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Give a more prominent finishing role to diverse plant-based hydrocarbons?

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Hi,

I attempted some reverse materials engineering while also rereading David Beard's useful post:

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/327011-a-classical-ground-system/page-2#entry559369

I've abandoned my attempt to achieve a ground system that is entirely water-based. Here are my goals – as implemented, do they make any sense to you? Where specifically would you disagree, and why?

1. Open pores.

Aqueous. Apply a hot solution of saltpeter (very little if any potassium nitrate) and sugar of lead (lead acetate) in vinegar. Dry in sunlight or even pass the wood near a fire. Repeat the step on select areas as needed order to achieve surface uniformity. The step would both age the wood beneath and anticipate the need for a chemical drier which the next layer requires. Lots of lead has been found in some of the Italian master violins, while Sacconi did insist on a “process of oxidation.”

2. Preserve, chemically clean, and seal.

A diversity of plant-based hydrocarbons. Grind up finely and soak a variety of such plant materials as turmeric, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne, etc., in gum turpentine. Filter and apply gently warmed. Extracted plant oleoresins are used in many organic synthesis procedures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin

3. Beautify: color wood and enhance contrast

Alternate the first two steps above.

4. Harden surface for protection.

As for the “secret ground coating” - how about creating a kind of “lake,” one which is built up with two recipes, one that also results in an elasticized silicate of lead, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and aluminum? Sacconi insisted that a silicate that did not close up the pores was present in Strads.

5. Varnish.

6. Polish.

Comments? Thanks all,

otter

PS - Jezzupe, do you not see a role for honey or sugar in this ground system?

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otter,

In this kind of work, seeing is believing. 

 

Once your sequence is applied...first without varnish...then with varnish...does it meet the criteria we see in the Cremonese ground:

Open pores.

Highly reflective wood structure.

Hydorphobic wood structure.

Surface resistant to wear and tear.

 

or if the Cremonese ground is not your goal:

Does it seal and protect the instrument so it can be varnished without problems...like soaking in or having adhesion issues.

 

You'll notice I do not include "color" in this sequence as I see it as separate from the ground.

 

I look forward to pictures or perhaps seeing the results in person.

on we go,

Joe

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Joe - "You'll notice I do not include "color" in this sequence as I see it as separate from the ground."

In response,

Preservation and cleaning are the primary goals for using the plant substances, not dyeing or staining.

The coloration develops instead from using a certain procedure, namely the procedure of alternation.

I recalled how metal nitrates can be used with heat to "color" rifle stocks, but this is not an exact parallel.

otter

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Immerse and soak the ground up plants in turpentine so as to obtain their useful principles.

Rubbing plants (like horsetail) on wood is not the idea I have in mind.

Two hints lead to recipes for my "secret ground coating"

1. Some are pained by hotness!

2. Others like it hot!

otter

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Joe - "You'll notice I do not include "color" in this sequence as I see it as separate from the ground."

In response,

Preservation and cleaning are the primary goals for using the plant substances, not dyeing or staining.

The coloration develops instead from using a certain procedure, namely the procedure of alternation.

I recalled how metal nitrates can be used with heat to "color" rifle stocks, but this is not an exact parallel.

otter

otter,

Please provide some further detail on this idea.

Thanks,

Joe

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A diversity of plant-based hydrocarbons. Grind up finely and soak a variety of such plant materials as turmeric, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne, etc., in gum turpentine. Filter and apply gently warmed. Extracted plant oleoresins are used in many organic synthesis procedures. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin

PS - Jezzupe, do you not see a role for honey or sugar in this ground system?

What?  No garlic or onions?

 

Immerse and soak the ground up plants in turpentine so as to obtain their useful principles.

Rubbing plants (like horsetail) on wood is not the idea I have in mind.

Two hints lead to recipes for my "secret ground coating"

1. Some are pained by hotness!

2. Others like it hot!

otter

 

I thought we were trying to seal and finish violins, not curry or bbq them.  Novel idea, though.  If you don't win at VSA you can go for a Chef's Best or something  ;)  :lol:  Please forgive the flippancy, but if Strads had originally smelled like a curry shop, wouldn't someone have commented on it?, 

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David Hart:

How you snipe and needle. Intentionally. Everyone can see exactly what you are doing. I conclude there is no place for you on this thread.

You always want more than is offered, don't you. It seems there is no satisfying you, not ever. You are just another baby perpetually bawling in his crib.

My conclusion? You are intellectually lazy. You want a free ride and dare ask for it. How cheeky you are. But folks here know I can't do all your work for you. I refuse to wet nurse you. When will you start thinking for yourself?

For example, do you dispute anything in my original post, and if so, why? Or, what essential information did I fail to give away in my finishing scheme? Is there anything missing in my very first step, and if so, what is it?

What, procedurally or materials-wise or indeed in any other way, can you yourself bring or contribute next to this thread? I'm waiting, and so is everyone else.

As for useful plant principles, though this may be slightly off-point, haven't essential oils always been used in repair? Clove oil, used sparingly, gives violins a nice smell.

otter

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David Hart:

How you snipe and needle. Intentionally. Everyone can see exactly what you are doing. I conclude there is no place for you on this thread.

You always want more than is offered, don't you. It seems there is no satisfying you, not ever. You are just another baby perpetually bawling in his crib.

My conclusion? You are intellectually lazy. You want a free ride and dare ask for it. How cheeky you are. But folks here know I can't do all your work for you. I refuse to wet nurse you. When will you start thinking for yourself?

 

Otter, it's quite normal for people to ask detailed or probing questions, and also to want a free ride if it is available. It's also quite normal for makers to approach unusual ideas with a degree of skepticism, given the extent to which violin making has been rife with "discoveries" which didn't pan out, or didn't gain traction for one reason or another.

