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Extending oil varnish working time.


Dan2
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I have some International Violin Company oil varnish that is a few years old and now seems to tack up very quickly and leaves me no working time.  Also I would like to apply a nice thin layer.  Is there something that I can add to it to extend the working time?  I have some excellent quality cold pressed linseed oil and I have some Gum Turps.  Any suggestions please would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Thanks very much everyone.  Joe, I'm not sure if it has thickened with time.  Possibly a little.  It has a little dried skin on the top.    My wife has kindly offered  lavender oil as per the attached photo.  Is that suitable do you think?   She has been using it to get through my violin making project.

WP_20170829_001.jpg

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10 hours ago, Dan2 said:

Thanks very much everyone.  Joe, I'm not sure if it has thickened with time.  Possibly a little.  It has a little dried skin on the top.    My wife has kindly offered  lavender oil as per the attached photo.  Is that suitable do you think?   She has been using it to get through my violin making project.

WP_20170829_001.jpg

What do you mix that stuff with, or do you drink it neat?

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Thanks very much for that.  I didn't heat the varnish but  I ended up doing three different things and this is the report for what it is worth.  On the scroll I used cold pressed linseed oil.  Working time extended marginally...the varnish was rubbery for a while afterwards.  I used lavender oil for the sides and back and my working time was still not good,  The varnish has dried well but I left brush marks in it.  The top I used gum turpentine and that extended the working time a little better and dried well.  Hopefully fat over lean not compromised.  I'd say my varnish had gone "off" somewhat.

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I've had old cans of this that had even jelled,,,

Add acetone, shake can, add more, shake can,,

forget it for a year or so,, add acetone,,shake can,,

test rub on wood,,,like french polishing with jello.

Dried really fast and hard, it's still a good varnish and seems to behave like I am used to it behaving.

Though I would not use it for a violin, I have other favorites and this is not it,

It does work to toughen up areas that have a lot of handling, I always use thin coats put on with a stiff brush, very thin and dry then polished with the hand in just a few minutes.

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I have found that the varnish on the top has formed quite noticeable grooves on each of the grain lines.  If you run your finger or nail over the surface it is very obvious.  I wonder if the bridge will sit ok on them?   In the photo you can see a patch where I used very fine sandpaper to try and get rid of them, but  my outer varnish layer is thin and the underneath colour layer got removed unfortunately from the high points.  It feels much flatter but looks bad and now I have no idea how to fix it.  Any ideas please?

WP_20170902_003.jpg

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Hi Jim, thanks so much for your help.  I really am in two minds.  I've shown a couple of people and they have sort of turned their noses up a bit.  It looks unusual.  I wonder how it happened?  My theory is that the solvents (gum turps I put in plus that already in the varnish) have permeated the coatings and raised the grain.  Do you see any trouble with the bridge feet sitting on those ridges if I leave it as is?  I could flatten that area a bit?

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Dan,

There are an almost infinite variety of acceptable textures in violin finishing. In my opinion there is only one which I categorically don't like  and that is a completely smooth high gloss. If the people you are showing your work to are used to furniture or guitars they may not see the beauty in that kind of texture but I think it looks very nice.

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The texture is nice,, you accidentally mastered it!

As far as fixing the varnish problem,,put a little bit of varnish on the rub through with your fingertips, rub it in good and keep wiping it with the palm of your hand til it is feeling sort of dry, long quick strokes with the palm of your hand. When it is thin and smooth and shiny but will stick if you stop,, then do stop. let it dry. If it looks sealed when reflected in the light, then lightly scuff with something similar to 0000 steel wool, I use a very fine 2500 grit fiber pad,,,,, just to barely degloss ,  think like only 2 atoms deep,, not much,, then do the same with any color you might have used or what ever,,then again with final coat. Don't go putting slathers of varnish over it, just barely, in very thin coats,, just touch the tops of the spruce if necessary, and the boo boo will disappear.

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