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Purchased Varnish Opinions


scordatura

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I have purchased and cooked my varnish in the past (can you say exothermic reaction?). I am considering "cooking" again but wanted to explore opinions on bought varnish.

Any one have opinions on Joe Robson's? Hammerl (JOHA)? Imprimatura Dorata (Magister Varnish)?

Before anyone gets hot and bothered, I realize that each has it's own system and one needs to buy into that system.

To be quite honest I want to keep it simple. I am thinking that I would like to purchase at the very least something resembling the mastic varnish as proposed by Gary Baese using my own sealer and ground. Despite the support of some, I am not convinced of linseed as a basis for a ground varnish unless it was high resin low oil version (short). Fat over lean also works for me.

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I am only familar with Joe,s and I love it, apart from the fact that I don't know what i'm doing..... I love it it, has a wonderfull clarity and chatoance and little pin pricks all over. The color is ... well I look at the cremona violin pics and mine sure looks damm close ,the color does shift in diffrent lights and has a nice ultra violet show/ quite different from the old german glue size fiddles i've seen,I think. I could have incorparated more color in my ground and I left the varnish thin, so my violins are pretty blond but I can see clearly that it is a thecknique issue, not product related, and I felt the system is also pretty simple ..very craftman oriented. and very well researched/ from every one I've talked to Joe Is the man. His stuff smells good to. good luck. Honestly would'nt it be fun to just drop like $1500 and do side by side test on all of them?

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I am not familiar with Magister although I did see a demo by Bill Scot at Oberlin.

I attended Robson's varnish workshop and am now a convert. His Greek Pitch Varnishes and Balsam Ground are absolutely wonderful. They represent a lot more research than I care to do.

I have used a lot of Hammerl. All I can say is that it is cheap.

And I have experimented with cooking my own varnish. It was fun, but I stopped. Cooking varnish was like harvesting my own trees for tonewood. I decided to get my materials from the experts and focus on making violins. ;)

Stay Tuned.

Mike

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