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Geigenbauer

Experience with Kremer amber colophony (60205)

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I had posted earlier that I was going to try and make amber varnish using the amber colophony from Kremer. Their German homepage describes this as old material from a Russian amber-varnish manufacturer. Some here on the forum were skeptical about the nature of this resin and I wanted to follow-up and share my experience.

To make a long story short: It didn’t work the way I had hoped. I tried to dissolve the colophony directly in boiled linseed oil. Nevertheless, I found that even temperatures around 250 deg C were not sufficient. Only a small amount appeared to dissolve in the oil (based on the color and smell of the resulting oil) but the vast majority formed a gooey black mass that was caught in the strainer. I am attaching some pictures to illustrate. 

Since at least for me this material didn’t work the way I had hoped I am starting with raw amber instead and will try to fuse/melt it myself.

amber-colophony.jpg.90150e620300f2aaa3adeaec5b62d281.jpg

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I have the same experience. This amber-colophony is only "pre-made" - but it is not bad material. If you first heat amber-colophony to liquid form and then add hot linseed oil, it will without problems with this jelly.

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Melting Amber seems to be a science on its own.

i got my best results in heating first normal colophany and then add up to 30% Amber from Kremer to it. It dissolves fairly quickly when added in small amounts.

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5 hours ago, Húslař said:

If you first heat amber-colophony to liquid form and then add hot linseed oil, it will without problems with this jelly.

Thank you Húslař and Andreas.

It is good to know that the material can be salvaged. For now, I have started with the regular raw amber from Kremer. Let’s see how it goes. The second melting attempt ended with encouraging results (see below). I have not progressed further yet and hope this material will dissolve in linseed oil.

1928389270_meltedamber.jpg.7d30fd4f92ee9c8ca803ea4159a3939e.jpg

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I purchased the amber colophony also and wanted to dissolve it in turpentine. Has anyone had success doing this?  Kremer's rosin oil is said to be colophony in turpentine. I did not want to have any linseed   oil in it. Thank you.

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25 minutes ago, Greg Sigworth said:

I purchased the amber colophony also and wanted to dissolve it in turpentine. Has anyone had success doing this?  Kremer's rosin oil is said to be colophony in turpentine. I did not want to have any linseed   oil in it. Thank you.

Hi Greg, I did not try to dissolve in turpentine since I am trying to produce amber varnish without turpentine. Nevertheless, Kremer told me on the phone that warmed turpentine should dissolve it. Again, I haven't tried.

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I think that will make a very brittle varnish without linseed oil.

Amber does not dissolve, rather it requires significant levels of heat to get it to run in the first place.

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20 hours ago, Geigenbauer said:

Hi Greg, I did not try to dissolve in turpentine since I am trying to produce amber varnish without turpentine. Nevertheless, Kremer told me on the phone that warmed turpentine should dissolve it. Again, I haven't tried.

Thanks for the information. I will try it again. Turpentine has a rather low boiling point so I will be careful heating it up.

 

20 hours ago, Dave Slight said:

I think that will make a very brittle varnish without linseed oil.

Amber does not dissolve, rather it requires significant levels of heat to get it to run in the first place.

The Amber colophony does not have amber in it (I believe). This is a reference to its color. It should dissolve in turpentine. I am not making a varnish, but a base ground that I can apply to the wood before I seal it and varnish. I do not want linseed oil in it as I believe that in the wood is harmful to the sound of the violin.

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I bought this stuff , believing it was cooked colophony. I heated it up until it melted, added some linseed oil, (not much, perhaps 20%) and left it to cool, thinning with turpentine. 

I’m very happy with this varnish, it dries quickly, is fairly hard once dry and has a nice red/brown colour. 

Here‘s a test sample on unprepared rib stock (saw marks still prominent, sorry for that). I did, however, have a lot of trouble removing the remnants from the pan; even acetone is slow. 25DB2BD5-F4E1-4465-BBA9-4EE52E0A6FCF.thumb.jpeg.cc8dded79e1b0af888d11cccfe1662d0.jpeg

good transparency, nice colour. I will likely use this again. 

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