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Peter Lynch

Optical qualities of sandarac

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I have just begun to experiment with Sandarac some and it seems to have an optical quality of imparting "brightness" and "clarity" .   I am not just talking about a surface "shine", but it seems to almost magnify the visual qualities of the wood cells and give the illusion of brightness coming from the wood (in comparisons to some other resins).  I will admit this could just be my imagination  but I was curious if others have found this. Also curious of the pros and cons of adding sandarac to both spirit (retouch) and oil varnish. 

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I cooked a few batches of Sandarac oil varnish. It was quite a pain to make it work. In my experiments i put it on casein sealed wood which looked quite nice, but i am not sure if it is really superior to a classical „vernice Italica“ which i interpret as a colophony based balsam ground or very short oil varnish.

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27 minutes ago, Michael Szyper said:

I cooked a few batches of Sandarac oil varnish. It was quite a pain to make it work. In my experiments i put it on casein sealed wood which looked quite nice, but i am not sure if it is really superior to a classical „vernice Italica“ which i interpret as a colophony based balsam ground or very short oil varnish.

Michael, Thanks for sharing your experience.  so far I have just experimented with sandarac dissolved in alcohol on maple as a start.

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I use Sandarac (in alcohol) as a component of my  fill varnish... and some versions of my touchup varnish. It tends to add "body" to the mix . The optics are great for my purposes (clarity). 

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I’ll second the notion that sandarac seems to add depth, sparkle, clarity, luminosity ... things like that. I dissolve it in alcohol, mixed with various other resins. Peter, my experience mirrors what you describe. 

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