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charliemaine
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First time applying all his products without incorporating any other products. I think I've used most available commercial varnishes and I think Nunzio's products are excellent. Right up there with the best and certainly better than some. Transparent without the need to add any additional pigmentation.  I haven't tried his or Joe's cochineal varnishes yet. I find Nunzio's red madder rosinate to be a nice color on it's own. And the browner shades are also to my liking. 

Guess I'll be cleaning out my varnish making supply cabinet next....:)

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 Is this a kind of product marketing? 

3 hours ago, charliemaine said:

First time applying all his products without incorporating any other products.

You bough all of "his" products? 

It is very "known" and easy to make rosinates (especially after Michelmans' publications). Why even do you have to buy something you can do with materials that cost almost nothing/ and you can Google and have the recipes? (some colophony, metal oxides, alkalis etc.)

Search here and Mr Noon has a nice about Iron rosinate if I remember well... 

(You can save many bucks from your future purchases.) 

 

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1 hour ago, Mik Kyklo said:

 Is this a kind of product marketing? 

You bough all of "his" products? 

It is very "known" and easy to make rosinates (especially after Michelmans' publications). Why even do you have to buy something you can do with materials that cost almost nothing/ and you can Google and have the recipes? (some colophony, metal oxides, alkalis etc.)

Search here and Mr Noon has a nice about Iron rosinate if I remember well... 

(You can save many bucks from your future purchases.) 

 

Some people are allergic/sensitive to chemicals and cooking them, others smart enough to let someone else hazard burning their house down, and some of us just want to work wood and build instruments. Let someone else make the varnish.

p.s. he already knows how to make varnish...

 

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8 hours ago, duane88 said:

Some people are allergic/sensitive to chemicals and cooking them, others smart enough to let someone else hazard burning their house down, and some of us just want to work wood and build instruments. Let someone else make the varnish.

p.s. he already knows how to make varnish...

 

Of course. And other are much smarter... They buy semi finished instruments and sell them as handmade. Other are just dealers. Maybe they are sensitive/allergic to wood dust.

Burning house down with rosinates?  What are you talking about? 

p.s. for sensitives there are "masks" and "protection"

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29 minutes ago, Mik Kyklo said:

Of course. And other are much smarter... They buy semi finished instruments and sell them as handmade. Other are just dealers. Maybe they are sensitive/allergic to wood dust.

Burning house down with rosinates?  What are you talking about? 

p.s. for sensitives there are "masks" and "protection"

It is up to each person to make their decisions, as to what suits them best, not to appease you.

From what I have seen in the past, this gentleman is certainly very capable, and has nothing to prove to you.

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2 hours ago, Wood Butcher said:

It is up to each person to make their decisions, as to what suits them best, not to appease you.

From what I have seen in the past, this gentleman is certainly very capable, and has nothing to prove to you.

I agree. And also this gentlemen does not need a "lawyer" like you. Of course he has my respect, as you have and as everybody else /(your comment is off topic). OP is about rosinates and I just gave him a (maestronet s) way to save money and have the same or even better results. 

 

https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/337747-iron-rosinate/

https://violinmakersbc.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/violin-makers-journal-vol6-no4-june-july-1963.pdf   (p 26)

https://archive.org/details/distillationofre00schwrich/page/94/mode/2up?q=resinate

etc.

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If you value your time, even at minimum wage, making rosinate varnishes is a very time-consuming project and therefore not very efficient.  And that's even assuming that it turns out good on the first try, which is not a given.

I suppose that applies to any kind of varnish, really.

But some of us are not after efficiency, and are driven to play around with this stuff for some insane reason.

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Buying varnishes from specialist manufacturers certainly saves time, but if they stop production it would be a big deal (and as we know it happens). I think investing some time learning how to create a decent varnish is time well spent, the advantage is perhaps negligible for an amateur, but in my opinion mandatory for a professional.

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

I think investing some time learning how to create a decent varnish is time well spent, the advantage is perhaps negligible for an amateur, but in my opinion mandatory for a professional.

Excellent comment from Mr. Sora. 

Mike has a point too.

To make the iron rosinate varnish you need water (0 costs), rosin (all we have), a strong alkali (costs almost nothing in a local store), hydr. acid sold for home use (1gal. for ~12$) , red/brown iron oxide costs nothing 100gr and can be found everywhere) etc. The only serious cost would be the mask / a good 3M one for inorg/org. gases protection if someone wants to do it indoors.

The cost is minimal and the time to make it is nothing. I would consider other varnishes or wood treatments to be much more time-consuming that this operation. Someone needs to have a little knowledge of basic chemistry (not even 20% of the high school chemistry - I think all we went to high school). 

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10 hours ago, Mik Kyklo said:

I agree. And also this gentlemen does not need a "lawyer" like you. Of course he has my respect, as you have and as everybody else /(your comment is off topic). OP is about rosinates and I just gave him a (maestronet s) way to save money and have the same or even better results. 

