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Woodreaux #634432 08/22/23 10:24 AM
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FYI a discussion of Venetian Turpentine. It is a resin/balsam extracted from the Larch tree, Larix decidua, Pinaceae.

Here

NOTE: "There is a product called Venice Turpentine that is used for treating horses’ hooves and is a dark brown sludge because it is just rosin dissolved in a solvent. Rosin is the solid residue left after a resin has been distilled to yield the essential oil or spirits of turpentine; it is a very poor material and should not be used for oil painting."

The ingredients list for Hawthorne Venice Turpentine, Pinus Palustris (Gum)- 65%, Turpentine Essential Oil (Larix decidua)- 20%, Mineral oil- 15%, confirms the point. 65% rosin.

So the Hawthorne product doesn't appear to be 'proper' Venetian/Venice Turpentine.

True Venetian Turpentine isn't cheap! Luckily not much is needed.

http://www.sennelier-colors.com/en/Venice-turpentine_fiche_4242.html
https://www.jacksonsart.com/en-us/search/?q=larch+venice+turpentine
https://www.dickblick.com/items/sen...4e2dw4N2aFqczn9xHIWW1aABhLkaAicbEALw_wcB

Last edited by JJJ; 08/22/23 01:22 PM.
JJJ #634671 08/26/23 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JJJ
An old thread but this treasure trove deserves continuity. Thanks to Woodreaux for compiling all the info from various sources including the threads here that I've plowed through many times!!

I'm glad the 'digest' has been of use. I will gladly add the information from Sheraton. The other finishing world that I think compares well to guns is that of the luthier. Although violins and such are not exposed to the same kind of weather, etc, they do bear a great deal of handling and use. I might put a few of the very old violin varnish recipes in the 'appendix' of the digest at some point.

I've been out of the shop more than I would like for quite a while now, but I do hope to get back to gun projects, including refinishing.

Thanks for the affirmation of the time I spent on compiling the finishes. I would love to see any examples from anyone who has experience with any of the recipes.


Jim
Woodreaux #634760 08/27/23 08:10 PM
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Hi Woodreaux, on reflection I suspect the reason for the oil of spruce in the Sheraton recipe may well simply be for its scent. Without that the recipe is similar to all others.

I've done a lot of digging into this subject over the last week. It's useful, IMHO, to reflect on the art world and how and why certain of these components are used. Here are a series of notes I've taken thus far.

* Linseed oil is a 'drying oil’. "Linseed oil is a triglyceride, like other fats. Linseed oil is distinctive for its unusually large amount of α-linolenic acid, which oxidises in air.” "Having a high content of di- and tri-unsaturated esters, linseed oil is susceptible to polymerization reactions upon exposure to oxygen in air. This polymerization, which is called autoxidation, results in the rigidification of the material.” Wikipedia

* https://www.naturalpigments.com/artist-materials/choosing-drying-oil-for-your-art

* One issue with linseed oil is its tendency to yellow over long periods of time. As a result, "Linseed oil use has declined over the past several decades with increased availability of synthetic alkyd resins—which function similarly, but resist yellowing.”

* A ‘varnish’ is a combination of a solvent (eg turpentine) and a resin Resin (eg Venice turpentine)

* Resin is added as a softener or plasticiser, to counteract hardness or brittleness in a varnish compound. (A small amount of beeswax can be used in the same way.) https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2022/03/10/larch-venice-turpentine-a-resin-not-a-solvent/

* When a varnish is combined with a drying oil, it’s called a ‘medium'. A medium is a liquid that is added to oil paint in order to change the performance of the paint in some way.

* https://www.malcolmdeweyfineart.com...iquid,the%20paint%20easier%20to%20blend.

