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Sandalwood Colouring


GerardM

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Hello everyone i have a question regarding colouring spirit varnish. I have had some sandalwood chipping’s soaking in alcohol for several weeks. I now have a rich coloured mixture. Would it be a good idea to heat the alcohol to reduce and make a more concentrated mix. Before adding it to the varnish. I’m thinking if I don’t reduce it then I’m adding more alcohol to the varnish than is probably needed perhaps making it to fluid for brushing and resulting in runs and drips. Thanks G

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The practice of boiling the coloring extracts to concentrate them is normal, if you don't do this you will still have to boil the varnish to restore the concentration after adding the diluted colorant. Will it lose its color when boiled? or will it change color? who knows, but if it does it would mean it would be too fugitive anyway, the main problem with natural coloring extracts.

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

The practice of boiling the coloring extracts to concentrate them is normal, if you don't do this you will still have to boil the varnish to restore the concentration after adding the diluted colorant. Will it lose its color when boiled? or will it change color? who knows, but if it does it would mean it would be too fugitive anyway, the main problem with natural coloring extracts.

Thank you Davide I’ve just viewed your varnish making video which explains everything. I should have watched it beforehand ( I’m not very bright ) so thank you for your response. One question if a colour is fugitive, does the colour eventually fade and disappear, leaving a clear varnish?

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40 minutes ago, joerobson said:

Red sandalwood...pterocarpus santalinus is quite a stable color. Try leaving the alcohol solution out in a bowl and allowing the alcohol to evaporate.

on we go,

Joe

Are the true sandalwoods, Santalum spp ever used for colouring?  Several varieties of Santalum grow here including the aromatic one. I have grown Santalum Acuminatum for the fruit but the wood of that type has no colour. It resembles boxwood. 

 

Padauk seems to be a catch-phrase for some other Pterocarpus spp and samples of padauk I have are vivid red so I'll see what can be dissolved out of them. 

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20 hours ago, LCF said:

Are the true sandalwoods, Santalum spp ever used for colouring?  Several varieties of Santalum grow here including the aromatic one. I have grown Santalum Acuminatum for the fruit but the wood of that type has no colour. It resembles boxwood. 

 

Padauk seems to be a catch-phrase for some other Pterocarpus spp and samples of padauk I have are vivid red so I'll see what can be dissolved out of them. 

pterocarpus angloenses....blood wood is a substitute...but I have never tried it.

on we go,

Joe

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23 hours ago, GerardM said:

Thank you Davide I’ve just viewed your varnish making video which explains everything. I should have watched it beforehand ( I’m not very bright ) so thank you for your response. One question if a colour is fugitive, does the colour eventually fade and disappear, leaving a clear varnish?

More or less, some are more fleeting, some less so, but any color will fade a bit over time. This is why many try to get much of the color from resins, and then add pigments, they can be more stable, but it's not always the case.

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21 hours ago, joerobson said:

Red sandalwood...pterocarpus santalinus is quite a stable color. Try leaving the alcohol solution out in a bowl and allowing the alcohol to evaporate.

on we go,

Joe

Be prepared to wait a long time. :lol:

Then, there is the problem of the alcohol which will absorb a lot of moisture.

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1 hour ago, joerobson said:

pterocarpus angloenses....blood wood is a substitute...but I have never tried it.

on we go,

Joe

Waste of time unless made to be made with some type of precipitate - mixed with walnut or mahogany it probably helps with a goldy color until one tries darnton’s suggestion of ragging the wood with ammonia or windex on a rag.  Then we get a brownish tan ground which will still allow absorption into pores so yes again, waste of time.

off topic somewhat - I’ve taught myself jeZzupes and bill’s sugar/rust concoctions along with my own Turpy varnish.

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3 hours ago, David Burgess said:

My findings on the stability of the sndalwood color have been quite different from yours.

Adding to spirit or oil varnish.

I was running it in shellac to match a furniture finish....decades ago. I saw the piece about 10 years later. It still held color.

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10 hours ago, joerobson said:

I was running it in shellac to match a furniture finish....decades ago. I saw the piece about 10 years later. It still held color.

I like to do accelerated light-fastness tests by putting a varnish sample on wood; cutting the sample in half; putting one half in a dark place like inside a drawer, and taping the other half to the inside of a windshield on a car which stays out in direct daylight, and comparing them later.

I'm shooting for much longer than ten years of stability, given the amount of time that better violins seem to remain in use.

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11 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I like to do accelerated light-fastness tests by putting a varnish sample on wood; cutting the sample in half; putting one half in a dark place like inside a drawer, and taping the other half to the inside of a windshield on a car which stays out in direct daylight, and comparing them later.

I'm shooting for much longer than ten years of stability, given the amount of time that better violins seem to remain in use.

That makes sense. That's a great test.

on we go,

Joe

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