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What's On Your Bench Mk 2


Melvin Goldsmith
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If you hunt down the website of the French museum that owns the violins there are pictures of all of the violins under the same lighting. The long Strad with no pigments in its varnish has more color than the later Strads containing pigments. I would lean towards the resin having a lot of color in it and that the pigments were a minor source of color used to change the color a little bit.

thanks. I visited the site. Indeed the long pattern is pretty colorful, although it's difficult to see what shade it is. For sure the use of a resin colored by a physico-chemical (heating/chemical catalysts) process would be the best way to get a perfectly transparent varnishes.

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thanks. I visited the site. Indeed the long pattern is pretty colorful, although it's difficult to see what shade it is. For sure the use of a resin colored by a physico-chemical (heating/chemical catalysts) process would be the best way to get a perfectly transparent varnishes.

What site is that? Post a link?

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joe you might be right, but i want to challenge you to a duel, make one small batch of my nitric formula varnish adding bits of these pigments echard found use dammar and the best rosin you can find, when your done get two identical 3mm boards of spruce cut one on top of the other, adjust their thicknesses till when tapping on them they sound the same, then, we'll have to think about what undercoat, then varnish youre best orange red brown varnish on one, my nitric varnish on the other build a similar thickness coat to not only compare the appearance but the wearability, thermoplasticity, transperency, and most importantly how do the tap tones compare does one ring better than the other, the richness of the resonance of the tap which is more pleasant sounding etc, if my varnish wins on both tone and appearance or ties on tone but wins on dichroic effectetc, then i will give you full permission to make and market a"joe robson nitric acid varnish" without crediting me, you wouldnt have to use my resin and oil mix but i would encourage you to at least try dammar as a part ingredient, and because nitric is the most difficult to produce you charge twice the price for the better looking and possibly better sounding varnish, seriously joe, give it a thought i know ive been a jerk to you in the past and for that i apologize, but thinking about how hard and dangerous it is to make this stuff id rather be telling people buy from joe, i thinks its the closest thing you can get to cremonese varnish and its very affordable compared to how hard it is to make, and obviously i believe you of all people have the skill to make these varnishes, possibility?joe?

Hi,Lyndon.It would probably be good manners to at least present some pictures to share of your wonderful varnish for us mere mortals

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soory melvin i dont have a camera or know how to post pictures, and have to pay a friend to do it for me; this is work i mostly did in the 80s revarnishing which i dont do anymore, on my clavichords i used the formula untreated by acid and clear, i do have a small section varnished with that purple red varnish that was in a fire ill try to post that by next week, from computer pictures a nitric coloured orange varnish is going to look very similar to a pigmented varnish, the dichroic effects you need to see in person and are hard to photograph, in previous discussion other people have posted nitric varnish pictures and they look similar to mine

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I remember you described cooking your varnish with madder root lakes inside. Did you use this varnish already?

I saw the MS spectra from the Echard paper and although he states that the pigment is most likely a lake of cochineal (since the spectra looks more like the one obtained with carminic acid than purpurin or alizarin) I agree with you that it was not that clear whcih pigment it was. Echard himself is not fully affirmative. But I have never seen the 2 violins he was referring to so maybe the visual colour would be helpful

roberto,

Yes. My Greek Pitch varnishes are based in a process that colors the oil using madder root. This is not a lake or pigment mixed into the oil, but rather a truly colored oil so there is no loss of clarity as we add color to the instrument.

I emailed back and forth with M. Echard on this issue several times. He was certain on the presence of anthraquinones but murky on the source. His method is very good for identifying particulate but not non-particulate components.

lyndon,

"joe you might be right, but i want to challenge you to a duel," At some previous point in my career I would have gladly taken you up on this....no offense intended but I will have to decline....as is evident to the folks I play phone tag with and those who have to wait too long for their varnish, my time is pretty tight these days.

More to the point though:

I spent a lot of time trying and revising every method I could find for coloring the varnish without sacrificing clarity. This included a couple years of work with colored rosinates and the nitric acid process. Beautiful varnshes of excellent color can be made this way....the best I have ever seen are done by a French maker: Frank Ravatin. For me, this was not the "answer". I think it is fundamental in this work to learn to see clearly, To attempt to reproduce the successes of the past, we must be able to be accurate and analytical about "seeing".

As I made, played with, and revised a series of colored resin based varnishes [as a failure, I have a long success story...] something did not sit right with my eye and a growing understanding of the good Italian varnish...and the more I saw good instruments....the stronger this sense became. Eventually I abandoned this line of making.

