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Oil varnish Beading Issue


Nestor Vassiliou
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1 minute ago, Nestor Vassiliou said:

Thank you for the suggestion. I am aware that Jackson makes some great varnish. The only problem is that he ships it from the US and if you add shipping, import taxes + customs fee it gets pretty expensive.

Honestly I should have gone with his varnish though, because aside from the beading and many other issues that the varnish I bought has presented, my experience communicating with Nunzio has not been very nice. I have sent him the  video I uploaded in this post and he completely ignored me and when I commented in his YouTube video about my issue he said that the fact that his varnish worked properly in the video, means that  it's user's error (mine) that caused issues with the varnish. That could be true but I kind of doubt that, based on what other people have posted here. 

I will try to strip the varnish and give it another go where I will sand in between coats. If that doesn't work again it really don't know what else to do and its really frustrating considering that I have spent months making this instrument and it would be really sad to ruin it with a varnish that won't "behave" properly. At this point I am really considering removing the varnish and send the violin to another luthier to finish it. But I would really hate to do that and miss the opportunity of varnishing my first instrument.

My 2 cents. Strip the varnish and do it again. You will learn a ton from that process. Don’t be discouraged. Buying good varnish is expensive but still a lot cheaper than doing it by yourself. 

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10 minutes ago, Michael Szyper said:

My 2 cents. Strip the varnish and do it again. You will learn a ton from that process. Don’t be discouraged. Buying good varnish is expensive but still a lot cheaper than doing it by yourself. 

I appreciate your advice. I will give it another go. I just don't know what will change. I doubt that sanding will make too big of a difference and I am afraid that the same thing will happen again most likely.

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The surface issue looks like adhesion issues related to using a commercial tack cloth...but since many have had the same problem that can't be it.  In Europe you can still buy Stoddard solvent which is a very slow release mineral spirit. That should help the dry to tack time.  If it was a shellac based varnish over an oil varnish...it should work though it would be quite chippy and alcohol soluble.

Best guess....the varnish was under cooked...there is un-attached oil in the varnish that is contaminating the under surface.

I think I'll buy some and try it.

on we go,

Joe

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On 12/4/2022 at 2:30 PM, Michael Szyper said:

My 2 cents. Strip the varnish and do it again. You will learn a ton from that process. Don’t be discouraged. Buying good varnish is expensive but still a lot cheaper than doing it by yourself. 

Better yet, always test a varnish on cutoff pieces of wood that the fiddle is made from, before putting it on a fiddle. I do this with every batch of varnish I make, even if the batch was supposed to turn out exactly like the last one. This has saved me a lot of grief.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

Better yet, always test a varnish on cutoff pieces of wood that the fiddle is made from, before putting it on a fiddle. I do this with every batch of varnish I make, even if the batch was supposed to turn out exactly like the last one. This has saved me a lot of grief.

Yup, every piece of wood will behave differently. I observed this mostly with grounds which determine a major part of the varnish appearance. 

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Having read the rest of the thread, I agree with Joe Robson's assessment, in that the varnish is likely undercooked. Or the oil was not adequately prepared. Or the rosinates were not completely washed.

 

Unrelated,  I apologize about the difficulty with importing my varnishes. I am just too small to supply retailers in both the US and Europe, not to mention Asia. I'm grateful to the folks in the populated continents (no Antarctica customers yet) that have bought it, but I understand it is out of reach for some at this time. I'll continue trying to make it more available. 

I stand by the article I published, in which I teach anyone who reads it how to make their own red, brown, and colorless rosinate varnishes. Following it to the letter and being as meticulous as a laboratory scientist will get your results like mine. It won't be any cheaper to do it yourself, after you've bought all the gear, but I guarantee you'll learn a lot and have a blast!

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11 hours ago, joerobson said:

The surface issue looks like adhesion issues related to using a commercial tack cloth...but since many have had the same problem that can't be it.  In Europe you can still buy Stoddard solvent which is a very slow release mineral spirit. That should help the dry to tack time.  If it was a shellac based varnish over an oil varnish...it should work though it would be quite chippy and alcohol soluble.

Best guess....the varnish was under cooked...there is un-attached oil in the varnish that is contaminating the under surface.

I think I'll buy some and try it.

on we go,

Joe

That seems pretty smart. Only explanation that makes sense so far. Nevertheless I have never seen such problems with completely cold mixed oil varnishes I made so far, but that doesn’t have to mean anything.

