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Show us yer ground!


JacksonMaberry
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That’s a ground I made a few years ago. It is representative for my general idea. I want to have a ground which fits the description ‘crystallized gold’. 
 

MFor this purpose I don’t want to use any real dyestuff at all. (No pigments or color extracts) As mentioned above, the simpler the better. 
 

 

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A few annotations to this topic:

1. A good ground is not made by a recipe but by the result. 

2. Even more than varnish, the way and methods of application make the difference between a mediocre looking and an outstanding looking ground. Experience is everything.

3. Any ground must/should be adjusted to the subsequent varnish. It’s a highly artistic skill. I see this as partly the reason why certain recipes fail for some makers but bring the non plus ultra for others. (I am exaggerating here) 

 

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6 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

A few annotations to this topic:

1. A good ground is not made by a recipe but by the result. 

2. Even more than varnish, the way and methods of application make the difference between a mediocre looking and an outstanding looking ground. Experience is everything.

3. Any ground must/should be adjusted to the subsequent varnish. It’s a highly artistic skill. I see this as partly the reason why certain recipes fail for some makers but bring the non plus ultra for others. (I am exaggerating here) 

Ditto.  And:

4. Ground and varnish must be adjusted to the WOOD... color, porosity, depth of flame, etc.  Maple, mostly.  Each piece of wood is different, and testing every time is needed if you want to know what's going to happen.

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49 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Ditto.  And:

4. Ground and varnish must be adjusted to the WOOD... color, porosity, depth of flame, etc.  Maple, mostly.  Each piece of wood is different, and testing every time is needed if you want to know what's going to happen.

 

50 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Ditto.  And:

4. Ground and varnish must be adjusted to the WOOD... color, porosity, depth of flame, etc.  Maple, mostly.  Each piece of wood is different, and testing every time is needed if you want to know what's going to happen.

Don and Andreas

Well said and thank you.  Personally I will go to great lengths to preserve the brilliance and detail of the wood.  This then is enhanced by the application of a clear separator coat which is ULTRA thin....prior to color.

on we go,

Joe

20220326_094634.jpg

20220326_092128.jpg

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On 3/25/2022 at 12:32 AM, JacksonMaberry said:

Hey folks,

Lots of ground topics lately and I'm happy about it. It's one of my favorite topics! Most of the threads have dealt with discussion, which is excellent and helps us all move forward. But what I'd like to do here is encourage folks to post a photo or two of their ground and tell us about their personal approach. Of course we should talk about it, too, but mostly it think it would be fun to see what everyone is up to.

Here's what I'm doing right now. I first introduce some color and boost contrast with a synthetic Roubo tincture. Then the ground itself is a varnish of cold pressed linseed oil (Detwiller Linseed Products in Canada), aloe ferrox, and congo copal. 

Cheers!

img_20220323_151525_155.thumb.jpg.4637b407e4192e4233258948c3bfe924.jpg

Linseed oil is the most beautiful there is on wood! Nothing will come even close. The question is, how long do you have to wait?

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1 hour ago, Peter K-G said:

Linseed oil is the most beautiful there is on wood! Nothing will come even close. The question is, how long do you have to wait?

Nope, LO is dull and non reflective.  

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On 3/25/2022 at 11:57 PM, John Harte said:

Jim, I'm probably going to dig a massive hole for myself here...  There are a lot of things that I look for in what I suppose could be broadly considered ground.  One is the ability to see into wood structure and clearly see detail which, in turn, seems related to how structural detail reflects light.  Blurred or veiled detail usually seems to dull the type of reflectivity that I am wanting to see.  The degree of transparency within the wood structure and depth to which you can see into the structure and the degree of contrast at various incident light angles between those structural elements that reflect light, and those that do not, seem important in achieving a certain sort of look that I find appealing.

Thank you John. That was a good description. The look you describe (seeing into the wood) is the look I love. My eyes still need more training to see the nuance of the right amount of depth/transparency. 

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15 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

I'd say both you and Peter are oversimplifying in opposite directions 

That may be but every time I've put LO on wood it seems to have a dull non reflective effect that I don't like.  There are some things I do like about it though.  For example viewed straight on it brings out detail in the wood grain and allows light to reflect somewhat off the internal structure of the wood but viewed at an angle it has a dark non reflective appearance so I would think that with a layer of colored varnish on top this could enhance a dichromatic effect from the varnish since it would have an affect on how light reflects off of, or transmits through, the color layer.   I don't have enough experience with it though to know for sure what it would look like.  

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Okay, the composition of the ground, the application technique, and so on, are quite important, but I am convinced that the fundamental thing is the quality of the wood and the quality of the finishes. Many different grounds can give excellent results  aesthetically very similar to each other, but there is no ground that holds if the wood and finishes are of poor quality, the Stradivari ground are striking because they are always backed by stunning wood...aged 300 years, as are the materials themselves that make up the ground.

Difficult to get close, but I know, luthiers like to seek out the Holy Grail:rolleyes:

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3 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

... the Stradivari ground are striking because they are always backed by stunning wood...aged 300 years, as are the materials themselves that make up the ground.

Difficult to get close, but I know, luthiers like to seek out the Holy Grail:rolleyes:

I have always believed that if the Holy Grail is the exact materials and methods of Strad, then at best you will get whatever his instruments looked like when they were new.

If the Holy Grail is to get new instruments that look like Strads do now, then you need to do things that Strad didn't do.

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46 minutes ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Closest thing to AD's ground commercially is the Dr. JG McIntosh ground. 

What's up with calling the varnish you make and sell, the "Dr. JG Mcintosh", rather than Maberry, or Walla Walla, or Hawaiian Luau party varnish? :blink:

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