Trade secrets: a method for cooking oil varnish by Nicolas Gilles

gilles 6

A technique that relies on the senses and helps you get the right varnish for your needs, by Nicolas Gilles, luthier in Villeneuvette, France

Cooking your own oil varnish means that you have control over variables such as colour, softness, brittleness and alcohol solubility (for the purposes of doing copies). Making oil varnish is not difficult; but what is very difficult is achieving the desired result in one cooking session. Using inexpensive and easily sourced ingredients like linseed oil and colophony (the solid residue of raw pine resin – from Pinus pinaster – distillation) enables you to experiment as many times as is necessary to achieve the varnish you require.

 

Sign up for a free 7-day trial to read this article in full

Strad subscription

 

This article is usually available exclusively to subscribers.

For a limited period, you can enjoy all the benefits of an online subscription free for 7 days. Sign up now to read this article in full and to enjoy unlimited access to all premium online content, a digital edition of the latest issue, plus an online archive of more than 100+ back issues.

 

If you are already a subscriber, sign in here.