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Old Wood Varnish Systems

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Can someone describe their experience of the Old Wood varnish systems? They have six different systems on their website, but it is not clear why. How does one chose between them and how do they differ in performance? Is there one that would be more advantageous for someone on their first few instruments?

http://www.oldwood1700.com/sistemas_aplicacion.aspx

 

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I can't answer your question since I've only just tried their Italian Golden Ground. It primes and colors the white wood.

I just posted some photos of the result on the Magister thread...it looks like you've already have been to their website.

It's my first time using any of their products.

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I assume, you're speaking of their ground system.

Initially, they only had one : (Italien Golden Ground +) Imprimatura + Doratura

Later came their Refractive Ground.

Imprimatura and Doratura are quite thick and not very easy to apply at the beginning. Recently, Old Wood is shipping them with a small bottle of linseed oil or similar to dilute them and make the application easier. You may also warm them before application, it helps too.

Refractive Ground is very fluid, hence much easier to apply. I suspect it is some sort of rosin oil.

 

So now, you have three products which act as a ground/sealer before the first varnish coat. Although each one has special properties and behaves somewhat differently, one may wonder whether you really need three products. Hence, I guess it's up to you to choose which one you would like to use, it's a matter of taste and convenience. But of course, you can only choose when you have some experience with all of them.

 

My personal choise as for now : 1 coat of each - 1 extremely thin coat only, I always vigorously wipe the violin with a rag after application to remove the excess product.

Actually, I have not tested whether Refractive Ground makes much of a difference, but it's cheap and easy to apply.

I like the effect of Doratura, it gives some depth to the color and a nice chatoyancy effect.

Maybe I could save on Imprimatura and apply two coats of Refractive Ground, but I still have a bottle of it and I use only these products very sparingly, so one bottle will last very long. Also, Imprimatura and Doratura contain some minerals, which Refractive Ground doesn't, so I'm somewhat reluctant to switch to Refractive Ground only, because of sound issues (I'm assuming here, following some comments here, e.g. by Roger Hargrave, that minerals are good for projection).

 

Old Wood has a nice system, but it looks quite complex and lacks the simplicity many people are aiming for. This may actually be the reason why they are now promoting simpler alternatives with only one or two out of the three products.

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I'm put off by the thickness of the final varnish and I feel the entire system is in fact overkill as a good tanning session would produce similar results to their doratura mixes and balsam/sealers without the added thickness. The only thing I will say about them is, I love the refractive groud but was hoping for more chatoyance. Joe Robson's systems seem to be a lot simpler and much more versatile than the entire OW system.

 

My two cents, pick and choose the elements you want to work with and do not think the entire system is necessary to achieve the overall look you want. Personally speaking, I'm willing to use their refractive ground system with a good tanning session first to color the wood and finish it off with my own varnish/ Joe Robson's products once I get around to ordering them.

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My two cents, pick and choose the elements you want to work with and do not think the entire system is necessary to achieve the overall look you want. Personally speaking, I'm willing to use their refractive ground system with a good tanning session first to color the wood and finish it off with my own varnish/ Joe Robson's products once I get around to ordering them.

When you refer to the use of OW's refractive ground system...which products are you referring too? Also depending were you live a good tanning session will not achieve the same color as Old Wood's Italian Golden Ground. As I stated I belive there is some kind of dye or colorant used in part B of the primer. Regular sunshine alone is not enough to achieve the same color. Even Joe uses tinctures to darken.

Have you actually used Joe's ground system?...It is not as easy as one might think. After using Joe's system for a number of years and recently the Old Wood primer. I would pick the Italian Golden Ground as my personal choice since it colors the wood the fastest (one day) and gives an acceptable result

Joe's ground system requires more time and work. The whole OW system definitely is not something that appeals to me. Getting the white wood to a specific color is the most important step as far as I'm concerned.

If you read Roger's thread it was the initial coloring of the wood that he could not fully disclose and that to me was the critical step.

After that sure everything is on the table.

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I just want to comment about Marc mentioning that he thinks it "some kind of rosin oil"-

Two oils are commercially extracted from dark rosin, one is called Kidney oil that distills off at around 480oF and Bloom oil which is a highly fluorescent yellow and distills at around 570oF.It is possible Marc is correct that it is rosin oil and it is the Bloom oil fraction used to develop the golden yellow.

I mentioned in a previous post that if you make your own rosin/oil varnish you can get the same results by adding some tube pigment umber when you make your varnish. I don't know why, but applying 3-4 coats of this varnish to wood will give you a bright yellow undercoat and a surface color of dark reddish brown. It is most likely the manganese present in umber pigment, for if you use the coloring pigment Sienna which has no manganese you will only get a brown colored varnish, but still a very good violin color. fred

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When you refer to the use of OW's refractive ground system...which products are you referring too? Also depending were you live a good tanning session will not achieve the same color as Old Wood's Italian Golden Ground. As I stated I belive there is some kind of dye or colorant used in part B of the primer. Regular sunshine alone is not enough to achieve the same color. Even Joe uses tinctures to darken.

Have you actually used Joe's ground system?...It is not as easy as one might think. After using Joe's system for a number of years and recently the Old Wood primer. I would pick the Italian Golden Ground as my personal choice since it colors the wood the fastest (one day) and gives an acceptable result

Joe's ground system requires more time and work. The whole OW system definitely is not something that appeals to me. Getting the white wood to a specific color is the most important step as far as I'm concerned.

If you read Roger's thread it was the initial coloring of the wood that he could not fully disclose and that to me was the critical step.

After that sure everything is on the table.

 

Thank you so much for referencing this, I thought joe's systems were simpler from reading some some poster's thoughts and experiences with it on here in comparison with the guidelines/video with my own experience (although limited), I still want to give Joe's stuff a shot though. I personally liked the base look of tanned wood more than the results I had with colored grounds on the test strips I tested this on but then again I tanned with UV for more than a day and I like lighter colored wood than most people. I also might have gone a bit heavy with the OW doratura minerale , Ill redo the experiment and post picture as it might help illustrate better?

 

I bought OW refractive ground and the golden Italian ground kit. I found the GIG colored up too yellow and was a bit alarmed as it looked a bit artificial. I might have gone a bit heavy on it though?

 

I just realized I spoke about doratura instead of the golden Italian ground system!

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I would like to see the results posted here on MN from you...Does'nt the Old Wood mineral ground as they call it also contain some kind of dye? If you like lighter colored wood. I wood give Joe's products a try. They leave clarity and sparkle in the wood that is really fantastic.

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