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joerobson
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22 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

I had read about how soaking with linseed oil made the violin lighter, I tried it on a stripped violin, that had quite a few cracks, suffice it to say that the violin was a loss, unrepairable because of the effects of the soaked in linseed oil.

I think Michelman describes it in his book about Cremonese varnish.

However, he didn't soak it in linseed oil. Though I never tried it in an experiment weighting a violin before and after, it seems that the linseed oil should be very diluted with turpentine. Michelman explains the effect of loosing weight that water in the wood is driven out when treated like this (and maybe in combination with sunlight.)

 

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I experimented with a variety of ground systems, including POP, ground POP mixed as a linseed oil paste, diluted hide glue, and bunch of other things I can no longer recall.

When I thought about what I wanted a ground to do, the choice became much simpler:

1. seal the surface so applications of colored varnish will not streak, blotch or soak into the wood;

2. remove the "whiteness" from the bare wood due to light diffusion off the "rough" surface and allow the fine grain detail to become visible;

3. provide a surface that will stick to both oil and spirit varnish.

I get all of these features with dewaxed shellac diluted with ethyl alcohol until it is watery. A commercial product, like Zinsser Clearcote, diluted 2 to to 1 by volume works well. Or one can use any colored shellac product that is diluted 2 to 1 by volume and allowed to stand so the wax settles to the bottom. I believe this is roughly a 1/2lb to 1lb cut of dried shellac.

One to two quick coats is usually all that is needed to obtain the desired results.

 

Edited by ctanzio
grammar correction
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13 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

There is no shellac or seedlac products found in analysis of Stradivari varnish, only in later added over varnish  surface treatments

True, but again this topic is not strictly about what constitutes the "original" Cremona grounds. It's an open discussion on grounding techniques and materials.

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1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

If you soak a violin in linseed oil to the point where it soaks at least halfway into the wood, you won't be able to glue cracks that appear because the linseed oil spoils the ability of the hide glue to attach to the surfaces, early in my career I had read about how soaking with linseed oil made the violin lighter, I tried it on a stripped violin, that had quite a few cracks, suffice it to say that the violin was a loss, unrepairable because of the effects of the soaked in linseed oil.

I probably wouldn't recommend "soaking" a violin with linseed oil, but when I've applied linseed oil very sparingly (like with a cotton cloth only slightly moistened with thickened oil), and I dried it right away under UV to minimize penetration, there were some nice optical effects.  With long-enough exposure to UV, it got rather hard, bordering on brittle.

I will speculate that 17th century Cremona had  lot of dust in the air, from both street traffic and nearby heavily agricultural areas, so whether or not calcium or silicon dioxide (which make up most of the earth's crust) were deliberately or accidentally incorporated, I hesitate to say.

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20 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

The book I was reading was advocating soaking the violin in linseed oil, to where it actually came out on the inside, very bad idea I would say.

Yes, as was noted earlier this was a method advocated by Joseph Michelman. It does not produce good acoustic results. It is my hypothesis that this section of his book is in large part responsible for the near wholesale dismissal of his work by much of the trade, along with the general instability of his cold mixed varnishes. 

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4 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

If you soak a violin in linseed oil to the point where it soaks at least halfway into the wood, you won't be able to glue cracks that appear because the linseed oil spoils the ability of the hide glue to attach to the surfaces, early in my career I had read about how soaking with linseed oil made the violin lighter, I tried it on a stripped violin, that had quite a few cracks, suffice it to say that the violin was a loss, unrepairable because of the effects of the soaked in linseed oil.

Tiny amounts. That's how it should be done.

 

4 hours ago, uncle duke said:

I recall the first time I applied varnish on wood thinking I had already had the surface sealed/grounded.  The wood soaked it up like a sponge and I felt it just wasn't right for that to happen.  

A thicker bodied varnish probably would be o.k. though - my stuff is pretty thin viscosity wise.

I seal the wood with raw Linseed oil of quite low viscosity. It's the amount that counts. I don't know why this is such a mystery.

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2 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Yes, as was noted earlier this was a method advocated by Joseph Michelman. It does not produce good acoustic results. It is my hypothesis that this section of his book is in large part responsible for the near wholesale dismissal of his work by much of the trade, along with the general instability of his cold mixed varnishes. 

He used huge amounts. His method was plain silly. Why is this such a mystery?

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I probably wouldn't recommend "soaking" a violin with linseed oil, but when I've applied linseed oil very sparingly (like with a cotton cloth only slightly moistened with thickened oil), and I dried it right away under UV to minimize penetration, there were some nice optical effects.  With long-enough exposure to UV, it got rather hard, bordering on brittle.

I will speculate that 17th century Cremona had  lot of dust in the air, from both street traffic and nearby heavily agricultural areas, so whether or not calcium or silicon dioxide (which make up most of the earth's crust) were deliberately or accidentally incorporated, I hesitate to say.

I don't use UV, I just rub the surface to help drying and prevent too much penetration. It's not as much fun as it sounds but it works.