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14 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

 

I stand by the article I published, in which I teach anyone who reads it how to make their own red, brown, and colorless rosinate varnishes. Following it to the letter and being as meticulous as a laboratory scientist will get your results like mine. It won't be any cheaper to do it yourself, after you've bought all the gear, but I guarantee you'll learn a lot and have a blast!

What published article?   Is there a link to it?  

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20 hours ago, JacksonMaberry said:

Having read the rest of the thread, I agree with Joe Robson's assessment, in that the varnish is likely undercooked. Or the oil was not adequately prepared. Or the rosinates were not completely washed.

 

Unrelated,  I apologize about the difficulty with importing my varnishes. I am just too small to supply retailers in both the US and Europe, not to mention Asia. I'm grateful to the folks in the populated continents (no Antarctica customers yet) that have bought it, but I understand it is out of reach for some at this time. I'll continue trying to make it more available. 

I stand by the article I published, in which I teach anyone who reads it how to make their own red, brown, and colorless rosinate varnishes. Following it to the letter and being as meticulous as a laboratory scientist will get your results like mine. It won't be any cheaper to do it yourself, after you've bought all the gear, but I guarantee you'll learn a lot and have a blast!

I totally understand and honestly for my next violin I will be purchasing your varnish despite the shipping and import cost. A violin that I have spent countless hours making surely does deserve better. 

The maker of the varnish @Violin Varnish Italy told me that it is my fault and that I am a complete beginner (which I am but has nothing to do with the varnish not working properly and beading). He said specifically that the fact that it worked for him in the video that he uploaded using it, means that it should work for everyone, despite being a handcrafted item which could differ from batch to batch...

I would be very interested to see the article that you wrote however I can't seem to find it anywhere available online.

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On 12/6/2022 at 8:42 PM, David Burgess said:

Better yet, always test a varnish on cutoff pieces of wood that the fiddle is made from, before putting it on a fiddle. I do this with every batch of varnish I make, even if the batch was supposed to turn out exactly like the last one. This has saved me a lot of grief.

This is probably the best advice someone needs to be given before varnishing their violin especially if they haven't worked with that specific varnish at least a few times. Unfortunately I didn't take this advice when varnishing my own violin due to lack of patience and time yet now I regret it... I have removed the varnish and I have started again but it took way more time to remove it  than it would to actually test it on an offcut.

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Surface contamination.  The simplest thing to do is wash the coat off that does not stick with solvent and then pad a very thin coat of shellac on the surface.  And then apply the next coat of varnish--now it will behave itself unless the contaminant is already present in the bottled varnish.  

Stripping is filled with problems--the solubilized varnish will penetrate into the wood and look bad.  A better way would be to use alcohol to see if you can remove the old varnish.

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21 minutes ago, Mike_Danielson said:

Surface contamination.  The simplest thing to do is wash the coat off that does not stick with solvent and then pad a very thin coat of shellac on the surface.  And then apply the next coat of varnish--now it will behave itself unless the contaminant is already present in the bottled varnish.  

Stripping is filled with problems--the solubilized varnish will penetrate into the wood and look bad.  A better way would be to use alcohol to see if you can remove the old varnish.

Agree.

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49 minutes ago, Nestor Vassiliou said:

I totally understand and honestly for my next violin I will be purchasing your varnish despite the shipping and import cost. A violin that I have spent countless hours making surely does deserve better. 

The maker of the varnish @Violin Varnish Italy told me that it is my fault and that I am a complete beginner (which I am but has nothing to do with the varnish not working properly and beading). He said specifically that the fact that it worked for him in the video that he uploaded using it, means that it should work for everyone, despite being a handcrafted item which could differ from batch to batch...

I would be very interested to see the article that you wrote however I can't seem to find it anywhere available online.

While I do unfortunately (rarely) sometimes have to concede user error when I work with customers, it's not until we've had an extensive conversation to determine what could have went wrong. Common things that give people trouble:

Using poor quality or inappropriate solvent

Allowing surface contamination from commercial tackcloth (avoid!!), Skin oils, etc

Contamination from badly washed brushes (this one is big)

Doing everything except for what I suggested in the usage guidelines. 

The last one is unfortunate, because the guidelines are one page only. But when people use anilines and gelatine before applying my ground then wonder why their optical results don't match mine... That isn't my fault. 

I have been able to help every customer that worked with me to resolve their issues. I have had only one customer that refused to join me on the journey, but you can't please everyone. 

 

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On 12/3/2022 at 6:51 PM, Nestor Vassiliou said:

I have purchased four varnishes from Violin Varnish Italy. I didn't have issues with any of them but the Madder Rosinate one just won't adhere to the previous layers of the Zinc Rosinate (Ground Varnish) instead it beads up, probably due to its surface tension,  leaving spots without any varnish on them. 

