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#1 director of sound

director of sound

    every thing is exactally the way it was aways suppose to be!

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:17 PM

i know each of you reading this has seen or owns a preice of furnature or wood worked craft that is varnished. that beautiful finish that lasts for centuries on antique peices that allways holds a shine if treated right. usualy you might buy a store bought factory made ronseal, crown or minwax varnish that costs you $6-10 a can... but do you know how easy it is to make your self!? you only need 3 things, a container, denatured alcohol, and a resin/rosin of sorts. the resins that will work well are different pines, oaks, fruit woods, even copal resin (imparts a good smell too). what you want to look for in your single resin varnish or a mix of resins are; pines (depending on the type) generaly make a varnish that takes longer to dry but can take on a very glossy shine due to the oils present in the resin. different resin characteristics impart different properties, sticky resins in moderation make a durable flexable finish but a softer resin mean a softer finish that can get dinged up by a heavy cup or dropped object, hard resins are strong and take on a better shine and more abuse but can chip. resins that are both hard yet a little tacky (like cook pine or cherry) give you the best of both worlds. fruit wood resins are not as water resistant as pine or oak resins but tend to donate richer color to the varnish. oak resins make some of the hardest varnishes but they chip easy (addition of a pine resin can help this) copal is an intermediate between pines and oaks but a little softer than fruit woods. as for color you may allready have good coloring agents around the house, tumeric, anneto, papprica and sage can donate shades of yellow, orange, red and green (salvia makes a DARK green). shades of brown and tan can be had by cooking the resins before hand. treat the resin like caramel, slowly heat in a pan till they melt (one your willing to sacrafice) and keep cooking/ raising the temp untill the desired shade of brown/tan is acheaved. this will also harden most pine resins and in turn a more brittle but harder finish (thus able to take a higher shine). small ammounts of naptha or boiled linseed oil can be added to retard drying enabling you to get a even coat over larger areas (1-4oz. per a quart of varnish). not that you have the info its time to make some varnish. go for a hike and collect different resins from scared areas on trees, where the trunk was damaged ot limbs broke could be large globuoles of resin (ie sap) collect all you can because its free and goes a long way. once you have your resin buy some denatured alcohol at the local hardware store. chunk up or grind/pulverize the resin into small peices and put in your container and cover with atleast 4 times its ammount of alcohol. let it sit a few days shaking periodicaly untill the resin is dissolved then filter through a screen to get out the pieces of bark dirt and bugs. once filtered and clear you can dilute it as you wish. as it is now it will be a good base/seal coat but for further coats if you want a nice and shiny finish you would dilute it to 50% or even 25% its origional stregnth. that way you do several ( 5-30 coats) with a light sanding (and dust remival) inbetween coats to get a beautiful even finish. once you made your varnish you can color it by adding and steaping the herb in it for a week or so before filtering it out (if you cooked your resin you would add it with the rest of the raw resin). i have some 'brewing' right now that will be natural (no colors) i like to call my two worlds high gloss. it uses mainly black spruce resin((Picea Mariana) found in the tiaga/muskege in artic areas) ( 8 parts) and cook pine resin ((Araucaria Columnaris) found in hawaii and tropical areas) (3 parts). pics of a finished peice of wood will be shown in a few days when the varnish is done and the coats applied!:headbang:

#2 director of sound

director of sound

    every thing is exactally the way it was aways suppose to be!

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 07:57 PM

P.S. shellac flakes (bought online) can fortify the finish making it harder and more water resistant.

#3 nodnarb1978


    Former master of my mind

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:04 PM

I use captains varnish on my wood boat. I can brush it on and harbor no brush lines. I would probably use it for redoing my furniture given the chance

#4 groovy-uv



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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:19 PM

d.o.s. you are quite the mad scientist (that's a compliment:).

can't wait to see how your project turns out.

#5 MycoMistress


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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:49 PM

I don't know much about varnish and I just learned a lot! Thanks, director of sound.

I'm a big fan of Tried and True original finish, which is linseed oil and beeswax. It's non-toxic--safe enough to use on cutting boards-- and is slow-curing. I've used it on knotty pine siding inside the house and on a few older wooden lamps that really needed a coat of something.

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