Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Ground - Why Not Laundry Starch?


Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, David Burgess said:

After reading that, I've become hopelessly lost in tangled thoughts and fantasies about "Violadamore"....

Are your thoughts ever un-tangled? :P  [Washes a nibble of baklava down with a sip of Mavrodaphne]  Sounds like I'm approaching muse status around here. :lol:

8 hours ago, rossini said:

it s not far from an idea of ground for violin

  about baklava  see the recipe  almost as good as italian varnish :lol: price of baklava may go up if they find out about it tho

 walnut pieces
ground almonds
 pistachio kernels, slivered
Zest of 1 orange
12 sheets of filo pastry (2 x 270g packets) <------------------- starch
250g granulated or caster sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp orange-blossom water (or to taste)


Hmmmm...........was Strad's shop near a bakery? :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked up cornstarch a while back.   We know that it is used to thicken gravies.   Incidentally,  tapioca starch is much better for this and is sold at Chinese grocery stores.  Initially,  the starch molecules are curled up.  A suspension of starch in water will look hazy,  but when heated,  the starch molecules unwind,  and you get that thick and clear viscous solution.    It might answer for a filler-sealer as it is so thick.    But I have never tried it........  I wondered if after drying and aging,  the starch would try to revert to grains (which is its most stable form.)   This might make a hazy undercoating,  or might even cause a poor bonding to the varnish overlay.


Starches are various polymers of glucose.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW Department.

I had to go back and find my notes from classes with Boyd Poulsen.  He had a recipe which included wheat starch; it's on page 208 of the Weisshaar repair and restoration book, but calls for wheat flour.  Boyd claimed that this was an oversight which slipped through the proof-reading stage and it should say wheat starch.

Boyd said that corn starch is fine if wheat starch is unavailable.  So I'm assuming the whole matter is not critical.  But I'm the kinda guy who goes to any extreme to follow directions as well as possible, so I went all over town looking for wheat starch.  No one had any.  Only AFTER I spent about $25 for two ounces of the wheat variety plus shipping from an esoteric art supply company in Georgia did I walk into one more oriental grocery store where—lo and behold—a huge bag of wheat starch was literally staring me in the face, for about .99 cents.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Linseed oil has been brought up in this column from time to time.  Ages ago when I was refinishing some furniture and other wood I read up a lot on it and it's comparison to Tung oil, which was far superior.  The linseed never completely dries and is flexible..  Tung oil drys harder, is flexible, adheres very well, resists dents and takes polish and a waxes and give a finer grain appearance. It can be applied to soak deeply into the wood and/or to just cover in a thin coat, and if dried properly, take many coats.  It is used supposedly used on finer hand made furniture, as it can be fussier.

Seeing that a violin is a fine piece of wood, would it not possibly be a better finish? 

I am totally a novice with violins and will never be any more, I just take catastrophes and make them look nicer, for all I know they may sound like a cat fight as I have no sense of key or musical talent. 

Oh yes!  If your worried about weight, don't eat too much baklava.

Edited by Highball
added information
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/24/2017 at 7:24 PM, David Burgess said:

Not really, but maybe a little better than nothing. Tests have demonstrated that some coatings reduce the rate of moisture exchange and retention, and others increase this, compared to bare wood. The winners in reducing moisture exchange were several coatings of paraffin wax, and paint containing a high concentration of aluminum flakes (which ends up silver colored). Epoxy coating fared pretty well too. I haven't figured out a good way yet to make good use of any of these strategies.

I actually tried the epoxy idea as a sealer. I mixed one part resin and one part hardener to ten parts reagent grade methanol. I used the slow set 15 minute working time type. Results were less than satisfactory. I brushed it on the wood sample (used both maple and spruce) and it took about two weeks to cure to the point of not being sticky to the touch. No better with denatured ethanol as the solvent. Reagent grade isopropanol caused the epoxy to precipitate and never made it to the wood samples. So I abandoned this idea. Perhaps it might have worked better with a different solvent.

Edited by sandman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Laundry starch, pastry glaze, soluble cellulose, and now epoxy???  :huh:   Hell, why not just use a light spray of polyurethane to brush your lovingly compounded pseudo-Cremonese varnish over?  It would go so appropriately with the Gorilla Glue you'll probably rationalize yourself into using as well. :rolleyes::P:lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gee Viola,

I'm not advocating the use of epoxy as a ground, only mentioning through anecdotal information what can be used as a thinner for epoxy.

I can't blame anyone for pursuing wild ideas though. It seems everything that seemed plausible has been tried with diminished results.

I'll quietly now go back to enjoying my late night rum and coke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cellulose is thousands of sugars  strung together into a long molecule.

Starch is a few tens of sugars strung together.  (Laundry only points out how common starch is)

Sugar is just one unit.  We have talked about sugar as a sealant.

If they used starch long ago, it was so common that they might not have mentioned it.

If they used starch long ago, we would have a hard time detecting the starch because

it looks like cellulose.  Same for sugar!  Worth a look?


Link to comment
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.

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...