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Coloring Tru-oil?


polkat
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And by Tru-oil I mean the Birchwood Casey product. In the past, through a suggestion here, I dissolved some road tar in turps and filtered the results directly into the Tru-oil. It worked...to a degree, but it wasn't a very strong effect. I simply want to acheive a darker brown effect. Maybe I should have used more tar.

What have others done here?

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And by Tru-oil I mean the Birchwood Casey product. In the past, through a suggestion here, I dissolved some road tar in turps and filtered the results directly into the Tru-oil. It worked...to a degree, but it wasn't a very strong effect. I simply want to acheive a darker brown effect. Maybe I should have used more tar.

What have others done here?

On gunstocks and my very first handmade violin, I just used some dark walnut stain on the wood underneath the Tru-Oil. For my other violins I used Hammerl oil varnish and Hammerl tints for their oil varnish quite successfully. Since both the Hammerl oil varnish and Tru-Oil are based on linseed oil, I think the Hammerl oil tints would color the Tru-Oil very well. As inexpensively as Hammerl products can be had from International Violin Co., I thought that there was little reason for me to stick with the Tru-Oil except for the fact that I have over 20 years experience with it. I'm glad I tried the Hammerl stuff and love the coloring that can be done with it in various ways.

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I don't know if anyone else has noticed,

but the last tru-oil that I purchased was not Tru,,,

It smells different feels different and behaves different,,,

smells kind of like tung-oil, it stinks, has a strong odor.

I took some over to a fellow woodworker to have his own nostralic investigation,,,,

all he said was ,,,,

GEEZZZSEEE !!!!!!!

Is this a bad batch,

or is it a new fad ?

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My most recent purchase of Tru-oil (about three weeks ago) smells fine and seems the same. I wouldn't think that they'd change a product that has been sucessful (particularly for gunstock makers) for many years. But you never know.

Do any of the chain hardware stores carry the Hammerl tints?

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E-mail Birchwood Casey. I'm fairly sure they would not be changing their method and formula, given that it is very popular.

E-mail Birchwood Casey,,,

What a novel idea !

wish I'd a thought of that !

Maybe the old fart can learn new tricks.

I went and resmelled to be sure,and opened the other new (lg size) bottle,,,,wretched !!!

my wife said it smells like used motor oil,, I thouight it had tung oil overtones,,with an acetic acid kick.

I checked an old bottle,,It smells completely different.(normal)

I've used it for about 20 yrs ,,I know the smell !!

I guess if someone had never used it before they would never know the difference.

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Bill

Are any of your fiddles brownish in color...besides the one that was stained?...it would be nice to see some photos of the Hammerl varnishes on your instruments...just to see the different shades that are available and how it looks on the wood when finished...PM or post would be great if you could?

One of these has some heavy doses of red-brown tint in red-brown varnish and the other has some dark brown tint in the red-brown varnish. IVC doesn't list its varnish and tints as Hammerl products, but that becomes clear when you compare the wording on IVC's website with the wording on Hammerl's website...

post-31410-0-93784800-1328587320_thumb.jpg

post-31410-0-60171100-1328587341_thumb.jpg

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Nice looking finishes Bill!

Evan, I have also used it for years. Could be that the last bottle I bought had been on the store shelf for some time, but it's the original stuff. Have you tried using the new stuff you got?

I'm used to having a hand rubbed finish dry by morning,

then can wipe some dye and color ,,,it flashes then more tru-oil.

yes I gave it a big chance !!with this wretched stuff,, it will hardly dry,,then it wrinkles if you look at it ,,

I mean after letting it dry for several days,,I use it for finish work,,not on fiddles,,I never use it on fiddles,,

but you can make an old beat up bass look fantistic with this stuff and some color.

I'm not much of a whiner so I just used somthing elese and forgot it till I saw this thread.

I am going to contact the manfacter,,I just thought they changed the product.

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Bill

It looks like the tint is in the varnish?...I can see a golden undercoat?...How did you seal & color ground?...Have you tried tinting the sealed wood or the ground?...Does the Hammerl varnish dry quickly?...What does it smell like?...I've never used it before so please excuse all the questions...Thanks for the photos

-Ernie

Ernie

I used red-brown varnish and added different tints, mostly red-brown and dark brown tints, to darken the varnish. The darker brown violin has a gelatin ground on top of which is red-brown water-based stain, then several coats of red-brown oil varnish with varying degrees (more dark brown, less red-brown) tint and turpentine added to thin it, then 3 coats of clear oil varnish thinned by turpentine. The reddish violin has a ground idea I got from Greg Alf - tripoli powder and clear varnish mixed into a paste which is rubbed hard into the wood, then wiped off. It has several coats of red-brown varnish with more red and red-brown tints added than dark brown tint, then 3 coats of clear oil varnish, each coat thinned with turpentine to brush on easily and self-level nicely.

