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Davide Sora

Magister varnish oil resin ratio

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Ben,

I recently reviewed the book for Strad Magazine. I do not know when it will be published, but I think it better not to comment until it is published.

Joe

I did not renew my subscription.  Could you please announce which issue it will be in when you know?  Then I'll just buy that issue.

 

Thanks,

Jim

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I did not renew my subscription.  Could you please announce which issue it will be in when you know?  Then I'll just buy that issue.

 

Thanks,

Jim

will do

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Re-Magister products.....

The use of pumice powder as a 'filler' as part of a ground mixed with clear varnish. 
What is there to 'fill' if the wood has been scraped accurately. 
Combining it with rosin oil or similar may toughen things up but it's not a canvas is it. 

Seems like it will only roughen the wood surface, particularly a nice finished front. 
Also, it's advised to sand the ground with wet and dry....which would sort of totally 
ruin any texture you may have mode with the top and what about the scroll ? 
Seems like a bit of a contrivance to me. 

Might be 'better' to simply use the pumice (or Tripoli since it's a nice colour) 
to burnish the ground, and between the first coats of varnish (assuming thin application)
leaving traces of the mineral to fill and gaps that may exist in purfling channels. 


Ah well. (as they say in Ireland) 

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It seems that  Strads have an open pores structure on maple (dot and dash, according to Brandmair and Greiner), typical of a finish with the asprella weed or similar things after the scraper, so there is something to fill.

However I think that these fillers have the advantage of hardening the ground rather than filling the pores, which in my opinion is just a side effect if used in large amount.

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It seems that  Strads have an open pores structure on maple (dot and dash, according to Brandmair and Greiner), typical of a finish with the asprella weed or similar things after the scraper, so there is something to fill.

However I think that these fillers have the advantage of hardening the ground rather than filling the pores, which in my opinion is just a side effect if used in large amount.

 

 

Maple has some fairly large vessel structures, ending up as little holes if you cut across them, and as channels if you cut along them. With figured wood, you'll get some of both, thus the dot/dash pattern.

post-25192-0-05901400-1452105483_thumb.jpg (endgrain closeup)

post-25192-0-59370200-1452105485_thumb.jpg The two pencil lines define 1mm, for scale

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Yes, dot and dashes, the problem is that sometimes they are filled with colored varnish, so the ground don't fill them completely.

Sometimes yes, especially in the early instruments you don't see color in the pores.

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Padding's prescribed method of 'finishing' the ground of varnish & pumice with wet and dry....
Doesn't seem effective to me. 
Not trying to pick holes (or dashes).  

Just burnished my rosin oil primer / ground with stand oil (it's thicker, stays put) and tripoli, wiped off the excess, looks fab.  There is a slight pink hue to it which good, the ground is now 'done' and ready to take some varnish. The tiny amount of stand oil left on the violin will dry in the UVA room.

Unlike Paddings method of leveling off the ground with wet and dry (that's what sand paper does) 
the burnishing with tripoli (finer than pumice) leaves the texture of the scraped spruce through the 
ground and also leaves the edges of the scroll etc intact. 


  :D 

 

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Padding's prescribed method of 'finishing' the ground of varnish & pumice with wet and dry....

Doesn't seem effective to me. 

Not trying to pick holes (or dashes).  

Just burnished my rosin oil primer / ground with stand oil (it's thicker, stays put) and tripoli, wiped off the excess, looks fab.  There is a slight pink hue to it which good, the ground is now 'done' and ready to take some varnish. The tiny amount of stand oil left on the violin will dry in the UVA room.

Unlike Paddings method of leveling off the ground with wet and dry (that's what sand paper does) 

the burnishing with tripoli (finer than pumice) leaves the texture of the scraped spruce through the 

ground and also leaves the edges of the scroll etc intact. 

  :D 

 

 

I do not like the sandpaper for the same reasons that you say, I prefer the very fine pumice (or tripoli) but use it dry very lightly with my fingers or a rag, I'll try it with linseed oil, seems promising, but I feel I have more control dry because I see better the effect.