I really can't figure out a way to prevent this from happening. I left it for a day to allow some of the turpentine to evaporate and make it a bit thicker but I still had the same issue. Here are some pictures and also a video which shows very clearly what I am talking about.

 

IMG20221203164036.jpg

IMG20221203164045.jpg

IMG20221203172758.jpg

Spread the oil varnish like a spirit varnish, furthermore you are not brushing but you are "dabbing". The oil varnish needs to be applied longer and the glossy surface reveals the fact that you haven't sanded before, evidently you haven't read my instructions in the manual at all. And you keep contacting me on instagram when I've asked you several times that I provide assistance on my website, but obviously you like to annoy people.

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On 12/4/2022 at 4:41 PM, charliemaine said:

I wouldn't recommend thinning these varnishes with turpentine. Turpentine dries too fast and will lessen the open time. W&N white spirit is a better option because it dries slower. I don't thin the varnishes because I want to put down as much color as possible in a single coat which is why I also add mulled madder pigment.

I have always strongly advised against the use of mineral solvents, because they separate the oil from the resin, there are essential oils with slower evaporation.

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The problem of some customers is that they do not follow the manual perfectly, or they insist on varnishing as if they were applying a spirit varnish. Spirit varnishes dissolve the previous layer and adhere immediately. Oil varnishes are different and need to be applied much longer.
If my varnish has a problem then I would like someone to explain to me how I managed, in this video, to apply the varnish without defects. But if someone wants to keep blaming the product, he's free to do so. It means that I am Jesus Christ and I work miracles.

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7 minutes ago, Violin Varnish Italy said:

Spread the oil varnish like a spirit varnish, furthermore you are not brushing but you are "dabbing". The oil varnish needs to be applied longer and the glossy surface reveals the fact that you haven't sanded before, evidently you haven't read my instructions in the manual at all. And you keep contacting me on instagram when I've asked you several times that I provide assistance on my website, but obviously you like to annoy people.

As I have explained to you multiple times yet you don't seem to understand it your website only has a text message function to contact you. So there is no possible way for me to send you pictures/videos there which are essential to understand the problem.

However you seem to be more concerned on how one should contact you instead of what could be wrong with your product.  The video I show is mainly to emphasize the effect of beading and not the actual application. Believe me I have applied your madder rosinate varnish in a proper way and even though for the first 3 minutes or so the surface was fine after 10 minutes it would start beading, as shown in the picture.

Also i suppose your varnish is made in batches. One batch could differ from the next one. Perhaps this batch was problematic. The fact that you are using the statement "It worked for me 4 years ago so why not now" despite having made probably a few different batches in between does not prove any point in my humble opinion.

As for the surface contamination concern, I have used exactly what you described in your manual (which despite what you claim, I have read multiple times). Turpentine essence. The actual brushes I used are high quality ones which have been cleaned in between coats using vegetable soap made by Borciani e Bonazzi which is specifically designed to clean brushes like the ones I use. And I assure you even after cleaning the excess soap has been completely removed and the brushes totally dried. I haven't used chemicals, oils or anything to clean the surface of the violin. Like I said I only had a problem with your madder rosinate oil varnish which by the way I used straight off the bottle and it felt oily and watery.

 

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When you fill out the contact form and I reply to you, an email communication starts where you can attach photos. The world of the internet has been like this for 30 years , now I also have to teach you how to use a computer ?
the varnish is always the same and the ingredients have been the same for years, supplied to me by Kremer pigmente. The soap to clean the brushes is rubbish. the brush should be kept between one application and another in turpentine spirit. Anyway if I can by tonight , I 'll make you a video of the drafting . After that, do me a favor, don't stalk me again.
 

Immagine 2022-12-08 171036.png

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1 hour ago, Violin Varnish Italy said:

Are you telling me that I mix varnishes? So what are you scamming customers?

Hi Nunzio,

No I'm not saying that you mix varnishes, I'm saying that is what I remember doing myself on this fiddle. I was just showing how nice your varnish is, a complemento. 

I like your varnish, I think you know that.

 

Ernest M.

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On 12/4/2022 at 7:41 AM, charliemaine said:

I wouldn't recommend thinning these varnishes with turpentine. Turpentine dries too fast and will lessen the open time. W&N white spirit is a better option because it dries slower. I don't thin the varnishes because I want to put down as much color as possible in a single coat which is why I also add mulled madder pigment.

 

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