I must be crazy

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Kevin Sjostrand
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Location: Visalia, CA

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

Okay so after a few weeks have now gone by it was time to start the finishing process. I decided to go with oil varnish. I'm not cooking up my own secret recipe. I'm using Helmsman Spar varnish.
I considered shellac (spirit varnish) but decided it dries too fast when brushing it on and French Polishing around the overhangs would be troublesome. So traditional oil varnish it is

I stripped the violin down to the bare white instrument. The fingerboard was only spot glued on with fish glue and easily pops off.

After much finish sanding the first step was to brush on two coats of Knox gelatin to seal the wood.
Then I mixed up some water dye dark brown and yellow to get a golden color and sponged that on.
When dry and very light sanding with 800 grit today I brushed on the first coat of clear (actually a bit amberish) oil varnish. When dry it will get a second coat of clear.
Then I will start with a number of color coats. I've mixed up a combo of brown red with a little bit of yellow hoping to achieve a medium dark slightly red/brown finish with some golden highlights in the grain.
That will take a few coats if color and a few days application then about 3 weeks of dry time.

That's where I am right now.
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Kevin Sjostrand
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Location: Visalia, CA

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

Now with first coat of clear
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Morecowbell
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Location: Fishers, IN

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Morecowbell »

So many questions...
two coats of Knox gelatin to seal the wood
Do you do this on your guitars as well? I wasn't thrilled with the sawdust and shellac method of filling, curious about the hide glue/gelatin/egg white approaches

Great thread!
"Facts seldom sway an opinion." - John Hall
"The difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference." - Van de Snepscheut
Kevin Sjostrand
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Location: Visalia, CA

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

I do pore fill my guitars....not maple it doesn't need it
But for this violin the sealer is put on so the stain doesn't penatrate the wood. I think I got some penatration into the spruce top anyway but it's okay.

I like the shellac and sawdust for mahogany and cedar necks. I use Timbermate for all my back and sides now.
Kevin Sjostrand
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Location: Visalia, CA

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

Here it is with the first coat of colored varnish
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TEETERFAN
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:43 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: I must be crazy

Post by TEETERFAN »

Looking awesome already! The grain is singing. Violins definitely have some beautiful curves.Thanks for the updates.
Kevin Doty
Kansas City
Morecowbell
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Location: Fishers, IN

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Morecowbell »

Kevin,

Did you have any profiles or measurements that you were using for carving the top & back? I've been watching a series of videos on archtop carving by a guy who's done it for 50 years, he's almost done with the top profile and hasn't measured anything yet...which I'm having a very hard time wrapping my head around! Especially after he talks about how not to follow the Gibson archtop profile, which is of course the one I have on hand :-)

Thanks,

Clay
"Facts seldom sway an opinion." - John Hall
"The difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference." - Van de Snepscheut
Kevin Sjostrand
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Location: Visalia, CA

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

Clay I do have measurements and arching templates I made from drawings. But in the long run it's going by feel

Are you looking at Bennadento?
Morecowbell
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Location: Fishers, IN

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Morecowbell »

I've been watching a series of videos by Ken Parker called "Archtoperry", free on his website and mesmerizing. I have no frame of reference except that I own a 1930's Gibson L-30 which is a low end arch top, but flat back, guitar. I love the look but the sound is truncated (and of course the neck is pretty chunky), so the sound doesn't draw me in but the design does. I'm really drawn to the earlier Gibson L-series archtops with the round or oval soundholes. But from what I can hear from youtube videos they honestly don't sound great, at least to me.

Ken's approach is different in a lot of ways, but the primary take-away for me at the moment is that he feels the tops and bracing on most arch tops have historically been way to thick and/or heavy, which is how my Gibson sounds.

I actually just got the Benedetto book today from a forum member (thanks Brennan!) and Ken's top's are almost half as thick as what Benedetto has in the book.
"Facts seldom sway an opinion." - John Hall
"The difference between theory and practice is that in theory there is no difference." - Van de Snepscheut
Kevin Sjostrand
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:06 pm
Location: Visalia, CA

Re: I must be crazy

Post by Kevin Sjostrand »

Here is the violin now with the second coat of color.
I added some more burnt umber and red pigment to the varnish so it would hopefully darken more. It looks like it will get where I want it to end up with a few more coats.
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