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Varnish not drying

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Hello,

 

I'm using Alchemist Medium's Dark Amber Varnish as directed for use without a drying cabinet with 32 drops of Cobalt per 10ml and thinned with 2.5 ml Spike Lavender Oil.  The varnish was still sticky after 3 days so I started putting it out in the sun every day for two weeks and still sticky.  I'm in Florida so there's lots of sun every day.  I decided to build a drying cabinet and it has been in the cabinet for a week and is still sticky.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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I'm not familiar with that product  This does not sound good, if you have been giving UV sunlight and it's still not setting up, something may be amiss. Have you tried increase in air flow? have you tried gentle low heat hair dryer?

 

It is not uncommon for varnish to remain sticky IF it gets no UV, but it sounds like you have done that.

 

If it does not set soonish, you will be forced into making that ugly decision to remove the varnish or set it aside for a long time and hope that eventually it sets up.

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I suspect it's the fault of the Spike lavender oil, I had a similar experience when I used it in the spirit varnish, never dries completely, even after several years.

My solution was to avoid it completely.

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Hello,

 

I'm using Alchemist Medium's Dark Amber Varnish as directed for use without a drying cabinet with 32 drops of Cobalt per 10ml and thinned with 2.5 ml Spike Lavender Oil.  The varnish was still sticky after 3 days so I started putting it out in the sun every day for two weeks and still sticky.  I'm in Florida so there's lots of sun every day.  I decided to build a drying cabinet and it has been in the cabinet for a week and is still sticky.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

 

Max. "Cobalt" is 3% . 32 drops / 10ml is close to 20%.  Wasn't the varnish blue after so many drops ?

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Davide is right that it is most likely the lavender oil. Pour out a little on glass and see how long it takes for all of it to evaporate. Any left is tack in your varnish. Also Cobalt is a surface drier, normally it is in combination with manganese to prevent wrinkling. Why you have to add a drier to a commercial varnish is also strange, it should be ready to go right out of the bottle. Don't get discouraged, it would be boring  if there weren't challenges, problem is too many-

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Heat will drive it off and it will completely dry, I have done it many times.

 

With my fiddles I sometimes do a dry and humid cycle,,,,,,with fiddles dry,,,,,, quite a high temp causes no damage,

if thing are humid, fiddles can be destroyed with heat.

 

The high humidity is your enemy in all this.

 

I would take a hair drier and warm up the varnish several times a day and keep it in the lights.

The more times you heat it and the hotter you go the faster it will dry.

 

But you are not me.

 

Things to consider in all of this,,,

is this a new insturment,,

new wood, old wood.

 

As you heat the varnish it may migrate into the wood and dry out in spots, and if it is heated too fast it will bubble as the air expands in the wood.

If it is heated slow enough it will never bubble as the air will migrate out through the inside.

 

I presoak and preheat and shrink all my wood several times so it is extremely stable  ,,,,

a little heat will do no harm,,,

I got in a situation this summer in a heat wave with a dozen fiddles in a hot car in the sun for several days.

They felt hot enough to burn your hand,,,still strung up,, no ill effects what so ever,,,so I'm not blowin smoke here, though I know what I say can terrify those with no experience on this side of life..

 

So I have to blather on so you can relate to what I am saying.

 

move with caution.

 

On the other hand it also could be some bad oil in the varnish, heat can sometimes deal with that also.

You can lightly brush jap drier over the fiddle to help it dry,,over the varnish,,but the cobalt should've taken care of that.

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I never used Spike Lavender for varnishes. It's a non-drying oil. However, it is great for warding off bow hair weevils. Put a few drops in the instrument case every couple of months. The aromatic vapors do the trick and smell great.

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Guest

I'm familiar with Alchemist Medium's Dark Amber Varnish, having used it many times and have had communication with Mr Fels via email. The amber varnish is a long oil varnish and it is made with high quality ingredients. Mr Fels told me he knew Koen Padding well and showed him how he made his amber varnishes. I think they were both on the same page when it came to oils and resins.

I think the reason your varnish is not drying is the high concentration of Spike Oil that you used. Are you using the Linseed or Walnut Amber varnish? He sells both.

Also try a different siccative. I have found that a through drier siccative is the best to use with this varnish. I have used this one from Natural pigments with very good results.

http://www.naturalpigments.com/cobalt-system-drier-2-oz.html

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