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5 hours ago, joerobson said:

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

on we go,

Joe

My experience with the stuff suggests little difficulty in effecting a color change in maple when exposed to UV... but handling the stuff gives me the willies, so I rarely use it. Gloves are a must if you do.  Never obtained it in solution. Mixed my own from crystals I've had in a jar on the shelf for nearly 30 years (the jar is still nearly full).

 

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1 hour ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

My experience with the stuff suggests little difficulty in effecting a color change in maple when exposed to UV... but handling the stuff gives me the willies, so I rarely use it. Gloves are a must if you do.  Never obtained it in solution. Mixed my own from crystals I've had in a jar on the shelf for nearly 30 years (the jar is still nearly full).

 

Jeffrey 

Exactly.  UV exposure will work...but why.

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16 hours ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Just saw your post about using it as dye or oxidizer... missed that... but why would someone choose to use such a potent chemical for a dye?

 

It was once favored for reproduction oak and mahogany furniture.

on we go,

Joe

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On 1/27/2021 at 11:23 PM, 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.

Sorta like this:

spacer.png

An absolutely perfect illustration of worn varnish. I have already copied it for future use. Thanks David!

 

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David you don’t need this.

When I was at the violin school back in the 1970s, we were shown a film made by an old (probably much younger than I am now) cello maker. At the end of the film he varnished his finished cello with a clear oil varnish. I think one or two coats only. Of course, even back then, as mere first year students, we all knew he was wrong, but he wasn't.

The problem we all face when trying to reproduce any classical varnish, is that what we are seeing today, is not what the great violin makers saw when they applied their varnishes. Varnishes, like human skin, suffer from the effects of time. Even if they are not damaged physically, they will gradually deteriorate in the kindest atmosphere.

Without going into their various properties, Italian oil varnishes were generally based on either linseed or walnut oils. Other drying oils existed, but in Cremona the thriving linen industry, provided the flax seed from which linseed oil was extracted. In Venice, a completely different state, walnut oil appears to have been king. These drying oils are also evident in the painting schools of each province. As a general rule linseed oils dry more quickly, and walnut oils have a tendency to crackle and wrinkle. In fact, the physical nature of these different drying oils meant that drying times and certain other characteristics were always slightly different.

However, while these are important distinctions, they do not fundamentally alter the basic nature of the varnishes used by most classical Italian violin making schools. For the most part, these varnishes would have been prepared and applied in a similar manner. 

During the life span of any varnish, it will be subjected to many adverse influences which will eventually lead to its gradual degradation. Of course, deference’s also depended upon which if any resins were fused or mixed with these oils. Some films will soften and possibly wrinkle, some will harden and fracture. Some will deteriorate quickly while others will remain relatively stable for a long time, 

Nevertheless, as a general rule, oil films (including their accompanying resins), become darker with aged and paradoxically more transparent. 

(Although the overall transparency of any film will depend upon such factors as crackling, wrinkling, thickness and the amount of dirt it attracts and absorbs.)

The point I am trying to make here, is that with the best varnishes and the worst, this tendency of oil varnishes to darken and become more transparent is almost always beneficial. 

So basically, whichever kind of drying oil varnish you chose to make, unless it can be artificially oxidised, it will never look like a classical varnish. If I can offer one final piece of advice before I go to bed. Do not attempt to colour varnishes ever. Never, not ever, because no amount of added chemicals, colour, dyes or stains will do the business. And be sure, that adding or mixing two colours (no matter how clear) will kill the transparency of any varnish faster than adding coal dust.

Although there is an exception, right now, I'm off to bed. 

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56 minutes ago, Roger Hargrave said:

Nevertheless,......................... I'm off to bed. 

Thank you much for your greatly instructive post!  It's wonderful to see you on.   :)

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On 2/4/2021 at 12:37 PM, Roger Hargrave said:

David you don’t need this.

When I was at the violin school back in the 1970s, we were shown a film made by an old (probably much younger than I am now) cello maker. At the end of the film he varnished his finished cello with a clear oil varnish. I think one or two coats only. Of course, even back then, as mere first year students, we all knew he was wrong, but he wasn't.

The problem we all face when trying to reproduce any classical varnish, is that what we are seeing today, is not what the great violin makers saw when they applied their varnishes. Varnishes, like human skin, suffer from the effects of time. Even if they are not damaged physically, they will gradually deteriorate in the kindest atmosphere.

Without going into their various properties, Italian oil varnishes were generally based on either linseed or walnut oils. Other drying oils existed, but in Cremona the thriving linen industry, provided the flax seed from which linseed oil was extracted. In Venice, a completely different state, walnut oil appears to have been king. These drying oils are also evident in the painting schools of each province. As a general rule linseed oils dry more quickly, and walnut oils have a tendency to crackle and wrinkle. In fact, the physical nature of these different drying oils meant that drying times and certain other characteristics were always slightly different.