I am skeptical about the money saving part. I've probably spent around 1/4 of my potential fiddlemaking time dinking around with varnishes. Thought I had it nailed, and then.....

That said, there is no guarantee that purchased varnishes are any better than one's third or fifth try. Might be worse.

For example, incorporating some forms of iron into varnish can look great at first. It might not be until 10 to 200 year later that the varnish turns into an opaquish sort of black.

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In my experience making (good) varnish is the most time-consuming and expensive (!) task in the making. I am nervous enough that the resin quality from the suppliers is changing all the time. Could not imagine to be dependent on one single varnish manufacturer. 

 

On 5/1/2022 at 3:20 PM, Don Noon said:

If you value your time, even at minimum wage, making rosinate varnishes is a very time-consuming project and therefore not very efficient.

Interesting. Of all the varnish stuff I have done, rosinate varnishes were the easiest, fastest and most straight-forward. 

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It's ideal if a maker can make a varnish they would be proud of and these days with all the information available I think that should be possible. Personally I don't think Stradivari or del Gesu actually varnished their own instruments at all. I think this was done by a third party finishing shop to their orders. There is no historical evidence for this but it would explain why the pristine Lady Blunt Strad and Chardon Del Gesu pochette look like they were dipped in the same varnish pot

 

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4 hours ago, Melvin Goldsmith said:

It's ideal if a maker can make a varnish they would be proud of and these days with all the information available I think that should be possible. Personally I don't think Stradivari or del Gesu actually varnished their own instruments at all. I think this was done by a third party finishing shop to their orders. There is no historical evidence for this but it would explain why the pristine Lady Blunt Strad and Chardon Del Gesu pochette look like they were dipped in the same varnish pot

 

Certainly possible, I would say that over 50% of working guitar builders use sub contractors for their varnish work, and some for set up work too.

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I can only relate to this by sample size of one.... I did some experimenting with oils and made my own lead dryer and cooked it into oil and even cooked one batch of varnish using copal and rosin that turned out nice (albeit colorless) and the samples I have are still nice withut cracking or oter fatal defects after more than 20 years of being used as clamping fixtures or laying around in corner of workshop. I read several books about varnish and followed the simple procedures from old texts that made sense.

Of course now I wouldn't cook the oil in the basement sitting in a small room with hot plate right on the doorstep (I was 15 back then so forgive me my stupidity) but I don't think the procedures are that hard for guy with a common sense and some simple equipment. Finding the real Cremona varnish may take several (hundred) attempts but finding good workable pro-grade  varnish shouldn't be impossible for luthier worth his salt.

That said the old guys probably mostly bought varnish from specialized makers with lots of experience as it was much more dangerous in old days without the heat control over open fire and without fire extinguishers and lots of information shared for interested folks.

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10 hours ago, Melvin Goldsmith said:

It's ideal if a maker can make a varnish they would be proud of and these days with all the information available I think that should be possible. Personally I don't think Stradivari or del Gesu actually varnished their own instruments at all. I think this was done by a third party finishing shop to their orders. There is no historical evidence for this but it would explain why the pristine Lady Blunt Strad and Chardon Del Gesu pochette look like they were dipped in the same varnish pot

 

There is also the possibility that they used the same varnish recipe, and that the way of making it and applying it was handed down exactly as the construction method, which was evidently common to all the Cremonese makers of the time, was handed down. I do not see why the thing is accepted for the construction method but not for the varnish, it is one of the possible options and for me one of most plausible.

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6 hours ago, jezzupe said:

Certainly possible, I would say that over 50% of working guitar builders use sub contractors for their varnish work, and some for set up work too.

If I were to spray paint a guitar I would go to someone who specializes in varnishing, too, the equipment to do it safely is expensive and cumbersome, and potentially not a very healthy operation.

But if you varnish by hand and with low-toxic products, I do not consider it acceptable not to personally varnish your instruments, at least not for those who define themselves as high-level workmanship luthiers.

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On 5/3/2022 at 6:28 PM, Melvin Goldsmith said:

It's ideal if a maker can make a varnish they would be proud of and these days with all the information available I think that should be possible. Personally I don't think Stradivari or del Gesu actually varnished their own instruments at all. I think this was done by a third party finishing shop to their orders. There is no historical evidence for this but it would explain why the pristine Lady Blunt Strad and Chardon Del Gesu pochette look like they were dipped in the same varnish pot

 

Melvin,

Have you seen both of these instruments in person?  I have seen the Lady Blunt.  The pochette in ...many photos as a friend makes it.  Hoping for your opinion.

on we go,

Joe

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12 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

If I were to spray paint a guitar I would go to someone who specializes in varnishing, too, the equipment to do it safely is expensive and cumbersome, and potentially not a very healthy operation.

But if you varnish by hand and with low-toxic products, I do not consider it acceptable not to personally varnish your instruments, at least not for those who define themselves as high-level workmanship luthiers.

