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darkening the violin wood


Peter White

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What I like about it is there is no diminishing of the sparkle and no unevenness or burning...at least on the maple. The wood is still very refractive. When diluted with the balsam it is very controllable as Joe says. So are you saying a higher concentration then a 1:1 of the AWG would have given a darker color?

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Is this some US cherry wood? It looks great, but European cherry has a nasty reputation for cracking. The old guys used to leave it for several years to let it crack and then cut out the bits between the cracks. This is why big thick pieces are seldom found on furnature. It was mostly used as veneers.

 

Yes it's referred to as 'black cherry' and it's harvested on the U.S.  East Coast (Pennsylvania etc) The wood is plentiful and it is primarily used by cabinet makers. It is exceptionally stable (more stable than maple) the density is approximately, if perhaps a bit lighter than maple. I've been very pleased with the tonal results.

Because the back starts out so dark the bigger challenge is to match the top color to the back. I extract color from the cherry wood as a tincture and use it as part of my coloring scheme to get a good match.

 

Oded

 

Oded

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I think a clear oil based finish on figured cherry looks natural.  Colored

 

I like it very much. 

 

Was this done with a simple clear varnish or were there UV lamp/sun exposures, fillers, grounds, chemical treatments, stains or dyes coloring steps, colored varnish etc. used?

 

Marty

 

Marty

 

 

Hi Marty, Marty,

 

No there is a bit of color added to the wood, a 'golden ground' is what I was looking for. But not that much of it, just enough to bring out more depth.

 

Nothing else was done, no UV, sun fillers etc.just my normal sealer and varnish with some tincture color.

 

Oded

 

 

Oded

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What I like about it is there is no diminishing of the sparkle and no unevenness or burning...at least on the maple. The wood is still very refractive. When diluted with the balsam it is very controllable as Joe says. So are you saying a higher concentration then a 1:1 of the AWG would have given a darker color?

 

Ernie,

Higher concentration Aged Wood Gold, less dilution with alcohol, or both.  If you have soft or porous wood a more viscous solution will produce a darker result faster.

Joe

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So...controllability when applying your ground and achieving a desirable color depends not on the written instructions provided but on your familiarity of your products. I can now see the need for hands on training in your workshops.

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So...controllability when applying your ground and achieving a desirable color depends not on the written instructions provided but on your familiarity of your products. I can now see the need for hands on training in your workshops.

 

Ernie,

As it is necessary to provide guidelines for use, I do.  However nothing that I make or suggest to varnish the instrument has a "formula" for application.  That is contradictory to how this process should work.  These materials are tools which the maker controls.  The more accomplished you become with a tool, the better it perfoms.  And besides, we know every piece of wood is different.....

on we go,

Joe

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After seven coats and a full day of sun it looks like a day maybe two in the sun...I'm hoping the old wood will perform better...Sorry Joe. Thumbs down on the AWG...like before it is just too fugitive. Please cancel my order.

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After seven coats and a full day of sun it looks like a day maybe two in the sun...I'm hoping the old wood will perform better...Sorry Joe. Thumbs down on the AWG...like before it is just too fugitive. Please cancel my order.

 

Ernie,

Well not all things work for all makers...otherwise every violin would look the same!

Joe

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No doubt different application techniques / woods can produce different outcomes ... I found
that Joe's ground system could give very nice results. (the best of the limited number grounds I tried)
If you want a very dark ground it might be better to use it in combination with UV tanning or some oxidizer?

The Aged wood gold behaved much as a madder tincture, I think. At first it looks very yellow (as on Ernie's picture) but fades after a while.

best regards

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Ernie,

A couple of thoughts....

Product vs Process.  The cello pictures I sent were of the whole process completed.   Not just one phase.

 

The Aged Wood Gold is a match for the color the wood will naturally acquire as it ages under the varnish [as a reaction to visible light].  So, it needs a variable application strength to allow the maker the chance to control wood color under the varnish.

 

I hope the next experiment works for you.  Keep us posted.

on we go,

Joe

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Thanks, I'm not done your stuff yet. I will finish applying the rest of the ground including the AWG and then compare the two. I also want to see what the Balsam Ground will look like over the OW ground.

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Thanks, I'm not done your stuff yet. I will finish applying the rest of the ground including the AWG and then compare the two. I also want to see what the Balsam Ground will look like over the OW ground.

Ernie,

I look forward to your experiments and am glad you are sharing them here....keep it up!

 

On the subject in general.

Back to the basics...

We can identify and explain the color changes that happen to every instrument as a reaction to living in UV and visible light.

1. The UV transition is inevideble, familiar, and has a distinct beginning and end.  Therefore it is always better to tan the white instrument if time and life allow it.

2. The reactions to visible light are more slow to happen, but continue for the life of the instrument.

3. As artistic varnishers we can add colors to the wood or the ground which mimic these changes.

4. As artistic varnishers we can add color to enhance the appearance of aging...ie antiquing to a great age.

5. The difference between #3 and #4 may only be a matter of intensity of these colors with the patina of use added to the surface  of the varnished instrument....or for artistic effect to make the instrument attractive to a certain buyer.  

6. Without the color from UV and #3 any antiquing will not be convincing.

7. If we "darken" the wood through reactive treatments such as nitrites or ammonia [beyound the natural effects of UV] we sacrifice some degree of illumination in the wood.

 

Understanding these elements makes varnishing easier and more fun.

on we go,

Joe

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