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Turpentine for thinning Robson Varnish


Rich
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I am wondering what turpentine available in Canada to use with Joe Robson's Balsamic ground and varnish? What will work and what should I stay away from? Calgary is close enough to make a trip there.

What is the criteria and which product will work?

Thanks,

Rich

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It's been said before (by me), the only turpentine I would use is sold by Diamond G forest products out of Georgia. http://diamondgforestproducts.com

Great stuff. Smells good enough to drink. Be wary of any turps sold in metal containers. They sell the gallon quantity in metal, but only for shipping purposes, and strongly recommend decanting it into glass asap for storage. If you are going through the effort of using fine varnish, than it makes sense to use the best turps you can get, which is this stuff in my opinion.

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I use a tiny bit of Gamsol with Joe's varnish, and it works well.  I use it pretty thick with many coats.  The instrument in my profile pic and Op. 3 in the gallery has about 5 color coats and 2 clear.  That ought to give you a sense of how thin the coats are.  I tried Turp as well, but I prefer the Gamsol for the way it flows.  Perhaps a bit less stinky as well?  Sometimes I use a bit of Linox as well if the varnish is particularly thick.  I think the Gamsol or turp will make it a little more self leveling, while the Linox doesn't seem to do that as much.  I want to follow the wood contours rather than filling grain lines, so I don't want it to flow too much.  If you want a smoother surface, then self leveling would be a benefit.

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A few years ago I called them to complain about the quality of their turps. They evidently changed sources. I do not know if it is back up to the old standard. Diamond G here in the US is my favorite. I like Gamsol and Robson's brushing solution looks good too.

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Recochem was my favorite turpentine for many years. They did undergo some source changes.  They also changed from plastic to metal containers...bad choice. If you try Recochem use only material that smells fresh and "piney".  Decant the turpentine into glass jars.  Leave the jars open for several days to let the volatiles to evaporate.

If possible get Diamond G.

Joe

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Had an interesting experience recently.

 

I have usually diluted my varnish with Gamsol, but in the last iteration I tried Diamond's sun-aged turpentine.  I was really surprised how quickly it softened the varnish to a brushable consistency.  Gamsol takes some mixing and it creates an oily sheen on the surface initially. The Diamond thinned stuff dries well.

 

I will use Diamond aged turpentine from now on.

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Recochem was my favorite turpentine for many years. They did undergo some source changes.  They also changed from plastic to metal containers...bad choice. If you try Recochem use only material that smells fresh and "piney".  Decant the turpentine into glass jars.  Leave the jars open for several days to let the volatiles to evaporate.

If possible get Diamond G.

Joe

Joe, do you find it necessary to decant the Diamond turpentine as well? Is this a recommended general procedure with all commercial turpentine?

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Diamond G turpentine comes in glass bottles. There is no metal can issue with this great turpentine. I just placed another order.

Looks like you don't buy enough turpentine, Michael. :)

The Diamond G comes in a metal container in the one gallon size. I've had mine in the metal container for a year, I've got about 1/4 left, and it's still fine. My varnish hasn't fallen off. (Except where I've removed it:)).

It can't hurt to decant it into glass though. I probably will next time I order. Diamond G is wonderful stuff, the best IMHO. Let's all buy their turpentine and support them.

M

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Looks like you don't buy enough turpentine, Michael. :)

The Diamond G comes in a metal container in the one gallon size. I've had mine in the metal container for a year, I've got about 1/4 left, and it's still fine. My varnish hasn't fallen off. (Except where I've removed it:)).

It can't hurt to decant it into glass though. I probably will next time I order. Diamond G is wonderful stuff, the best IMHO. Let's all buy their turpentine and support them.

M

I was just on their website and did not see any cans of turps, just glass bottles. 

 

:o

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I was just on their website and did not see any cans of turps, just glass bottles.

:o

You didn't see it because the 1 gallon size is not pictured on their website. Perhaps you need to be a really good customer for them to offer it to you.:)

In any event, I'm a little curious why turpentine in metal is bad. I don't know the details of the process of distilling turpentine from raw resin, but I can imagine that it could contact metal as part of that, or be stored in large metal containers after the fact.

M

post-6731-0-35658300-1450824476_thumb.jpg

Sorry for the sideways photo.

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I bought the gallon, it was on the website, it is not anymore from what I can see.

 

When I received the gallon first thing I did was to place the turps in glass bottles, I have seen no sediment, it was probably not long enough in the metal container for it to react?

