What you need to cook Oil Varnishpublished Mar 6, 2020 by Edgar E. Russ
Today we will be talking about the ingredients you need to prepare my oil varnish.
In the last blog post we talked about the Oil, here you can read more about it.
First of all the Amber: I usually get it from Kremer Pigmente and it comes in different shapes. It can be bought in pieces or also in powder, a “waste material”, the latter takes longer to heat up and has a greater volume, I personally prefer the pieces.
Some people even search the transparent pieces but I don’t think is that crucial. The reason why I don’t choose the pieces is because on one side we want it with a very specific color but also transparent. At the beginning I though you had to choose the specific pieces, but the transparency of the varnish is something you achieve with time, with the aging process. The variety of pieces and colors makes it darker and more interesting.
For oil varnish I use amber but you can also use other resins like shellac, juniper or mastic.
My recipe is very short: washed linseed oil and amber. Simple and easy. A small jar goes a long way.
At the beginning of my career in varnish-making I made about 120 different varnishes, varying in type of resins, oils, portions and in cooking time. I studied the color, the transparency, the flexibility and the varnish I use today is the result of a lot of testing.
In my opinion the varnish is crucial for the quality of the instrument, and it’s actually very fun to make.
Pay attention, you should not cook your varnish in a metal container but in a glass one, it has to be fire resistant.
Open fire with oil on it is very dangerous, but in cooking the varnish I think is essential to have an open fire, because an electronic cooking pad would take hours to heat up your amber to 300 degrees.
Putting a glass container is working good but is very dangerous, it happen to me more than once to have the varnish exploding.
Don’t do it at your house, never with little children around and never when is raining: a small drop of water would make the whole mixture explode. Watch out for you eyes, always use protection grasses.
Another small detail: there is no need for a thermometer, you don’t have to take the temperature. If you want to stir it only use fire resistant glass sticks.
These are my ingredient and things you need,