The tint is in the varnish. The clear varnish and tripoli gave a more golden color than the gelatin did. The water-based stain did very well on the gelatin, but would not do well at all on the varnish/tripoli, so the brown one has tinted ground and the red one has only the varnish tinted. Each varnish layer has dried overnight in my UV box which only has two bulbs. The varnish itself smells similar to other linseed oil products I have, Tru-Oil and boiled linseed oil, until I thin it with turpentine, then it smells like pine sap, but that odor goes away after it dries. I currently have a violin in progress that I used a paste of boiled linseed oil and tripoli rubbed in and wiped off for a ground - it is the most golden colored ground yet.

Bill

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I called Birchwood Casey,,,

Really great customer service !!

They did have a bad batch in 2010,,

complaints of fish smell,,stink,,,

she said one of the ingredients was bad.

I gave the lot#s and she's sending me new stuff.

Her biggest concern was why I hadn't told them sooner,,,

Duh !!!!

Thanks guys for keeping me straight !!!

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Evan, what was your lot #?

Now I don't mean to be weird,,,

But I feel a little strange posting a bad lot# publicly,,

I don't like to admit it ,,but some people will call and get free stuff that way..

I'm not refering to anyone here at all,,

But thousands of people read this stuff,,

and I don't want to be the cause of anyone getting ripped off.

Do you understand?

Look up Birchwood Casey,,,They have contact info.

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And by Tru-oil I mean the Birchwood Casey product. In the past, through a suggestion here, I dissolved some road tar in turps and filtered the results directly into the Tru-oil. It worked...to a degree, but it wasn't a very strong effect. I simply want to acheive a darker brown effect. Maybe I should have used more tar.

What have others done here?

Well I need to change hats. For the past 18 years we have manufactured a line of furniture finishes that competes with Tru-oil.

I have not run tests with the products in a couple years. At that time my best results in coloring Tru-oil were using commercial oil base tube colors.

Joe

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Thanks for explaining your technique...I too use the Alf technique of Tripoli/Varnish when applying my ground...adding pigment or colored varnish to color the wood...one last question if you don't mind...are the Hammerl tints in powered or liquid form?

I don't mind questions at all - I love discussing this stuff, though I usually keep myself quiet from standing in awe of the great modern makers that post on here. The Hammerl tints that I use are in liquid form - I cut the bottom half off an empty pill bottle and use that to mix enough varnish for one coat and I use a syringe without a needle, usually 3 cc or 5cc size, to draw up a tiny bit of tint an squirt it into the varnish in the pill bottle. The two main IVC (Hammerl)varnishes that I use are #1010RB red-brown and #1010C clear. The tints that I mainly use are #1015RB red-brown and #1015DB dark brown coloring extract for oil & spirit varnish. For each coat I start with maybe a teaspoon of oil varnish, 3 or 4 drops of each color of tint, and 6 to 8 drops of turpentine. A little goes a long way. That red-brown water-based stain that I used on the gelatin ground was in powder form and I had to mix it with water to use it.

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One little caution with those extracts. When I used double the recommended amount in my simple varnish it became paint stripper. I also just revarnished one that I made eight years ago with the recommended level. About two years ago the varnish started coming off in a couple of spots. Last summer the customer complained that she was tired of her hands being sticky after playing and asked that I try to fix it. Suffice it to say that I no longer ever use those extracts. Maybe in the Hammerl varnish they are OK. I do have some powdered colors that I got from International Luthiers Supply many years ago and have not had problems with them.

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OP here. Evan, I understand about not wanting to give out that number.

I have tried in the past to tint tru-oil with artists oil paints. I dissolved it in turps first, then filtered it right into the tru-oil. Either I did not use enough, or didn't mix it completely, but the result gave uneven coloring (got more even coloring with the road tar).

I may try this again as I'm also a painter and have lots of paint. Any suggestions on mixing it and how much to use? Thanks!

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  • 3 years later...

I have a violin that I have sanded back because the varnish began to get "soft and sticky".

In researching how to apply a finish, I have come across the possible use of Tru-Oil.

Because the fiddle is a resonent instrument, it is suggested that perhaps an initial wash/sealer coat of shellac+alcohol be applied.

After drying and a light sanding, Tru-Oil can then be applied.

 

Any advice?

 

Thank you.

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