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patrick stover

Can you recommend an "off the shelf" oil varnish?

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Go with the pros.  A lot of folks use Joe Robson's system or Eugene Holtier's.  I make my own, but if I didn't, I'd probably use one of theirs.  Or both and alternate!  :D

This is not a paid endorsement.  That said, I do have a lot of respect for the extensive, hard-earned knowledge they bring to their work.

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It is a bit like making raviole, you have the recipe, gets the ingredients and then.... you have to cook well.... But having the good varnish will help a lot. The most complicated part is the ground, I think.

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I'm pretty sure Joe has shelves in his workshop/shipping room? I mean maybe he makes it and then sticks it in a box on the ground, but something tells me Joe uses shelves. :lol:

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If you do not want to spend a whole lot like the varnish systems above, you can use the oil or Balsam varnishes from JOHA. The oil varnish is easier to apply than the balsamic. The colored varnishes I believe use aniline which may or may not be to your liking. You can use other pigments to accomplish that. Before the MN community gets upset about this recommendation, it is not intended to be the ultimate varnish just a cheaper and other option.

https://internationalviolin.com/Shop/varnish-supplies/oil-varnish-extracts

https://www.joha.eu/en/

 

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40 minutes ago, violguy said:

Behlen's Violin Varnish is acceptable.

Well, their spirit varnish can go bad. 2 out of 3 bottles I bought were bad right from the store. There was no date of production so I ddn't know how old they were.

Their oil varnish is OK, I've used it on several mandolins but I switched to oil spar varnish that worked and loooked just the same and is much cheaper...

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22 hours ago, jezzupe said:

I'm pretty sure Joe has shelves in his workshop/shipping room? I mean maybe he makes it and then sticks it in a box on the ground, but something tells me Joe uses shelves. :lol:

Although I have found him to be very unshelfish about sharing his knowledge.  :lol:

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28 minutes ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

Although I have found him to be very unshelfish about sharing his knowledge.  :lol:

Ya he doesn't clam up or shrimp out with sharing pearls of wisdom. ;)

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Hey Joe, not to try and pry trade secrets out of you, but... What are you putting under your caps to keep them from getting stuck to the jar?

Thanks,

Jim

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10 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

Hey Joe, not to try and pry trade secrets out of you, but... What are you putting under your caps to keep them from getting stuck to the jar?

Thanks,

Jim

Parchment paper

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Ah, my head hurts...he keeps his ground up on a shelf, when clearly you'd think the ground would be on the floor, and then the varnish is up there too , but you'd think the varnish would be sitting on top of the ground and to top it off there's no Lobster or any other shellfish up there, so now I'm just confused.

Ya, anyways I recommend Joe's stuff

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Old wood has very good products that are quite straightforward and result in consistently high end results. .  Recently have experiment with combining Oldwood varnish with some of ViolinVarnish Italy products.  The Varnish Italy has a very high density of color built in, which I love, but I find the consistnacy quite thin and it sets up too quickly for my style of working.  I have experimented with mixing the two and I like it quite a bit.  I use the padding method of application and not a brush.  The violin image used as my maestronet photo is done in this way. 

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3 hours ago, Peter Lynch said:

Old wood has very good products that are quite straightforward and result in consistently high end results. .  Recently have experiment with combining Oldwood varnish with some of ViolinVarnish Italy products.  The Varnish Italy has a very high density of color built in, which I love, but I find the consistnacy quite thin and it sets up too quickly for my style of working.  I have experimented with mixing the two and I like it quite a bit.  I use the padding method of application and not a brush.  The violin image used as my maestronet photo is done in this way. 

I'm told the Oldwood tube colors are excellent but never used them myself. I think OW and Joe's system's are a good place to start.

Nunzio's amber and copal varnishes are excellent as well as his red madder rosinate varnish. To extend the open time a little I add a couple of drops of Joe's LINOX. You still have to work fast but there is enough time to pad everything out. To compensate I use a prosthetic foam pad on the ribs only. I use a brush to quickly apply an even layer then pad with the hand and a foam pad in hard to reach areas like the glue joints on the ribs and scroll.

 I also mix the red madder rosinate and amber varnishes together. If I want more red then I'll mull in some Ertz style madder pigment. 

Have you tried Alchemist amber varnish? It has a long open time (like Magister) but it's a very fat long oil varnish, unless Mr Fels has changed things.

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On 10/16/2019 at 11:49 PM, patrick stover said:

Just as the title says, I just want to buy something that works well. I was looking at Joha.eu. I don't know if that's any good.

 

Thanks!

You want to start with JOHA la and their colors, and it's amazing. Then maybe, you want go thinner darker and deaper. You might go on searching for years and you might discover that Old Wood systems are superb. Then if you live in US, it's easier (all though available even in Finland) to get Joe R varnish, that is surpassing the above. At last you want to cook your own, and get some terrible varnish that is far worse than JOHA la. After some years of cooking you might even make something you like better than Joe's.

I have, after 7 years, because I made it myself and that's why it is the best.

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On 10/18/2019 at 11:40 AM, jezzupe said:

Ah, my head hurts...he keeps his ground up on a shelf, when clearly you'd think the ground would be on the floor, and then the varnish is up there too , but you'd think the varnish would be sitting on top of the ground and to top it off there's no Lobster or any other shellfish up there, so now I'm just confused.

Ya, anyways I recommend Joe's stuff

I think the sealer ate all the shellfish.  

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:07 PM, Ernest Martel said:

Nunzio makes nice varnishes. No rubbing out needed just brushed on and padded.

  https://www.violinvarnishitaly.com/

IMG_0284.thumb.JPG.02d725d0e855aaf5c76c900cc54e60a2.JPG

This looks nice, however there are two issues I don't like,  -> a lot of varnish is soaked into the wood (which undoubtedly looks nice on maple = burned). about triple or five times the amount of varnish that i like to put on a back

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