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Joined: Jan 2013
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Hi Edh
The only thing I can think is too much Alcohol has evaporated from the copal and rather it being a thick syrup it has become too dense to merge with the oils. The oils and the Turpentine or turps substitute should mix with no trouble. I should try removing the glob of what I think is Copal put in another container and add some Alcohol to make it of a thinner consistency and try to mix it in with the Oils again. The turpentine is there to slow the oil drying as you rub it on the wood so adding more will just prolongs the rubbing time.
I must admit I have not had a problem like yours and as you can see from the photographs all the oil constituents mixed without a problem.

Ernie


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I will try what you say and let you know how it works.

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Nothing happened yet. I took the glob out. Stays in one piece. Like rubber.

Now I'm trying to think where I could have gone wrong. The only thing I can think of is the oil. I am using refined linseed oil. Is "refined" a problem?

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The only other thing I can think of now is the Alcohol used as I stated must be must be Ethanol and the Copal must be Art quality Manila as in the photograph I can’t see it being the Oil but you never know.

Ernie


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Copal is same as pictured. Now, the alcohol is denatured alcohol, which everybody said is Ethanol. What do you say? Like I said, it reduced the Copal down to a nice clear yellowish liquid. Turpentine brand? And I used Japan Dryer.

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Sorry can’t help any further because I used the same mixture this morning and photographed the outcome, all the constituents blended with no problems at all.

Ernie


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Well I appreciate your going through it with me. I think I have the right materials. Maybe I did something wrong at one point and I just don't realize it. I have started another batch of the Copal, so I will try it again. I will let you know how it works this time.

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Hi Edh and others

Now this problem with the finishing oil has intrigued and worried me to the point I want to know the cause of the problem, so I contacted an Artist friend of mine so see if he may know what the cause may be? He has now shed some light on what the problem may be, he also has put the problem to some other artists and the consensus of opinion it is the Copal. Now even though I have had no problems he has told me it can still occur from one batch of Copal to another, the Copal I am using is from a five pound bag of ‘Cornelissen Gum Copal Manila’ I purchased from a company in Birmingham who supplied the trade with finishes some thirty years ago. So I can only apologise for this problem and my only excuse is I did not know there could be a problem with Copal from batch to batch, and I am also extremely sorry that I may have antagonised many members of the US gun restoration fraternity. So maybe I may have to cancel the family vacation to New York in the spring next year in case I may be recognised. Though the method of oil finishing a stock I posted is identical to the way it was demonstrated to me by a Birmingham craftsman in the late 1960s and it is the basic finish I have used for more years than I care to recollect, though using the same batch of Copal.

Ernie


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damascus, I note that you did warn us in your original post that some Copal's may not dissolve well. You said,

"One Ounce of “Gum Copal Manila” Purchase artist quality only other random offerings can and will cause you great problems because some Copal’s will NOT dissolve in Alcohol.
Two Fluid ounces of Alcohol (Ethanol) bio Ethanol is fine though do not use alternatives such as Isopropyl Alcohol it won’t work!!!"


Then when you gave the instructions for preparing the Copal, you instructed us to keep the jar of Copal/Ethanol in a warm--- not hot-- place and to agitate it every couple days. So I am assuming the dissolving process takes a while, perhaps weeks. It appears Edh might be expecting this to happen much quicker, and that he skipped the step of decanting and allowing the alcohol to evaporate before mixing the other ingredients. How else could he still have a rubbery glob? Any lumps and sediment should have been left behind after the decanting and evaporating step. So how long do you typically give the Copal to dissolve in the alcohol before decanting?

You also mentioned breaking up the Copal into small pieces. This would of course increase the surface area and hasten the dissolving process. Again, Edh mentions a single glob. I would try carefully following your directions before running out to buy a different batch of Copal. Another point is that denatured alcohol is not the same as ethanol. Denatured alcohol is methyl-ethyl alcohol. It is mostly ethanol with enough methanol added to make it poisonous if you drank it. I would assume it will dissolve Copal. I don't know what, if anything, is added to bio-ethanol fuel to make it undrinkable until it is mixed with gasoline as in E-85 which is up to 85% ethanol. Liquor stores used to sell Everclear which was 190 proof grain alcohol (ethanol). Some states now limit it to 151 proof. Pure anhydrous (200 proof) ethanol is available from chemical supply companies.

Thanks for sharing this by the way. I recall the original Thread and the only thing missing here is "Before" pictures. Your process certainly improved the appearance of your Baikal. I am curious whether talc has any abrasive qualities at all which might reduce the life of checkering tools as is the case with some wood fillers. I have read that talc can be used as a finer alternative to rottenstone to rub out finishes.


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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I did actually follow his directions very closely. I broke up the pieces. I don't remember how long I let it work, but I think about 2 weeks. Got the nice yellow clear liquid and decanted, and let alcohol evaporate. I know the Copal I have is the exact same as damascus pictured. Now, I am questioning the alcohol I am using. It is denatured alcohol. So, what I am doing is starting another batch. I will follow the directions to a T. I will let you know the results. If I get the same results, I think I will get some different alcohol. I have found it on line from the chemical supply companies also.

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