 

The surest way to impress people with your ideas would be to produce an impressive fiddle which incorporates them. Many people here can do that, and a few have shared in detail how they go about it, so a logical question would be why readers here would want to be sidetracked by a method which is speculative, seems to be in a constant state of flux (with some versions in the various threads and posts sounding harmful to the wood) and is without demonstrated results or benefits.

 

You have made reference to the Sacconi book a number of times, so it might be useful to speak with someone who actually worked with Sacconi, to put the information in this book into proper perspective. Among other things, you would find out that he didn't actually write the book himself.

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Otter,

I agree with David. Since a lot of the things that you are proposing are very speculative, and far frrom what most off us have been taught, I would suggest that you try these things yourself, side by side with more "traditional" finishing methods, and see what works. For starters, test your concoctions on a bunch of test samples. That's what I did the last time that I was experimenting with finishes. Reject guitar top blanks (spruce) can be cut into nice 3"x5" samples, and you have two sides on each. Also do maple to see what the finish is like on that. Do your testing, take pictures, and report back. Without doing that, there is no real substance to your speculations.  You're the one that needs to do the work to prove them valid.

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Hart says: "You didn't answer my questions."

How accusatory and so obviously impolite, eh? Seemingly no end ever of questions bespeaking laziness.

Everyone here, take what leads here are useful to you, and trash the rest.

If nothing at all here strikes with you, does that necessarily mean it is all "speculation?" Perhaps your own preparation for understanding is lacking.

Which of the high priests in modern violin making, or which of the go-to pimps who frequent this forum, is using a modern materials engineering approach to implement an explicitly stated, and very likely proper, sequence of finishing goals?

So many folks seem trapped in ancient dogma. How does doctrinal authority behave when inevitably it is challenged by independent, innovative thinking? Einstein's 1905 paper was first received as "speculative," was it not?

Sacconi contended that multiple layers of quite different composition were used. Do you imagine his ghostwriter, if there was one, came up with THIS? How absurd.

otter

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Lead acetate is a chemical drier. Long used in the paints and varnishes.

Also lead in glasses makes them ring!

Lead oxide in glass increases the glass density which lowers is various mode frequencies.  Each vibration frequency's period is longer so the total elapsed time to reach a low amplitude is longer assuming the damping is the same-- a leaded glass rings longer because its pitch is lower.

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Otter, perhaps David is feeling what I am: your self-congratulatory, thesaurus-thumping alchemist's larks you're hinting at don't have much to do with violin making, or even varnishing. You've come on to 'stir the pot', and garner grudging respect for the scientific wildness you can imagine. Just varnish a violin. Then varnish another with Michelmann's. Then another with 1704. Then you might speak of laziness to a man that has done it many, many times.

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Everyone,

You still don't get it do you? Perhaps my post #15 above bears rereading.

I am certainly no maker or craftsman and I have no interest in varnishing or polishing. These are already solved problems from a materials engineering standpoint, so why ape more Michelmann or 1704, all to avoid a charge of laziness? This is idiocy.

Steps that might result in a Cremonese-like ground system are what interest me, nothing more. What will give both the optics and the sound, say equal to a Bergonzi I saw years ago?

My focus, although more narrow than yours, plays to my limited education and strengths. So what. Why quarrel with me? How does that gain you or build YOU up? Aren't you playing a rather sick game of We're okay, you're not?

Things are too inbred around here. Argue on the merits, if you can.

otter

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Comments?

 

I am definitely way too lazy to try out the proposed recipe, and believe that much of the magic of Cremonese varnish (and I have seen a number of Cremonese with definitely unimpressive varnish) is likely due to 300 year old varnish on 300 year old wood.

 

I'm not here to argue one way or another... there's not much point until there's a test to look at.

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Interesting points Don, I always wonder how much pentimento plays on the transparency and depth of these old instruments, and if perhaps these 300 years are making some of the serious varnishmakers work twice as hard, to perhaps achieve something that in 300 years will look even nicer than the cremonese do today. One question seems to be the effects of the excessive darkness some makers are going for and the even more darkening as time goes by, in the present it seems quite obvious translating as less luminance, which is not good IMHO.

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Which of the high priests in modern violin making, or which of the go-to pimps who frequent this forum, is using a modern materials engineering approach to implement an explicitly stated, and very likely proper, sequence of finishing goals?

So many folks seem trapped in ancient dogma. How does doctrinal authority behave when inevitably it is challenged by independent, innovative thinking? Einstein's 1905 paper was first received as "speculative," was it not?

Sacconi contended that multiple layers of quite different composition were used. Do you imagine his ghostwriter, if there was one, came up with THIS? How absurd.

otter

I can't speak for others here, but a lot of my early education in varnish came from reading prior coating research done by companies like Dupont, 3M, and from corresponding with the former president of the Kellogg varnish company. A lot came from William Fulton too. They've spent more money and time on coatings research than I could possibly ever duplicate.

 

Given the nearly infinite number of possible combinations, and only one lifetime to experiment (as far as we know), wouldn't it make some sense to try to narrow experiments down to the things which seem to be the most plausible and promising? Do yours appear to be the most plausible and promising? If people aren't jumping on your bandwagon, is this really attributable to laziness, or being trapped in dogma?

 

Sacconi changed his views on varnish from day to day and week to week. What's in the book represents what he happened to be thinking when he was interviewed, and not some inviolable set of ultimate conclusions.

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Hi Peter,

The front-on photo is just so beautiful!

I wonder what is seen when you vary the tilt when there is ground only?

What sequence of craft goals did you set for your ground system before any kind of varnish was applied?

otter

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