 

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On 6/5/2021 at 7:46 AM, Jim Bress said:

Yes there are publishing biases, and these are driven by the publishers (mostly). What researchers are striving to do is create new knowledge. Not confirm someone else's work. Also it is very difficult to publish non-significant findings. Knowing what doesn't work, or has no causal effect is very important, but you're unlikely to see it in a journal article unless the rest of the article is showing positive results with meaningful conclusions.

Letters of correction are made either by the researcher or in critical commentary by colleagues. You're unlikely to see these without being a subscriber to that publication.

Just as we have the VSA and Oberlin, and forums, Scientist have conventions, workshops, forums and working groups that are narrowly focused in their area of study. This is where information not ready for publication, and unpublished work is discussed, as well as the latest new discoveries (so long as you're giving away the information to someone that can beat you to publication).

The other venue that is free (mostly) of publication bias is in the grey literature. These are published works (research and reports) held within industry and institution. Unfortunately, access to the grey literature is limited for the general public. 

Bottom line, researches know much more than what they've published, because not all of the information is publishable. That doesn't mean it lacks importance. It's not that different from what top makers and restores know vs. what they've published. If you follow a particular researchers work (e.g., Echard, Brandmair, etc.), subscribe to the journals they publish in. Go to the convention they give presentations at. Even start correspondance with them if you have something in return to help their research.

Time for more coffee.

Cheers,

Jim

It's obvious to me from your May 22 posting in "your favorite color is" that your pie crust dough is a good ground for maple.

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11 hours ago, sospiri said:

I need to find a local enthusiast to work with for the audiovisual presentation. Someone with an interest in the subject.

I mean where can interested parties try your violins and verify for themselves if you have succeeded in producing a ground which is tonally superior?

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22 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

There is no shellac or seedlac products found in analysis of Stradivari varnish, only in later added over varnish  surface treatments

I think we are not discussing only the ground of Stradivari but ground in general.

Regardless, it seems that the Voller brothers were very successful in imitating Strads ground and varnish with shellack. (Or recipes containing mostly shellack)

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On 6/5/2021 at 7:46 AM, Jim Bress said:

Yes there are publishing biases, and these are driven by the publishers (mostly). What researchers are striving to do is create new knowledge. Not confirm someone else's work. Also it is very difficult to publish non-significant findings. Knowing what doesn't work, or has no causal effect is very important, but you're unlikely to see it in a journal article unless the rest of the article is showing positive results with meaningful conclusions.

Letters of correction are made either by the researcher or in critical commentary by colleagues. You're unlikely to see these without being a subscriber to that publication.

Just as we have the VSA and Oberlin, and forums, Scientist have conventions, workshops, forums and working groups that are narrowly focused in their area of study. This is where information not ready for publication, and unpublished work is discussed, as well as the latest new discoveries (so long as you're giving away the information to someone that can beat you to publication).

The other venue that is free (mostly) of publication bias is in the grey literature. These are published works (research and reports) held within industry and institution. Unfortunately, access to the grey literature is limited for the general public. 

Bottom line, researches know much more than what they've published, because not all of the information is publishable. That doesn't mean it lacks importance. It's not that different from what top makers and restores know vs. what they've published. If you follow a particular researchers work (e.g., Echard, Brandmair, etc.), subscribe to the journals they publish in. Go to the convention they give presentations at. Even start correspondance with them if you have something in return to help their research.

Time for more coffee.

Cheers,

Jim

Well said, Jim. Even among scientists there are narcissistic jerks with egos the size of the galaxy. Nevertheless, most of us have published our share of corrections without losing face. It’s part of the scientific method.

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22 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

There is no shellac or seedlac products found in analysis of Stradivari varnish, only in later added over varnish  surface treatments

 

5 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I think we are not discussing only the ground of Stradivari but ground in general.

Regardless, it seems that the Voller brothers were very successful in imitating Strads ground and varnish with shellack. (Or recipes containing mostly shellack)

I think it’s important to state whether you are claiming an historical or modern approach. Both are Important. In fact, I think that modern methods can produce very beautiful results. For example, spraying rather than brushing. 

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1 minute ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Well said, Jim. Even among scientists there are narcissistic jerks with egos the size of the galaxy. Nevertheless, most of us have published our share of corrections without losing face. It’s part of the scientific method.

Thanks Mike. Also someone mentioned (I don't have time to re-read to see who) researchers trying to protect their reputation. The one sure reputation and career killer for a scientist of whatever field is not making a mistake or having your assertions proven wrong, but to be caught lying or intentionally falsifying results.  You only get to cross that ethical line once before looking for a career change.

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7 hours ago, martin swan said:

I mean where can interested parties try your violins and verify for themselves if you have succeeded in producing a ground which is tonally superior?

Where can I find these interested parties?

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21 hours ago, sospiri said:

Tiny amounts. That's how it should be done.

 

I seal the wood with raw Linseed oil of quite low viscosity. It's the amount that counts. I don't know why this is such a mystery.

Slice some 3.5mm wood after application of oil to see how far the stuff soaks in/through.  Ideally for myself, I wouldn't want to see any evidence of soak though.

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