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Potassium silicate


FiddleMkr
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Water glass...potassium silicate....Rubio Ground...interesting.   These elements have been observed in the old varnish studies.

As you know I am a cabinet maker by trade.

Old furniture finishing technique for surface preparation,  particularly on complex surfaces:  horsetail (containing silicate) is made into a little broom.  The frayed ends are soaked in weak "barber's acid "...lye....potassium hydroxide.  The result...potassium silicate.   Use the "broom" for final surface finishing prior to varnish.

on we go

Joe

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29 minutes ago, joerobson said:

Water glass...potassium silicate....Rubio Ground...interesting.   These elements have been observed in the old varnish studies.

As you know I am a cabinet maker by trade.

Old furniture finishing technique for surface preparation,  particularly on complex surfaces:  horsetail (containing silicate) is made into a little broom.  The frayed ends are soaked in weak "barber's acid "...lye....potassium hydroxide.  The result...potassium silicate.   Use the "broom" for final surface finishing prior to varnish.

on we go

Joe

Good point! Thanks for sharing that. Definitely worth driving home the idea that the incidental potassium silicate formed in this practice will be substantially smaller and more dilute than the sacconi style application of lab grade potassium silicate. The poison is in the dose, as Jim says. 

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15 hours ago, FiddleMkr said:

Why not?

In my experiments, it weakened the wood and increased the moisture content. It draws water from the air.

8 hours ago, joerobson said:

Water glass...potassium silicate....Rubio Ground...interesting.   These elements have been observed in the old varnish studies.

Potassium and silicon are common in the earths' crust. Their presence is not necessarily indicative of potassium silicate. Could just as well be dirt or mineral dust.

8 hours ago, joerobson said:

As you know I am a cabinet maker by trade. Old furniture finishing technique for surface preparation,  particularly on complex surfaces:  horsetail (containing silicate) is made into a little broom.  The frayed ends are soaked in weak "barber's acid "...lye....potassium hydroxide.  The result...potassium silicate.   Use the "broom" for final surface finishing prior to varnish.

Weakened wood with increased moisture content may be fine for a cabinet which is overbuilt for its intended load, and where increased sound damping won't be a disadvantage. Violins are kinda different.

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10 hours ago, joerobson said:

Old furniture finishing technique for surface preparation,  particularly on complex surfaces:  horsetail (containing silicate) is made into a little broom.  The frayed ends are soaked in weak "barber's acid "...lye....potassium hydroxide.  The result...potassium silicate.   Use the "broom" for final surface finishing prior to varnish.

I'm not sure they will react that way in any appreciable amount.

I guess the equisetum actually contains crystas of SILICA, not just any silicate and that is quite inert.

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"I guess the equisetum actually contains crystas of SILICA, not just any silicate and that is quite inert."

Actually, your inert silica crystals will dissolve and react quite readily in sodium or potassium hydroxide. Lots of references for that.

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12 hours ago, joerobson said:

Water glass...potassium silicate....Rubio Ground...interesting.   These elements have been observed in the old varnish studies.

As you know I am a cabinet maker by trade.

Old furniture finishing technique for surface preparation,  particularly on complex surfaces:  horsetail (containing silicate) is made into a little broom.  The frayed ends are soaked in weak "barber's acid "...lye....potassium hydroxide.  The result...potassium silicate.   Use the "broom" for final surface finishing prior to varnish.

on we go

Joe

So , are Rubio red and Rubio ground two different things? I see the Rubio red as a stain , on raw wood , with the dark cooked rosin oil varnish as the ground proper… 

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4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

In my experiments, it weakened the wood and increased the moisture content. It draws water from the air.

Potassium and silicon are common in the earths' crust. Their presence is not necessarily indicative of potassium silicate. Could just as well be dirt or mineral dust.

Weakened wood with increased moisture content may be fine for a cabinet which is overbuilt for its intended load, and where increased sound damping won't be a disadvantage. Violins are kinda different.

Quite agreed!!

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1 hour ago, FiddleDoug said:

"I guess the equisetum actually contains crystas of SILICA, not just any silicate and that is quite inert."

Actually, your inert silica crystals will dissolve and react quite readily in sodium or potassium hydroxide. Lots of references for that.

That was my guess also.

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6 hours ago, David Burgess said:
14 hours ago, joerobson said:

Water glass...potassium silicate....Rubio Ground...interesting.   These elements have been observed in the old varnish studies.

Potassium and silicon are common in the earths' crust. Their presence is not necessarily indicative of potassium silicate. Could just as well be dirt or mineral dust.

Does anyone know of any evidence that the potassium and silicon that have been detected on old instruments using elemental analysis would specifically be in the form of potassium silicate? If not, I agree that there are countless other possibilities for these elements to end up on a varnished or unvarnished instrument.

