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Jeff Krieger

Oil or spirit varnish on this cello?

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Even with instruments in hand it can be difficult. A good spirit varnish can be difficult to tell apart from oil 100+years out. I think that some of the exceptions are: bad oil varnish that is failing and spirit varnish that is too hard. Nice, fine crackle can show itself with both oil and spirit, and something like this has probably been polished over at least once.

I can not say from the pictures.

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Not useful at all for plates [only a 2" throat depth], but really convenient for bridges and other small parts.

No Idea how this ended up on the wrong thread!!!???? Can it be moved to the "broken dial indicator" thread?

IMG_0263.JPG

Edited by Michael Jennings
Wrong Thread

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17 hours ago, Jeff Krieger said:

Is there any consensus on the type of varnish on this cello by Moses Tewkesbury? I include photos.

There is no easy way to know. You might want to ask the maker,  since they will usually know, but some makers can be huge bullshitters too. Or not know whether what they are using is a spirit or oil varnish, since the differences are not well defined.

For example, if a maker puts a little vegetable oil into a "solvent-dry" varnish, what is it? Spirit or oil?

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If your selling its spirit, buying its oil.

At least it used to be that way back when there seemed to be a bias against spirit varnish. Doesnt seem to be such a big deal nowdays. 

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8 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Surely you have this the wrong way round.

Depends on which side of the counter you are standing. 

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Besides many makers kept their varnish a "secret" (which to me usually means something commercial, or simple) 

 

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