 

I have some of their aged turps too, so easy, took me so long to make my own and it always got used too fast...have not used theirs yet....hoping it has a strong solvent power for harder to dissolve stuff...

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I bought the gallon, it was on the website, it is not anymore from what I can see.

 

When I received the gallon first thing I did was to place the turps in glass bottles, I have seen no sediment, it was probably not long enough in the metal container for it to react?

 

I have some of their aged turps too, so easy, took me so long to make my own and it always got used too fast...have not used theirs yet....hoping it has a strong solvent power for harder to dissolve stuff...

 

Carlo,

Diamond G is now shipping gallons as 4 one quart bottles.

Joe

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Had an interesting experience recently.

 

I have usually diluted my varnish with Gamsol, but in the last iteration I tried Diamond's sun-aged turpentine.  I was really surprised how quickly it softened the varnish to a brushable consistency.  Gamsol takes some mixing and it creates an oily sheen on the surface initially. The Diamond thinned stuff dries well.

 

I will use Diamond aged turpentine from now on.

 I didn't see aged turpentine on the site.  A couple of questions (for anyone).  What is the benefit for aged turpentine?  Can you sun-age it your self just be sticking the glass bottle in a sunny window?  The important one for me.  I can see on the label the need to use in a well ventilated area.  So would this be a product that I should not use in my windowless basement work shop?

 

Thanks,

Jim

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You didn't see it because the 1 gallon size is not pictured on their website. Perhaps you need to be a really good customer for them to offer it to you. :)

In any event, I'm a little curious why turpentine in metal is bad. I don't know the details of the process of distilling turpentine from raw resin, but I can imagine that it could contact metal as part of that, or be stored in large metal containers after the fact.

M

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

Sorry for the sideways photo.

Michael,

I must be a good customer...my last shipment...last week...was in 4 glass bottles. When turpentine is put into lined or unlined metal containers.  In the lined containers it reacts with the [epoxy?] liner material and becomes a stinky something else.  In an unlined container this takes a bit longer, but the turpentine will react with the metal and become a stinky something else.  I have even seen this when the turpentine is shipped and stored in a galvanized 5G drum...ov course it was almost 2/3 empty when we discovered the source of our varnish drying problem....which was immediately corrected when we used new fresh turpentine....

Also a lot of commercial turpentine is being sourced from Siberia and the trees used produce a very reactive and skunky product that tends to react in unpredictable ways when added to the varnish.

Joe

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Evan- (post 16), if you allowed the container to even have a little access to air, after 12 years you surely have oxidized turp. Our devoted watchdog, USDA has given this product an official name of Fat Oil. If a commercial enterprise tried to sell it calling it something like Oxyturp, Uncle Sam would would not like that. We have a lot to learn about this substance as a role in historical varnish. Even the commercial makers who made varnish for the commercial trade in Strad's time didn't realize aging of their varnish chemically changed it. Their varnish was stored in 50 gallon lead cisterns, undoubtedly lead also played a part. A lot to learn.

Regards metal containers for turp- they are tinned and there are leaks and where iron contacts the turp it would cause discoloration. But again, here you have a reddish brown colorant, penetrates wood(too easy), and a solvent for just about all resins (if aged).  My only evidence of it is a dark blotchy brown cello bridge I coated around 30 years ago, never changed color.

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BTW, for those who want thickened turpentine of great quality, check out Woodfinishing Enterprises. He also carries aged turpentine, Larch turpentine, and Strasbourg turpentine. 

 

Merry Christmas.

Reading Woodfinishing Enterprises descriptions the refer to the color of the turpentine after ageing and after thickening of aged turpentine.  Is the purpose of aging and thickening to add color or are other characteristics gained as well?  Also are the benefits different if your thinning varnish for application or making the varnish?  Just trying to learn.  

 

Thanks,

Jim

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I have a gal in a vented jar I have been watching for about 12 years,

it went through some strange changes but now it looks beautiful.

Same experience. I bought 1l of turps in 1996 , used a little and forgot about. Some 2-3 years later I found the plastic

bottle has cracked towards the top and the content thickened, almost like honey. I painted some on a d/bass bridge

in '99. It was colorless and dried quickly under UV. 15 years later does not show any sign of degradation or color change.

Outside the brushed area, the bridge is slightly darker. The turps kept thickening and and reducing in volume. It's now

some 1/3 or less the initial volume. Has a beautiful fresh pine smell. Same bottle which did not degrade farther. I find that

quite interesting.

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