However, while these are important distinctions, they do not fundamentally alter the basic nature of the varnishes used by most classical Italian violin making schools. For the most part, these varnishes would have been prepared and applied in a similar manner. 

During the life span of any varnish, it will be subjected to many adverse influences which will eventually lead to its gradual degradation. Of course, deference’s also depended upon which if any resins were fused or mixed with these oils. Some films will soften and possibly wrinkle, some will harden and fracture. Some will deteriorate quickly while others will remain relatively stable for a long time, 

Nevertheless, as a general rule, oil films (including their accompanying resins), become darker with aged and paradoxically more transparent. 

(Although the overall transparency of any film will depend upon such factors as crackling, wrinkling, thickness and the amount of dirt it attracts and absorbs.)

The point I am trying to make here, is that with the best varnishes and the worst, this tendency of oil varnishes to darken and become more transparent is almost always beneficial. 

So basically, whichever kind of drying oil varnish you chose to make, unless it can be artificially oxidised, it will never look like a classical varnish. If I can offer one final piece of advice before I go to bed. Do not attempt to colour varnishes ever. Never, not ever, because no amount of added chemicals, colour, dyes or stains will do the business. And be sure, that adding or mixing two colours (no matter how clear) will kill the transparency of any varnish faster than adding coal dust.

Although there is an exception, right now, I'm off to bed. 

I spoke to a luthier friend of mine who has visited the museum in Oxford to see the Messiah.  He said in the current state, it looks like a newly varnished Chinese instrument.  He was impressed with the genius and craftsmanship but he was unimpressed with the nearly pristine varnish.  

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Why? If the varnish has remained in such good shape over these hundreds of years, what alternative varnish would he prefer? That it was worn through years of use or that Strad had pre-antiqued it?

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59 minutes ago, ShadowStrad said:

I spoke to a luthier friend of mine who has visited the museum in Oxford to see the Messiah.  He said in the current state, it looks like a newly varnished Chinese instrument.  He was impressed with the genius and craftsmanship but he was unimpressed with the nearly pristine varnish.  

Would your friend be more impressed if the museum had someone bang it up a bit? :P

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2 hours ago, ShadowStrad said:

I spoke to a luthier friend of mine who has visited the museum in Oxford to see the Messiah.  He said in the current state, it looks like a newly varnished Chinese instrument.  He was impressed with the genius and craftsmanship but he was unimpressed with the nearly pristine varnish.  

But how does it sound?   :lol:  outtahere.gif..gif.0f1795c0f19c349bf214889e4e03f508.gif

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2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

But how does it sound?   :lol:  outtahere.gif..gif.0f1795c0f19c349bf214889e4e03f508.gif

I'm sure it sounds amazing, if it's really a Strad.  Even if it's not authentic, it still may sound amazing.  If you have a link to where I can hear it being played I would appreciate it.  The museum in Oxford has everything to lose if the Messiah were proven to be a fake.  They currently value it at 20 million dollars and if it were declared a fake, who knows what it would be valued at.

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4 minutes ago, ShadowStrad said:

I'm sure it sounds amazing, if it's really a Strad.  Even if it's not authentic, it still may sound amazing.  If you have a link to where I can hear it being played I would appreciate it.  The museum in Oxford has everything to lose if the Messiah were proven to be a fake.  They currently value it at 20 million dollars and if it were declared a fake, who knows what it would be valued at.

Not every Strad sounds good, unfortunately. There are some real dogs. Who knows if it was a hangover day or if the Mantegazzas over thinned it for Cozio. 

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9 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Not every Strad sounds good, unfortunately. There are some real dogs. Who knows if it was a hangover day or if the Mantegazzas over thinned it for Cozio. 

True Jackson. Played some that were pretty underwhelming.

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19 minutes ago, Rue said:

What we "need"...is a definitive ranking of existing Strads, by sound quality.

:mellow:

:rolleyes:

:P

Well how many of them are in private collections and never played?

Of the well known players, can you identify a Strad which you don't like the sound of?

 

 

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18 hours ago, Rue said:

Why? If the varnish has remained in such good shape over these hundreds of years, what alternative varnish would he prefer? That it was worn through years of use or that Strad had pre-antiqued it?

Oh, I'm not complaining.  I thought for some reason I would see the varnish on the Messiah and be like..."This is amazing!  I see what everyone is talking about".  My only thing is I truly wish this violin would be played but I understand the museum's point of view.  To play it is to ruin it (near pristine state).  

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