Recommended Posts

So, I had this dream last night that I was varnishing a violin.  I put a coat of yellow, then red brown.  But in my dream I did something odd...I put another coat of yellow, then red brown, then yellow, then red...7 coats (if I remember correctly).  Has anyone ever done that?  One light color coat, then a dark color coat, then light etc...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 83
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

How do you make yellow varnish? 

Sounds like an interesting idea, using layers of different shades of color, might make a more complex looking finish.   

I've thought about starting with a yellow layer then adding more red in each successive layer so it would have the 'color change' effect as it wears away but I don't know how to make a yellow varnish.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ShadowStrad said:

Has anyone ever done that?  One light color coat, then a dark color coat, then light etc...

Most certainly. There's very little that someone somewhere hasn't tried. In fact, it's a common technique in retouching.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MikeC said:

How do you make yellow varnish? 

Sounds like an interesting idea, using layers of different shades of color, might make a more complex looking finish.   

I've thought about starting with a yellow layer then adding more red in each successive layer so it would have the 'color change' effect as it wears away but I don't know how to make a yellow varnish.  

I buy my varnish from Italy because it stinks so bad to cook your own oil varnish.  So, I don't make varnish because the neighbors complain.  But, my normal process is this...first, I put a VERY thin coat of washed linseed oil on the violin and hang it in the sun.  When it's dry, I repeat one more time, VERY THIN coat.  What this does is give the violin a golden color.  Then I put a coat of yellow varnish on.  Then I gradually move to darker colors like red/brown and then finally red.  Always sanding in-between coats.  If I'm antiquing the violin, I'll put a coat of varnish on and then remove some to make it look like it's an older, used instrument.  But I might try alternating the golden yellow color and the darker colors as an experiment this next time around.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ShadowStrad said:

So, I had this dream last night that I was varnishing a violin. 

I can't believe it, so did I!  I was trying to make it match this look and failed miserably!  Luckily just a dream.  Dream on, as they say...

varnish.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, ShadowStrad said:

I buy my varnish from Italy because it stinks so bad to cook your own oil varnish.  So, I don't make varnish because the neighbors complain.  But, my normal process is this...first, I put a VERY thin coat of washed linseed oil on the violin and hang it in the sun.  When it's dry, I repeat one more time, VERY THIN coat.  What this does is give the violin a golden color.  Then I put a coat of yellow varnish on.  Then I gradually move to darker colors like red/brown and then finally red.  Always sanding in-between coats.  If I'm antiquing the violin, I'll put a coat of varnish on and then remove some to make it look like it's an older, used instrument.  But I might try alternating the golden yellow color and the darker colors as an experiment this next time around.

This was the Karl Roy method you hyped before?

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ShadowStrad said:

 Has anyone ever done that?  One light color coat, then a dark color coat, then light etc...

Tried, and would be a good idea if the final thickness of the varnish wasn't an issue. Maybe good for light colors, but if you want to get some color intensity (say similar to red Strads) you would most likely end up with excessive varnish thickness, and this would be a problem.

It is also the system used with the glazing technique, but instead of the colored varnish layer a very light pigment layer (oil colors) is used, but in my opinion it does not give too convincing results for transparency.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Tried, and would be a good idea if the final thickness of the varnish wasn't an issue. Maybe good for light colors, but if you want to get some color intensity (say similar to red Strads) you would most likely end up with excessive varnish thickness, and this would be a problem.

It is also the system used with the glazing technique, but instead of the colored varnish layer a very light pigment layer (oil colors) is used, but in my opinion it does not give too convincing results for transparency.

Yes.  I'm thinking 7 thin layers of varnish.  There's a youtube video of a luthier who studied in Cremona who did a segment on varnishing and he put 7 thin coats of varnish on his violin.  

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ShadowStrad said:

Yes.  I'm thinking 7 thin layers of varnish.  There's a youtube video of a luthier who studied in Cremona who did a segment on varnishing and he put 7 thin coats of varnish on his violin.  

If the intensity of color you see in the video is okay with you go for that one, with 7 coats of that varnish I assume that the thickness of the layer will not be excessive. For me that color is too light and not very intense, so to get the intensity of color that I would like, you should probably apply twice as many coats of colored varnish (and so, with the tecnique you mention, doubling also the transparent coats), increasing the thickness by a lot.

Any varnishing technique is fine if it gives the results we want without compromising the acoustics, so everyone must try to find what works for him, there is no better or worse system than another, as long as it gives good results and allows us to achieve the goals we have set ourselves.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't look like "thin" layers of varnish... just 7 layers of varnish.  If you weigh the instrument before and then after varnishing you will have a meaningful number regarding your varnishing technique... ie sanding does remove some weight.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

"Yes.  I'm thinking 7 thin layers of varnish.  There's a youtube video of a luthier who studied in Cremona..."

What did he study in Cremona? ;)

Do courses in Cremona have a 100% pass rate?

Does any violin making school have a 100% pass rate?

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

This was the Karl Roy method you hyped before?

The Karl Roy instrument linked to looked to me like paint was used. And thus it fails to deliver what Davide says:

17 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Tried, and would be a good idea if the final thickness of the varnish wasn't an issue. Maybe good for light colors, but if you want to get some color intensity (say similar to red Strads) you would most likely end up with excessive varnish thickness, and this would be a problem.

It is also the system used with the glazing technique, but instead of the colored varnish layer a very light pigment layer (oil colors) is used, but in my opinion it does not give too convincing results for transparency.

Did the Cremonese masters use Brazilin dye?

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

"Yes.  I'm thinking 7 thin layers of varnish.  There's a youtube video of a luthier who studied in Cremona..."

What did he study in Cremona? ;)

:)  I'm assuming violin making.  At any rate the violin looks and sounds good.  But each person of course has their own personal preference.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, violinsRus said:

I can't believe it, so did I!  I was trying to make it match this look and failed miserably!  Luckily just a dream.  Dream on, as they say...

varnish.png

I like that! What is it? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, MikeC said:

I like that! What is it?

French, Paris, mid-1800's, Charles Jacquot.  Nice violin, in spite of the extensive repairs.  I am loving the varnish, just can't figure out how to get a close match.  Of course the look is achieved with the correct mix of wood preparation, process, and materials.  And in a case like this, age!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, violinsRus said:

French, Paris, mid-1800's, Charles Jacquot.  Nice violin, in spite of the extensive repairs.  I am loving the varnish, just can't figure out how to get a close match.  Of course the look is achieved with the correct mix of wood preparation, process, and materials.  And in a case like this, age!

It's very pretty.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.