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Fillers Before Varnishing


Shunyata
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I find that tightly flamed maple results in a slightly pitted surface, even when you use sharp instruments.  After finishing this results in a fine texture to the finish.

How do people handle this issue?  Or am I doing something wrong?

Fillers, like plaster, are one approach but I hate the deadening of the flames that comes with it.

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6 hours ago, Shunyata said:

I find that tightly flamed maple results in a slightly pitted surface, even when you use sharp instruments.  After finishing this results in a fine texture to the finish.

How do people handle this issue?  Or am I doing something wrong?

Fillers, like plaster, are one approach but I hate the deadening of the flames that comes with it.

Usually you can smoothen out everything with a very sharp scraper to finish the woodwork. Maybe you are scraping in the wrong direction? For a flamed surface vertical to the flames should take all bumps out. 

However, my personal take on that is that all machine instruments from factories have a super smooth surface similar to car body. For handmade instruments I find it by far more desirable to have surface texture which can't be done in a factory style working. 

If you are really thinking of fillers I would suggest to apply an uncolored (or slightly colored) ground varnish. this will not erase the effect but smoothen it. 

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6 hours ago, Shunyata said:

I find that tightly flamed maple results in a slightly pitted surface, even when you use sharp instruments.  After finishing this results in a fine texture to the finish.

How do people handle this issue?  Or am I doing something wrong?

Fillers, like plaster, are one approach but I hate the deadening of the flames that comes with it.

Plaster of paris, if slaked, should have the same refractive index as your varnish. It looks weird when it's on the instrument at first, but once it's dry and any excess has been rubbed/burnished off, it should take the same clarity as the varnish. 

Think of sprinkling powdered glass into a cup of water. Or even sugar, to a lesser extent for that matter. 

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Thank you for the comments.

My violins have a very fine texture to the varnish surface associated grain of the flames.  I always assumed this was considered bad form.  But i am hearing from you all that is simply the marker of "hand made". I am happy with that answer.

I know the theory about slaked plaster,  but I always find it lessens the flames so I avoid it.

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41 minutes ago, Shunyata said:

Thank you for the comments.

My violins have a very fine texture to the varnish surface associated grain of the flames.  I always assumed this was considered bad form.  But i am hearing from you all that is simply the marker of "hand made". I am happy with that answer.

I know the theory about slaked plaster,  but I always find it lessens the flames so I avoid it.

Have you tried using slaked pop? I do not find that transparency or chatoyance is reduced in any way. If it does, it may due to the varnish not being a good refractive match to the mineral ground. My preference is to mix the pop directly into the varnish for the ground application. 

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1 hour ago, Christopher Jacoby said:

*pours CocaCola directly into oil varnish for the ground application

*sues Jim

In defense of Jim, it's not that simple. The CocaCola must first be cooked down to a hard and brittle resin, broken up with a hammer, then ground further with a mortar and pestle.

I prefer Dr Pepper, when copying the more prune-colored varnishes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As a followup to this thread, I have found that using a toothed, convex finger plane results in a very nice surface (after scraping) even on tightly curled maple flames.

This was my first adventure with toothed blades.  What a wonderful invention!

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On 1/14/2021 at 2:59 PM, David Burgess said:

In defense of Jim, it's not that simple. The CocaCola must first be cooked down to a hard and brittle resin, broken up with a hammer, then ground further with a mortar and pestle.

I prefer Dr Pepper, when copying the more prune-colored varnishes.

That seems like a lot of work.  

Have you ever tried using powdered pine rosin?    It might come close to matching the refractive index of an oil based varnish.

 

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1 hour ago, Shunyata said:

As a followup to this thread, I have found that using a toothed, convex finger plane results in a very nice surface (after scraping) even on tightly curled maple flames.

This was my first adventure with toothed blades.  What a wonderful invention!

I agree that toothed blade fingerplanes are great, but after the scraper finish ??

You will definitely get a wonderful textured surface.:lol:

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