Sign in to follow this  
ViolinLove20

Test Strips

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

This question is slightly painful to ask, but where could/would/should I purchase wood for varnishing test strips?  Since I don't make instruments, I don't have random wood pieces laying around.  Would I be fine testing on kiln-dried wood bought from a local lumber store? Should I purchase some actual tonewood and turn it into test strip pieces?  Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

I'm afraid I've gotten infected with the 'violin varnishing disease' ^_^ ...and now I really need a place to test out some certain methods, recipes and ideas.

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I learn, I learn that discernment is a rapidly expanding library of knowledge... what looked great 2 years ago is groan inducing today.

Next, the difference between how spruce and maple take color and varnish are huge. Lots of stuff will look ok on maple, but spruce will be very unforgiving of stains that seep into the wood an mask the winter/summer growth.

Next, any samples you use will invariably be straight cuts of timber. As you know, instrument plates are arched, which exposes various inclinations of grain to any coating... with the differences you'll get from end grain reaction to flat grain reaction.

So for varnish experiments, I'd say based on my current wisdom that kiln dried wood is just fine. But the undulating aspects of a spruce carved top are hard to replicate with flat slips of wood, and it's in the undulations that the hazards lie...

E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

This question is slightly painful to ask, but where could/would/should I purchase wood for varnishing test strips?  Since I don't make instruments, I don't have random wood pieces laying around.  Would I be fine testing on kiln-dried wood bought from a local lumber store? Should I purchase some actual tonewood and turn it into test strip pieces?  Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

I'm afraid I've gotten infected with the 'violin varnishing disease' ^_^ ...and now I really need a place to test out some certain methods, recipes and ideas.

 

Thanks.

 

As I learn, I learn that discernment is a rapidly expanding library of knowledge... what looked great 2 years ago is groan inducing today.

Next, the difference between how spruce and maple take color and varnish are huge. Lots of stuff will look ok on maple, but spruce will be very unforgiving of stains that seep into the wood an mask the winter/summer growth.

Next, any samples you use will invariably be straight cuts of timber. As you know, instrument plates are arched, which exposes various inclinations of grain to any coating... with the differences you'll get from end grain reaction to flat grain reaction.

So for varnish experiments, I'd say based on my current wisdom that kiln dried wood is just fine. But the undulating aspects of a spruce carved top are hard to replicate with flat slips of wood, and it's in the undulations that the hazards lie...

E

I use 1/16 inch thick spruce and maple veneer wood.  Its very inexpensive in comparison to thicker stuff.  A google search will show many suppliers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actonern,

 

I definitely agree that there will be unknowns even if something appears fine on a test strip.  Hopefully, with test strips I can use them to weed out good and bad ideas, and then go a step further and possibly apply the nice ideas to an actual violin.

 

Marty,

 

Interesting idea, and it sounds pretty much like what I need.  Thanks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maple and spruce from anywhere.   Saw across grain at several angles to form facets that expose different amounts of end grain.

 

We have spruce & maple with sealer over grounds drying for tests on two different instruments right now - sealer on this morning.

 

Do label the things - memory fades and then the stack of tests is useless

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up a small stack of ribs from a Chinese Ebay seller, and have been using them for practicing several parts of the making process (bending, varnishing, scraping).

 

This, or the actual finest rib stock that you would actually use on an instrument (preferably), gives you a really good idea of the effects of various procedures. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This, or the actual finest rib stock that you would actually use on an instrument (preferably), gives you a really good idea of the effects of various procedures. 

 

Those who have been making instruments for a little while will (should?) have offcuts, failed parts and bits just hanging around their workshop, available for tasks like this.  Those who are just starting out (like me) don't have that luxury yet.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allot depends on what you're testing for. If it's acoustics then spruce is good. If you want to compare the physical characteristics of different varnish or combinations then you might consider using microscope slides. There are several advantages over wood strips, 1) they are perfectly uniform 2) a good test for transparency of varnish and colors.. 3) good test for drying properties 4) good test for adhesion.

 

oded

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.