I sometimes use  micro mesh, which, with its flexible support is a little better than sandpaper, but in any case tends to flatten the texture too much if you are not careful.

Sooner or later I would try this, recommended by a colleague :

 

http://www.mirka.com/uk/uk/UK_ABRASIVES/UK_By-Name/#/800/MIRLON

 

Opinions?

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I do not like the sandpaper for the same reasons that you say, I prefer the very fine pumice (or tripoli) but use it dry very lightly with my fingers or a rag, I'll try it with linseed oil, seems promising, but I feel I have more control dry because I see better the effect.

I sometimes use  micro mesh, which, with its flexible support is a little better than sandpaper, but in any case tends to flatten the texture too much if you are not careful.

Sooner or later I would try this, recommended by a colleague :

 

http://www.mirka.com/uk/uk/UK_ABRASIVES/UK_By-Name/#/800/MIRLON

 

Opinions?

I don't ever remember Koen advocating the use of sandpaper or wet and dry paper....Maybe my blind spot?

Ben, Please can you give a page reference to this in the book. Thanks!

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Melvin,
I read it twice just to be sure, Padding mentions the finishing of the ground and clear varnish layers
in the middle section pages 75 & 78.  He says to apply the ground of varnish and pumice then rub it down 
specifically with wet and dry, since it flattens off lumps etc. To be fair, he also mentions briefly the old tradition
of using tripoli and a drying oil, but with historical reference. 
I'd always used wet and dry with spirit varnishes but for the textured ground and oil varnishes
I think the old way works very well and perhaps better in that using tripoli will leave traces of
pink hued minerals between the layers. 
Padding asserts that it's better to use thinner layers rather than one or two very thick coats
since the drying is better though application takes more time and it's easier to get a good
'finish' on more layers than a thicker coat. I'd agree with that. 

Davide, that micro mesh was recommended by Bharat who taught us some excellent restoration and
antiquing tips, he said it lasts a long time and is high quality. I've not tried it yet but will. 
I'll save up  ^_^ 

 

For thinning varnish and finishing the varnish Padding mentions white spirit, not sure if it would dry too fast ? 
Don't see why you can't use turpentine balsam the same way, it's less 'dirty'. 
 

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White spirit is slower than turpentine, but I never managed to use it with any other varnish than Koen's.i use spike oil, it's slow too, which is good for me, I use a soft brush and dilute a lot. Turpentine is far too fast I find.

Ben, it's nice to hear someone mention Bharat, one of the best makers and teachers there is, in my opinion!

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Hi Paul,
Yes Bharat was easy to learn from, very instinctive person and wish he'd 
been there for the first year as well. 

So white spirit dries / works slower with the varnish ? 
Padding mentions it is preferable (originally oil of stone was less refined) to turpentine. 
Pity, I just got 5 litres of turpentine balsam ! 

 

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Melvin,

I read it twice just to be sure, Padding mentions the finishing of the ground and clear varnish layers

in the middle section pages 75 & 78.  He says to apply the ground of varnish and pumice then rub it down 

specifically with wet and dry, since it flattens off lumps etc. To be fair, he also mentions briefly the old tradition

of using tripoli and a drying oil, but with historical reference. 

I'd always used wet and dry with spirit varnishes but for the textured ground and oil varnishes

I think the old way works very well and perhaps better in that using tripoli will leave traces of

pink hued minerals between the layers. 

Padding asserts that it's better to use thinner layers rather than one or two very thick coats

since the drying is better though application takes more time and it's easier to get a good

'finish' on more layers than a thicker coat. I'd agree with that. 

Davide, that micro mesh was recommended by Bharat who taught us some excellent restoration and

antiquing tips, he said it lasts a long time and is high quality. I've not tried it yet but will. 

I'll save up  ^_^ 

 

For thinning varnish and finishing the varnish Padding mentions white spirit, not sure if it would dry too fast ? 

Don't see why you can't use turpentine balsam the same way, it's less 'dirty'. 

