what you have at this point as just the starting point of a nice stain. I played with caramelized sugar quite a bit several years ago. One thing I found was that you can color pine resin with it. Another was that it can be turned into a nice looking stain with some processing.

I would take the black mass that you currently have and add a few drops of water in order to turn in into a thick paste. Once you have that stir in some alcohol until it is quite fluid, don't do this when it's hot! Then add a small pinch of powdered lime and stir. If everything goes right (it doesn't always and I don't know why) you should get a black paste in the container along with a colored fluid. Keep stirring until the black mass in as large as it's going to get, then throw away the liquid. Wash the black paste with more alcohol until it no longer removes color. Once this washing is done you can then dissolve the black mass in water and use it as a very nice looking stain.

I've been using a stain processed like this for many years. I just use a little bit of it for its look. It's a dark brown color but the lime in it can color the wood a light yellow color in addition. Personally I think this stain is much better looking than the yellow stains that many people are fond of.

I make no claim that this processed caramel has any sealing properties, I use just enough of it for color and then seal with spruce or pine resin dissolved in alcohol. I don't think that this caramel will attract 'bugs' or anything like that. I've tried fermenting it with yeast and it didn't do anything. It's probably been processed past the point of being a useful food for anything. I've had the same jar of diluted stain in my refrigerator for several years and nothing appears the be able to live in it because it smells and looks the same now as when I made it.

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Just for clarity, the two batches I made (sugar and honey) are both runny, not thick, if you're referring to viscosity. I slowly, and in steps, added boiling water after I thought the sugar or honey had cooked long enough. After brushing some on my wood samples (post #199), I simply poured each in a separate jar, put the lid on. Now, a few days later, both are still quite fluid, both would be easy to drink, if you could stand the taste. I'd compare each to tea or coffee in viscosity, rather than, say, paint.

Jezzupe also mentioned (in post #243) that he thought I had made mine too thick. By context, I took him to mean too dark, that I had cooked it too long. But I'm not sure on that.

I agree, it makes a great stain, doesn't seem to reverse the grain. Don't yet know whether I'll use it on an instrument or not. Still working with it.

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... . But it appears the detractors haven't actually tried it. ... .

The scientific method does not work that way, Ken. To advance a theory the advocate has the the burden of proof. No idea or theory stands until it is proven.

So, would the advocates put their money where their mouth is. B)

Anyhow, IMO this sugar idea is one of the stupidest to hit MN. I am truly amazed by the huge audience and longevity of this thread. I'm in favor of novel ideas, but this one is just plain bonkers. Next we'll hear from someone advocating feces as a ground. :D

Stay Tuned.

Mike

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The scientific method does not work that way, Ken. To advance a theory the advocate has the the burden of proof. No idea or theory stands until it is proven.

So, would the advocates put their money where their mouth is. B)

Anyhow, IMO this sugar idea is one of the stupidest to hit MN. I am truly amazed by the huge audience and longevity of this thread. I'm in favor of novel ideas, but this one is just plain bonkers. Next we'll hear from someone advocating feces as a ground. :D

Stay Tuned.

Mike

It's neither science nor a theory, Michael. It is an idea, I'll give you that, but not a new one.

If you think it's stupid, that's fine with me. It might be. It does have some interesting features. Whether it's enough to be useful or not, I don't know.

I do know I wouldn't take someone else's word that it worked or not. We all chose where to waste our time.

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