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Okay.  SO...the red varnish I'm using is more of a candy apple red.  Everyone I've shown it to says they like it BUT I just don't see many violins with this color.  My question is...can I add black varnish to the red varnish to darken it up or is this a mistake?

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5 minutes ago, ShadowStrad said:

Okay.  SO...the red varnish I'm using is more of a candy apple red.  Everyone I've shown it to says they like it BUT I just don't see many violins with this color.  My question is...can I add black varnish to the red varnish to darken it up or is this a mistake?

Mix a little of your brown into it and see how it looks in tests. Add a tiny bit of ivory black oil color to sadden it further if needed.

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11 minutes ago, ShadowStrad said:

Okay.  SO...the red varnish I'm using is more of a candy apple red.  Everyone I've shown it to says they like it BUT I just don't see many violins with this color.  My question is...can I add black varnish to the red varnish to darken it up or is this a mistake?

Black pigments are usually opaque which will kill the wood figure. Look at the color wheel. You need to add a small amount of transparent green which will pull the red towards black making the red darker. Just a little should do. Try Phthalo Green PG7.

 

 

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I will disagree, and call this violin a shadow of what it once was, and was intended to be, when it was in its full glory.

 

 

You mean like most Strads with all the varnish worn off?  

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20 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I will disagree, and call this violin a shadow of what it once was, and was intended to be, when it was in its full glory.

I cannot argue with that.  However it is still a pleasure to play it every day, and quite fun to study the original varnish, etc at close range.  If it were in good condition I wouldn't be holding it now.   :)

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3 hours ago, violinsRus said:

I cannot argue with that.  However it is still a pleasure to play it every day, and quite fun to study the original varnish, etc at close range.  If it were in good condition I wouldn't be holding it now.   :)

Fair enough. However, our learning and appreciation needn't be limited by what we can personally afford to own.

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On 1/27/2021 at 3:48 AM, ShadowStrad said:

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? 

If I remember correctly there was a maker (was it David Fulton or Harry S. Wake?) who proposed a similar method long, long ago in the Strad magazine. The title was 'Flying colors'. He sandwiched in between clear varnish layers some pigments, which he rubbed on the surface with some oil binding agent. Back then, I tried it once myself, made a mess, and abandoned the idea. If the color is embedded in a varnish it might work better.

On 1/27/2021 at 8:00 AM, Davide Sora said:

you would most likely end up with excessive varnish thickness, and this would be a problem.

 

Well, for Annibale Fagnola thick varnish worked pretty well.;)

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5 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Well, for Annibale Fagnola thick varnish worked pretty well.;)

It is not the only one, there are also other eminent luthiers who have a thick varnish (Montagnana to name one), even if it is often very worn and "lightened" by wear.

Do you think thick varnish is a good thing for sound? I believe not, unless you make an antiqued violin with minimal areas of thick varnish, but that would just confirm my guess.

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11 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Do a test. Play the instrument as you add varnish and see where it gets better or worse. Then, try removing the varnish according to historical wear patterns and again see how the tone changes.

It could be interesting, but I don't think it can work because it would take a very long time to get the correct information, i.e. those relating to the perfectly dry and cured varnish. If you wait a few months between each test to be sure the varnish will be dry enough, or a few years in the case of oil varnish, how long will it take to varnish the violin?:)

Not to mention the reliability of listening tests with such important time separations.;)

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29 minutes ago, Davide Sora said:

It could be interesting, but I don't think it can work because it would take a very long time to get the correct information, i.e. those relating to the perfectly dry and cured varnish. If you wait a few months between each test to be sure the varnish will be dry enough, or a few years in the case of oil varnish, how long will it take to varnish the violin?:)

Not to mention the reliability of listening tests with such important time separations.;)

Then, the answer is that we will never know.  Anyone’s guess is valid until we advance to using AI for an answer.

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40 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Then, the answer is that we will never know.  Anyone’s guess is valid until we advance to using AI for an answer.

I agree, furthermore as the varnish dries the violin also settles and changes, so it is realistically impossible to draw conclusions with a reliable value:(

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I recently purchased a bottle of Potassium Dichromate from eBay.  It arrived and I tested it on a piece of maple.  The next day I looked at it and it had done absolutely nothing to the wood.  It was as if I never applied it.  Does this mean what I purchased wasn't strong enough or am I doing something wrong?  

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20 minutes ago, ShadowStrad said:

I recently purchased a bottle of Potassium Dichromate from eBay.  It arrived and I tested it on a piece of maple.  The next day I looked at it and it had done absolutely nothing to the wood.  It was as if I never applied it.  Does this mean what I purchased wasn't strong enough or am I doing something wrong?  

I'd recommend against using it at all, not safe stuff

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On 1/31/2021 at 6:10 PM, ShadowStrad said:

I thought it was supposed to make the flames of the wood stand out.  But it's as if I put water on the wood.  No change at all.

Potassium dichromate will affect wood color if there are sufficient tannins to react with as in oak or mahogany.....not enough in maple.

on we go,

Joe

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Potassium dichromate of sufficient concentration (in water) will initially give maple a yellow color. Once dry, exposure to UV will gradually change this to a brown, then on to a gray-brown color. If the color isn't dark enough, more can be applied and the process repeated. When the desired color has been reached, removing it from the UV source and applying oil or varnish will tend to make it stay where you left it.

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