 

 

Ben, Thanks for the page references. That particular chapter is a summary of the Magister method by Helen Michetschlager rather than being the actual writing of Koen himself. It is without doubt very well researched.

I can only say that Koen never mentioned the use of any non historically appropriate abrasives to me and I would have thought wet and dry & sandpaper quite the antithesis of his approach.....but this is just my interpretation

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Hi Paul,

Yes Bharat was easy to learn from, very instinctive person and wish he'd 

been there for the first year as well. 

So white spirit dries / works slower with the varnish ? 

Padding mentions it is preferable (originally oil of stone was less refined) to turpentine. 

Pity, I just got 5 litres of turpentine balsam ! 

 

 

I am assuming you know oil of stone is petroleum:

 

Oil of Stone = Olio di Sasso = Olio di Pietra = Petrolio = Petroleum

 

In old Italy available from 2 sources - nature or achieved by the distillation of wood coal, and of fossil things.

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Sooner or later I would try this, recommended by a colleague :

 

http://www.mirka.com/uk/uk/UK_ABRASIVES/UK_By-Name/#/800/MIRLON

 

Opinions?

 

Known around here as steel wool substitute.  Being soft, it follows texture better than sandpaper or micromesh.  It also is good about not loading up.  However, it does shed particles and fibers.  

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Carlo, Padding explains what oil of stone is in his book. 
It's not modern petroleum, it was made more crudely and thus more toxic / potent.
That said, it's certainly much the same thing if not the same. 

Don, I think proper MicroMesh is different, that Mirlon stuff looks ok but it will 'matt' the varnish. 
 

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Davide, that micro mesh was recommended by Bharat who taught us some excellent restoration and

antiquing tips, he said it lasts a long time and is high quality. I've not tried it yet but will. 

I'll save up  ^_^

 

 

Micromesh is a great product, basically a sandpaper but with the support made of canvas.

This makes it very flexible, lasts a long time (I save the pieces for years) and can be used for lots of things, including the polishing of fingerboards, nuts and peg shafts.

I use it a lot on alcohol varnish, but has a tendency to level out a bit too much the texture and works best on very dry varnish.

For oil varnish, especially when they are still a bit soft, it should be used very carefully and I think there are systems that work better, I'm looking for a viable alternative, but the work it does is more than good and at the moment I go on with that.

I use 2400 grit (very coarse for varnish, good for level everything up), 3200 and 4000 grit (better, expecially when a bit worn).

Available up to 12000 grit, I think it was originally invented to polish glass.

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Known around here as steel wool substitute.  Being soft, it follows texture better than sandpaper or micromesh.  It also is good about not loading up.  However, it does shed particles and fibers.  

 

According to my colleague who advised me, it has the ability to sand in the crevices without destroying the texture, which I think is interesting and worth the try.

I do not know if can create problems the shedding of particles an fibers.

Did you use it and may you expand on this in the case?

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I use it every now and then, but I find it doesn't last long, and if used on wood it leaves too much coloured particles (red in my case, but not the red I'd want to leave).

Steel wool works better, with all the inconvenients it has..

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I use it every now and then, but I find it doesn't last long, and if used on wood it leaves too much coloured particles (red in my case, but not the red I'd want to leave).

Steel wool works better, with all the inconvenients it has..

 

 

I think that the steel wool is too aggressive even in its finer grade, as well as very annoying for the metal particles that are caught everywhere irremediably.

I have abandoned its use many many years ago, now only use it for polishing metal frets of guitars, with extra care to get rid of workshop contamination..... <_<

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Davide,

I have used similar synthetic pads (not Mirka).  Although its softness allows following texture better than the other things, it still hits the higher spots more strongly and will level the surface out to some degree.  It's not great on bare wood, as it will leave debris and perhaps catch the grain if you go against it.  Not a miracle product, but a tool with some different working characteristics.  It's worth having around, at least for me, primarily for use in varnish antiquing.

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I don't mean steel wool is good, but the plastic one works less well and still leaves a lot of residue.

 

Thanks for your input, in fact this is one thing that worries me with this kind of materials.

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