The reason?....When you add color to the varnish the coloring process adopts the optical properties of the medium which is carrying the color. So a colored resin gives a bright, intense....but glassy...color to the varnish. When the oil carries the color you get the softer, more diffuse optics of the oil. To my eye this is closer to the appearance of the classic varnish.

on we go,

Joe

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thanks for the reply, joe, i didnt realize youd already tried nitric, i was interested in doing something id never done, combining nitric with other processes you are already using, and getting some feedack on my 60/40/30 dammar/rosin/oil formula, the colouring is not so critical to the tone IMO unless you are somehow degrading the varnish in the colouring process; the cooking and nitric treatment might do that or at least change tonal effects, obviously the resin to oil ration influences the tone, and what if any ground you use.

i managed to find an old jar of my deeply coloured varnish, but it has hardened, ill try to see if i can get some to dissolve in turps then post pictures if i can, thats all folks.......

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people were asking for pictures of my nitric coloured violin varnish, mike C graciously posted pictures of one of my clavichords varnished with nitric varnish under the "varnish variations of mr S" thread the lid panels are flame oak not maple but youll get the idea, also fiddlecollector posted some excellent close ups of his nitric varnish which looks very similar, im still getting some pics of that purple brown batch that was saved from a fire, this weekend, thanks for your patience with me

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Lyndon, I'd like to see a larger pic of the clavichord if you still have one? Also would like to see the purple batch if you can find that. As you remember I was wanting to try your nitric treatment. I still would like to do that but I may stick to safer things for now after reading about how dangerous varnish making can be.

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Nice looking color!

In fact I am not really happy of the colour... :) too orange, too much screaming "new violin". But I am quite pleased with the rest, purfling, corners, edges, arching. It's nice to be able to look at the first ones and think that you're improving and not the contrary!

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Yesterday I did boil some linseed oil (the one I am blowing now). And 3 days ago I put a drop of Perilla oil, a drop of Wilson Newton refined linseed oil, and a drop of castor oil that I heat at 20C for 30 with 5% copper sulfate on a plastic lid and put the lid in the UV box I made. the refined oil and the perilla oil are drying clearly but not the castor oil for the moment (picture 1). then today I did add a drop of the boiled linseed oil and took a picture withe UV light on (picture 2). You can see the fluorescence of the boiled oil (even though it is not dried) while the perilla and the refined linseed oil stay invisible. the color is not that blue in reality, but rather greenish as it was reported so often on this forum.

post-29661-0-40770500-1314471412_thumb.jpg

post-29661-0-62665300-1314471426_thumb.jpg

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Yesterday I did boil some linseed oil (the one I am blowing now). And 3 days ago I put a drop of Perilla oil, a drop of Wilson Newton refined linseed oil, and a drop of castor oil that I heat at 20C for 30 with 5% copper sulfate on a plastic lid and put the lid in the UV box I made. the refined oil and the perilla oil are drying clearly but not the castor oil for the moment (picture 1). then today I did add a drop of the boiled linseed oil and took a picture withe UV light on (picture 2). You can see the fluorescence of the boiled oil (even though it is not dried) while the perilla and the refined linseed oil stay invisible. the color is not that blue in reality, but rather greenish as it was reported so often on this forum.

Interesting and thanks for showing.

What was your inspiration for perilla oil? I have some perilla plants growing in my garden right now to use the leaves as a herb ( called Shiso in Japan) with the advice of my wife who is Japanese. The leaves of this uniquely flavoured plant are an important purple/red colourant in Japanese cuisine.

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Indeed Perila oil seems to have been extensively used in painting in China and Japan. I simply read that perilla oil was drying faster and makes a somewhat harder film than linseed. But Perilla oil is not as easy to get as linseed oil. It's also yellower than linseed and gives a yellower film upon drying (it's not really clear on the drop I dried). I thought these properties (including the yellow color) could be an asset for varnish making or sealing.

I bought mine from a company called Melvita and it seems to me that it is some kind of skin care product they are selling. I say this because the refined linseed oil from Winston doesn't fluoresce while raw oil you get from the supermarket does. Obviously the fluorescence properties have been lost in the refining process. the perilla oil I have doesn't fluoresce either, but I don't know if raw perilla oil would, seemingly an important feature of old instruments ground.

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Robertdo, in the supermarket oil its probably got added vitamin E antioxidant which is probably whats fluorescing.

Perilla oil has been used in commercial varnishes for quite a while usually as a mixture with linseed or other oil.

Its supposed to be one of the best drying oils,though more expensive .

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This is the first time I'm posting my work. Just finished a repair on a violin.

You've done a lot of good work, but the placement of the cleats is somewhat alarming:

You should have done some overlapping with the cleats, or longer cleats covering more than one crack. As it is now, new cracks will appear between the cleats as shown here:

post-30090-0-68559100-1314780379_thumb.jpg

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You've done a lot of good work, but the placement of the cleats is somewhat alarming:

You should have done some overlapping with the cleats, or longer cleats covering more than one crack. As it is now, new cracks will appear between the cleats as shown here:

post-30090-0-68559100-1314780379_thumb.jpg

Thanks I will keep that in mind!

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