Thursday, January 24, 2019

Varnish variation

I posted my latest varnish routine a few days ago.  Some had questions as to why I did it that way, and not some other way.  Well, multiple reasons, I suppose.  I wanted something I could control.  I wanted something where each step didn't actually take very long.  I wanted something that had easy-to-find products, that are relatively inexpensive.  Also, I don't want to be a varnish-maker.

Most of the color I get in the shellac steps.  I can vary the color through various agents, such as the cochineal 'tea' and the TransTint.  The above photo shows some of the color variation possible.  I shot this in less-than-flattering light, I think, but neutral.  A white blank, and sunlight filtered up and reflecting off a white ceiling.  We finally had some direct sun again today.

This is a couple white violins that I varnished, showing about the range of the colors I have in the shop now.  A redder violin, one I made from scratch, sold not too long ago.  It would have been nice to have that here for these shots, but nicer to have the sale.

Here is a mixture, one of my from-scratch fiddles, the Hardanger on the left, and the rest being whites, 2 violas and a violin.

Another shot of some whites, different reflective angles for the backs.

Here is the back of one of my scratch fiddles, in glancing light.  I find it hard to photograph varnish and bring out the details I like to see.  What I'm trying to show here is the texture, which comes mostly from the clear oil varnish final coating, maybe 2.  It has that leather-like look to it.  Being this is one of my handmade fiddles, it wasn't buffed down to car-door smoothness.  In fact, I actually did a fairly bad job of smoothing this one out, unintentionally.  I can even see some toothed-plane marks in the back.  Not sure how I missed that, but I did.  Fortunately, I do like the sound of this fiddle, and have been playing it for a year or so now.  We are compatible.  Not too interested in selling it, and have grown to like the tool-marks that I keep finding.

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