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Glue residue on varnish


Clare@Iscaviolins

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Hello Maestronet hive mind - I need some help. I have just received a violin I bought at auction (unseen due to the the 'Rona) and it is unexpectedly good. Although rather battered the sound is terrific but...at some point in its life it looks like someone has put a sticker on the varnish and it has left a horrible residue. I have tried to remove it with a cloth and my magic spit, but no dice. The violin is 130 years old so I need to be really careful. 

Any ideas?

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Hmm...I wonder if Goo Gone, gently worked under the sticker, into the glue, in small amounts would lift it off?  Use a small, soft piece of wood to work it in, like a toothpick, and wipe up any excess amounts immediately.

Stickers are tough. I have a couple the kids stuck on various surfaces, from years ago, that have proven especially tenacious. I haven't had the heart to keep tackling them. :angry:

 

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Hello again - thanks for your help. I am very nervous about damaging the finish so I will proceed with caution. Maybe the glue marks will just have to be part of the fiddle's "story" along with the rubbed corners, dings and unexpected scroll graft.

Edited by Clare@Iscaviolins
Auto correct made nonsense of my post
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Naptha also known as mineral spirits or lighter fluid is the thing to try, first.  I would be careful with d-limonene--some of the instruments have a glue ground and contact with  this solvent might lift the varnish without dissolving it.   Be cautious.  It is going to depend upon the instrument, but naptha is the safest.

Mike D

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Oddly enough, what I would have used at one time is Fiddlebrite. I wouldn't use it for much of anything else, but it actually worked on sticky stuff like old fingerboard tape on some student violins. Like anything, you would want to be careful and go slowly. I'd never polish a whole instrument with it though. I don't think it is available any more but if you have some lying around it might work.

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Yes and no.

Lighter fuel/fluid is a catch-all term. It can refer to naphtha, butane or BBQ fluid. I usually think of butane first.

Mineral spirit can also refer to a kind of naphtha, but I always think of turpentine (mineral - not plant-based) first.

It's all confusing...:wacko:

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On 12/22/2020 at 6:59 PM, JacksonMaberry said:

Another case where d-limonene might be useful.

Goo Gone is D-limonene plus petroleum distillates, with a dash of sweet orange extract.  Except for the orange extract, it sounds rather similar to the other products that are being recommended.  I don't know whether it attacks violin varnish, but it works very well for glue goo.

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On 12/24/2020 at 8:33 AM, La Folia said:

Goo Gone is D-limonene plus petroleum distillates, with a dash of sweet orange extract.  Except for the orange extract, it sounds rather similar to the other products that are being recommended.  I don't know whether it attacks violin varnish, but it works very well for glue goo.

Right, I just prefer to source my solvents unadulterated.

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The problem is they call things differently depending on location. Here in Canada, Naptha is white gasoline, camp stove fuel, or Coleman fuel, all the same stuff, and is highly volatile.

Lighter fluid is volatile, but not nearly so as Naptha.

I'd be inclined to try white mineral spirits AKA oil paint thinner, Varsol, Stoddard solvent. Try it on a small, inconspicuous area first, to ensure it doesn't attack the varnish.

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