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18 minutes ago, Joris said:

Does anyone know of any evidence that the potassium and silicon that have been detected on old instruments using elemental analysis would specifically be in the form of potassium silicate? If not, I agree that there are countless other possibilities for these elements to end up on a varnished or unvarnished instrument.

Which “old instrument”? Which maker? Made when? Which research group? Which scientific tools?

BTW, I see no evidence for K or Na silicate treatment. And I agree with Burgess.

 

 

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3 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

So , are Rubio red and Rubio ground two different things? I see the Rubio red as a stain , on raw wood , with the dark cooked rosin oil varnish as the ground proper… 

What is rubio red, by the way? I've seen it mentioned but I'm not familiar with it. I agree with you about the stain vs ground idea in general, btw. After looking at Rubio's website, which is still up, I'm not sold on his ideas of wood treatment but I'd have to try them to be sure. 

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8 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Which “old instrument”? Which maker? Made when? Which research group? Which scientific tools?

All very good questions! 

 

My idea was to start with the broad question if there is any evidence obtained by any research group using any scientific tool that can differentiate between potassium silicate and other forms of potassium and silicon, about any string instrument from any period by any maker... 

If the answer to this very broad question is no, we might not even need the more specific questions anymore :)

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2 hours ago, Joris said:

Does anyone know of any evidence that the potassium and silicon that have been detected on old instruments using elemental analysis would specifically be in the form of potassium silicate? If not, I agree that there are countless other possibilities for these elements to end up on a varnished or unvarnished instrument.

I asked this specific question to the researchers of the chemical analysis laboratory of the Violin Museum here in Cremona, and the answer was a clear no. When they talk about silicates they don't refer to Sacconi's soluble sodium silicate, only luthiers think about this as soon as they hear someone talking about silicate, a chemist never does:).

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

What is rubio red, by the way? I've seen it mentioned but I'm not familiar with it. I agree with you about the stain vs ground idea in general, btw. After looking at Rubio's website, which is still up, I'm not sold on his ideas of wood treatment but I'd have to try them to be sure. 

Yes, I see Now , specificity… the Rubio I’m referring to is from an ancient manuscript, by a chap known as Rubio, I can’t cite any more than that,

except the formula was sent via email … stated as 

“to achieve a perfect red “ then he goes on to describe a stain made of horse manure fermented with horse urine over a bed of straw and wood ash with just enough urine added to cause a slow drip  … the resulting being fit to make a “ perfect red” that I interpret as an under cote for a red paint , a base layer of brown black that supports a true red vs a white underground that would produce a pinkish cast . I think The stain should also show a certain amount of potash in a chemical analysis, and burnish with a horsetail reed could possibly contribute directly silica… I expect a certain amount of oxidation due to nitrogen and a certain amount of black from carbon digestion. 

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1 hour ago, JacksonMaberry said:

What is rubio red, by the way? I've seen it mentioned but I'm not familiar with it. I agree with you about the stain vs ground idea in general, btw. After looking at Rubio's website, which is still up, I'm not sold on his ideas of wood treatment but I'd have to try them to be sure. 

I suspect that you are thinking about Gubbio Red, pigment PBr25 sold by Kremer.

They also sell Rubio ground. Rubio is also a wood stain product. It’s a horse of another color. :lol:

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Are you saying that after being over coated with 3 to 4 {how ever many coats of varnish you do} that the waterglass was "still" sucking in water out of the air ? and showing up in the "weight" as in so much extra water was pulled out of the air that is was measurable? 

Or is this observation when the material is only coated with waterglass? I know you {and others} are opposed to hygdroscopic base coats, but I will always question "how big of a deal" that is , when these products are overcoated with varnishes that will effectively stop a majority of absorption of environmental water vapor   

Or are you saying that somehow water vapor will go through several coats of oil base varnish, soak into the hydrgoscopic material then reside in that material under the varnish, thus increasing the weight and increasing the damping? Or is it that it comes through the raw interior, osmosis's it's way to the first coat from the backside and absorbs in that way? 

Having many instruments that are "hygroscopically base coated"  looking at other "glue/gelatin" based instruments, many very old, I'm just not seeing/hearing/feeling this "adverse" reaction of "water infiltration" on coated instruments that have hydgroscopic base coats 

That being said, not a big fan of waterglass, unless its going in a motor in an emergency 

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6 minutes ago, Michael_Molnar said:

I suspect that you are thinking about Gubbio Red, pigment PBr25 sold by Kremer.

They also sell Rubio ground. Rubio is also a wood stain product. It’s a horse of another color. :lol:

:lol: sure would wanna over coat that stuff asap, I just can't imagine that it smells that good

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