I agree

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On 5/4/2022 at 1:54 PM, joerobson said:

Melvin,

Have you seen both of these instruments in person?  I have seen the Lady Blunt.  The pochette in ...many photos as a friend makes it.  Hoping for your opinion.

on we go,

Joe

Yes I have. ...Not with a UV torch or anything but my eyes but my instinct told me it's the same stuff....for what that's worth!

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1 hour ago, Melvin Goldsmith said:

Yes I have. ...Not with a UV torch or anything but my eyes but my instinct told me it's the same stuff....for what that's worth!

Thank you.  I am very familiar with the Lady Blunt...the pochette only in photos.

on we go,

Joe

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I'd like to continue my work to dispell some myths and misconceptions about varnish making generally and rosinate varnish in particular. For more information, I published an article in the VSA's "The Scroll" a year or two ago. 

The fundamentals of making rosinates and their associated varnishes are simple, as has been stated. In practice, however, it is time consuming and requires a higher than average awareness of lab hygeine. It is substantially more economical at scale - eg, making enough rosinate at once suitable for four or five liters of varnish. Most home makers of rosinates and at least one notable manufacturer of the same are not washing the resins sufficiently before drying and use, and this is responsible for a great many of the supposed "ills" of the resin. The resin must be washed until absolutely free of waste salts, and until the wastewater is neutral (pH 7). If you haven't done this, it may sound like a doddle, but expect to spend significant time, especially if relying on gravity, and pour a great deal of distilled or deionized water down the drain. 

Now, making more than the most obvious colors requires an even better than average lab sense and, ideally, some serious experience of the underlying chemistry. This is because the organic dyestuffs used are all, to a one, dependent on the pH for their expression of hue. It is unfortunately not as simple as neutralizing the pH of the solution before adding the dyebath and precipitating - for example, attempting to do so with HCl will precipitate unmodified rosin acids, damaging your rosinate yield among other things. 

Then there is the matter of incorporating your hopefully excellent rosinate into a varnish. As with any varnish, the qualities of the finish are not a simple relationship of the qualities of it's parts. Experience, care, attention, and variable control are needed. 

Despite making varnish commercially under the Dr. McIntosh label (full disclosure), I do believe that every maker should at the very least be armed with the information necessary to make their own and do it well. Nunzio, Joe, Eugene, or myself could all get hit by trucks tomorrow or go down in our private varnish party jet over the Bermuda Triangle. This is why I have published my complete methodology for anyone to see without buying a $$$ book. I cannot and will not share particulars that I am party to of anyone else's methods, but my own are up for grabs. 

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8 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

I'd like to continue my work to dispell some myths and misconceptions about varnish making generally and rosinate varnish in particular. For more information, I published an article in the VSA's "The Scroll" a year or two ago. 

The fundamentals of making rosinates and their associated varnishes are simple, as has been stated. In practice, however, it is time consuming and requires a higher than average awareness of lab hygeine. It is substantially more economical at scale - eg, making enough rosinate at once suitable for four or five liters of varnish. Most home makers of rosinates and at least one notable manufacturer of the same are not washing the resins sufficiently before drying and use, and this is responsible for a great many of the supposed "ills" of the resin. The resin must be washed until absolutely free of waste salts, and until the wastewater is neutral (pH 7). If you haven't done this, it may sound like a doddle, but expect to spend significant time, especially if relying on gravity, and pour a great deal of distilled or deionized water down the drain. 

Now, making more than the most obvious colors requires an even better than average lab sense and, ideally, some serious experience of the underlying chemistry. This is because the organic dyestuffs used are all, to a one, dependent on the pH for their expression of hue. It is unfortunately not as simple as neutralizing the pH of the solution before adding the dyebath and precipitating - for example, attempting to do so with HCl will precipitate unmodified rosin acids, damaging your rosinate yield among other things. 

Then there is the matter of incorporating your hopefully excellent rosinate into a varnish. As with any varnish, the qualities of the finish are not a simple relationship of the qualities of it's parts. Experience, care, attention, and variable control are needed. 

Despite making varnish commercially under the Dr. McIntosh label (full disclosure), I do believe that every maker should at the very least be armed with the information necessary to make their own and do it well. Nunzio, Joe, Eugene, or myself could all get hit by trucks tomorrow or go down in our private varnish party jet over the Bermuda Triangle. This is why I have published my complete methodology for anyone to see without buying a $$$ book. I cannot and will not share particulars that I am party to of anyone else's methods, but my own are up for grabs. 

Sounds like I need to try your varnish....Your varnish line sounds a lot like Nunzio's . Are you making Amber and Copal varnishes as well? 

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27 minutes ago, charliemaine said:

Sounds like I need to try your varnish....Your varnish line sounds a lot like Nunzio's . Are you making Amber and Copal varnishes as well? 

Both his and mine are rosinate varnishes, and so share some similarities as a result. 

I do make fossil resin varnishes and natural resin varnishes on request, but not as part of the McIntosh line of finishes. Woodfinishing Enterprises carries my work. 

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