Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: "Scars: What to fix and what to leave alone" or "An honest review"  (Read 10338 times)

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: "Scars: What to fix and what to leave alone" or "An honest review"
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2016, 11:06:46 PM »
Well, we can rule out any kind of straight shellac finish, at least as the top coat. The fresh Behlen shellac solvent might make a good cleaner for that top coat. It's hard as nails to alcohol even with fairly aggressive rubbing. The stain in the worn bare areas is alcohol soluble. In those areas just a light rub left some pigment on the cloth. It could be a garnet shellac sealing coat with an oil varnish on top? The more I look at it, it has the appearance of an antique gun stock finish. It was brushed on, but very is very level.

If it is an oil varnish or a violin varnish formulation, how many recipes might there have been for an oil varnish at the turn of the century? I'm thinking it will be near impossible to accurately duplicate the original without some pure dumb luck.

I'm blessed with a location in Atlanta that is close to anywhere in the city that I would want to go. I take Highland Hardware (now Highland Woodworking) for granted. It's a great store. I should have taken a section of the bassoon with me and gotten an opinion from their employees. Most of them are knowledgeable.

I am inclined at this point to leave the finish alone until I know more about what it is. More research and testing is necessary.

Straight mineral spirits did not affect the finish either.
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Windsong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1167
    • View Profile
Re: "Scars: What to fix and what to leave alone" or "An honest review"
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2016, 05:57:16 PM »
Curious.  What you need is an old furniture refinisher to take a look at it.  ("Old" as in the person, not the furniture, necessarily)
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.

Offline Silversorcerer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: "Scars: What to fix and what to leave alone" or "An honest review"
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2016, 09:13:52 AM »
I found a fellow who has restored a number of these through a reed maker that makes reeds for the French "bassons". His opinion is that the original Bettoney finish is "not very good";- an effort to simulate the color of rosewood. Well, agreed. Still no reason to remove it when it is 85-90% intact, responding well to polish, and not falling off in flakes. I did some research on the oil/resin varnishes that could be the top coat. Interesting reading:

https://books.google.com/books?id=mkJfbdTS--UC&pg=PA729&lpg=PA729&dq=dark+natural+resin+oil+varnish&source=bl&ots=WI6hgYIL83&sig=_Y76sOg22lUddkrroULfkNST2Mg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjL4uzc3LzOAhUMDMAKHc-9CMYQ6AEIUjAO#v=onepage&q=dark%20natural%20resin%20oil%20varnish&f=false


From what I have learned, this is most likely a garnet shellac undercoat topped with a very hard (short cut) oil varnish (probably linseed) and resins (take a guess). I might cook up a batch custom or I might use Behlen's Rockhard Tabletop varnish tinted to the proper darkness. That is one of very few formulations that still uses natural resins. I've feathered and smoothed the hard edges of one wear area with a razor scraper and very fine polishing paper. Just doing that and polishing it in those areas looks much better already. I'm restricting the process to the exposed wood around the crack until I know the results.

This was posted on the thread at IDRS that Andy referred to earlier and this is the person I would want to please. When there is someone waving the caution flag who has more experience and knowledge than I do, I try to pay attention.

Quote
Hello All:
     I am feeling the itch to post on this one to give the "bassoon tech 2 cents"


     Chris I read your posting on mechanical removal and yes some sanding is required. Your are very correct in what furniture restorers do but, we are not resotring a piece of furniture. This is a object that relies on all of its tolerances to vibrate and produce the tone that it does. My outline for stripping bassoons that I have used for most french polished instruments like older Riedls, has been to use either denatured alcohol, or citristrip. I find I like using the citristrip as it has the least amount of more harmful chemicals, works with very good results, and also has a "paint remover wash" I stripped the finish off of a "replacement" Heckel wing joint for a 5k Heckel with this material and i had very good results with it. I would then followup with LIGHTLY sanding with 320 and working up to about 600. 320 is the coarsest grit I would ever use.
    I do want to share some things with you about refinishing a bassoon that I have developed a very personal feeling upon and that to refinish or not to refinish. After being in the bassoon repair and sales game for even just a short time as I have, You see alot of refinished bassoons, some just inexpensive student horns, all the way up to Heckels. Some of these horns were done quite satisfactory, others were just very poorly done. Nothing irritates me more then when a fine old Heckel, Puchner, Mollenhauer or Riedl comes in with a red finish and shot with High gloss lacquer. Why? Because it was not what was originally there. Some come in just absolutely sanded so aggressively that the trademarks, lines, and contours of the body, and body tolerences were all significantly altered. One other things in relationship to cosmetics is when Heckels are finished and not tiger striping was put on, or it was done untypical of the Heckkel pattern. Sure, It may be shiny and new looking but some one mightve entirely changed the playing qualities of the instrument, just because it wasnt pretty. I will openly admit that I have not gotten into doing full restorations because of the fact that I want to wait till I can do the job well enough to the point that I can actually "restore" the finish to what it looked like when the manufacturer did it using those same techniques, and the same materials. Both of my Heckels have their worn finishes and maybe to some degree should be redone. However, One must evaluate whether to refinish or not by asking-Is it really affecting the structural integrity of the instrument, is the finish in that bad of shape to take the refinishing gamble, and Am I positively sure that my instrument is not going to change in its playing after its done.
    I am probably venting an awful lot on this, but repairing bassoons is something I do on a regular basis, and I do it first and foremost because I love doing it, and I try to share my love and admiration on how to get the most out bassoons to as many people that want the help. I say this because I want you to really be sure that this absolutely what you want to do.

     I hope this info helps If you have anymore questions or concerns, Please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be more then happy to help.

                                          Best Regards,
                                           Chad Taylor

Every situation is a bit different. In this situation, there are numerous small dents in the wood, most of these still have the finish in them. There are also many deep scratches. Most of these would require deep sanding to result in a smooth uniform finish. In that deep sanding is plausibly more destructive than constructive, I simply can't do that. It definitely would obscure the history and it might change the tonal character. With a piece of furniture, respect is due also, but most furniture can stand some surface wood loss and still function as originally intended. Furniture restoration spets might indeed have some knowledge of the original varnish formulas and a good number of them probably are averse to deep sanding as well, but it would be for different reasons.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 01:53:19 PM by Silversorcerer »
- Silversorcerer (David Powell) exclusively for Phil's original “The Clarinet Pages" forum

Offline Windsong

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1167
    • View Profile
Re: "Scars: What to fix and what to leave alone" or "An honest review"
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2016, 12:39:18 PM »
I appreciate Chad's caution, as I appreciate yours.  These are not new instruments, and they need not look new.  They only need to be protected from the same elements one would expect a new or reconditioned instrument to be protected from, and above all, maintain their original sound.
To that end, I have decided not to attempt to remove the few, rather small scratches in my 2-20.  There is no benefit to it, as it will only harm the original, "quite good already" finish.
Expert bubblegum welder, and Pedler Pedler.