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Spirit varnish for International

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by basswraith, Apr 15, 2005.


  1. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
    With what can I dilute the spirit varnish that I get from International Violin Company?
    Can I mix it with turpentine? Or pure grain Alcohol?
    I tried turpentine pure gum. the varnish is dry to the touch but still soft after 1 week. dang.

    Any info will be great . Thank you.
     
  2. Basschair

    Basschair .............. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    I could be way off, but I would have assumed mineral spirits...I've been wondering myself, actually. :confused:
     
  3. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If it is spirit varnish, you should be able to thin in with alcohol. Why do you want to thin it, by the way?
     
  4. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    It is a tried and true method to mix a LITTLE turp in with spirit varnish to slow it down and aid brush flow. It should never come from a metal can. Also, Spike oil is excellent for that purpose. What you did will result in a finish that never hardens. Get some denatured alcohol and wipe the mess off. The problem with thinning spirit varnish is that the added alcohol makes it flash even quicker and it sets up before you can get the adjacent brush stroke on it. I suggest you play with mixtures on a scrap piece. Within 5 minutes it should feel pretty dry to the touch. That said, you still have to work FAST! I personally watched Mike Krahmer do an entire bass in about 5 minutes at his Mittenwald shop. Made me dizzy!
     
  5. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
    Could I just use the spirit varnish straight from the 2 ounce bottle with out diluting it?
    I tried that once...it was hard to distribute evenly.
    And Also I forgot to ask about drying time. How long? 24 hours?


    Could I use pure grain alcohol or should I use denatured?
     
  6. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    What are you varnishing? Have you making your own varnish with shellac flakes?
     
  7. basswraith

    basswraith

    Mar 10, 2003
    Boston
    I am varnishing the heal of a neck. I just got a few 2 ounce bottles of varnish from International violin co. The color matches great . Just had a hard time with the varnish cuz I mixed it with turp. I am testing some scap wood with a little bit of alchohol and its working out fine so far.