* Many companies now produce a range of artist mediums than vary in their drying time and other properties (eg viscosity)

* Driers help speed up the ‘drying’ process of a medium. Wikipedia

* Terebine driers, in the UK, is a blend of metallic driers formulated to speed up the oxidative drying of solvent-based oil and alkyd based paints, stains and varnishes. The US equivalent would appear to be ‘Japan drier’, another generic term, which is largely naphtha plus cobalt and other metallic components. The name comes from the 17th century European practice of "Japanning," a process designed to imitate Asian lacquerwork. https://www.facebook.com/UtrechtArt...ht-japan-drier-is-a-/10154485032236704/#

* "With an alkyd resin base and the tendency to alter the appearance of oil colors over time, Japan Drier is not recommended for fine art use. When left to dry to a high tack, Japan Drier can, however, be used for gold and silver leafing.” "Driers made from lead, manganese and other proprietorial mixtures that do not wholly contain cobalt driers are to be avoided as they promote darkening and loss of flexibility."

* Cobalt drier is strongly recommended as a drier for fine art oil painting. "Cobalt Drier is the only siccative that has been scientifically proven to be the least harmful to use for fine art painting. Cobalt Drier speeds drying of oil colors and oil painting mediums. Because it is extremely strong, Cobalt Drier should be used sparingly by applying it in drops. It should not be mixed directly into oil paints, but first mixed into an oil painting medium, which can then be added to the paint.”

* A cobalt drier accelerates the drying time of linseed oil from 2-3 days to 1. See table of drying rates: http://langridgecolours.com/cobalt-...embrittlement%20of%20the%20paint%20film.

* https://www.dickblick.com/products/...Fsearch%2F%3Fsearchword%3Dcobalt%20drier


I'm not surprised that Dig switched to adding 'Terebine' driers. Without a drier it takes linseed oil 2-3 days to 'dry'. I've made up a batch according to his original recipe (ie with the spirit of turpentine acting as a solvent alone) and will be adding a cobalt drier in the coming days to speed things up.

Hopefully these notes are useful to some!

EDIT: this remark in the Langridge page is informative: "Cobalt Driers cannot speed the drying of artists’ varnishes as they contain no oil. Artists’ varnishes dry by evaporation of the solvent." So if I look at Dig's original recipe, we have, I believe, a varnish - the larch resin (Venice turpentine) and carnauba wax dissolved by a solvent (spirit of turpentine) - mixed with a drying oil (linseed oil) to create a 'medium'. It has no drier accelerating the 'drying' of the oil. The solvent will dry by evaporation, but the oil drying is by polymerization (with exposure to oxygen). A solvent won't speed polymerization (although in oil painting it does thin out the medium, makes the paint leaner, and thus the paint will dry faster than a thicker, more viscous, non-dispersed, more oily paint film). But the amount of solvent needs to be significant for this to effect. ***

So our gunstock oil needs a drier to accelerate this polymerization process if we aren't to wait 2-3 days between coats (or we wish to have access to a tacky film (which is wiped off) to help speed the filling of grain. Hence the change to using Terebine drier. (I'd likely keep the solvent.) The cobalt drier mentioned above is very powerful. The recommended dilution is a mere 1% which is about a teaspoon addition for Dig's original formula.

*** If you look at the table in the Langridge link above you'll see that even a 'General Medium' of 1 part Linseed Oil + 1 part Gum Turpentine has an approximate drying time of 2 days. That's a 1:1 ratio. The ratio of spirits of turpentine to oil in the original formula is 1:8. ("Times listed are for paint films reaching a non-tack surface and not for complete through-film drying.")

Last edited by JJJ; 08/28/23 08:58 PM.
Woodreaux #634965 09/01/23 05:06 PM
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Woodreaux

One other point you might want to edit. I was conversing privately with Ernie aka Damascus about the amount of terebine driers in his slacum formula, remarking that it was a very high drier content. I don't think he'd mind me repeating his response here:

"The amount I gave was correct at the time. Though it is incorrect now. The driers I used was from a gallon I purchased many years previously with its base formulated around Lead rather than the Cobalt and other heavy metals that are now used today in Japan and Terebine driers. In view of this the required amount is minuscule rather than the amount given in my post."

He's been very kind sharing his knowledge and techniques and I'd hate for those that follow to miss this.

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Woodreaux #635090 09/04/23 01:53 PM
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Note that a cobalt drier such as the one listed above will push the color of the finishing oil awards green (when you add a deep dark blue to a golden yellow) which can be rather alarming at first.

According to Langridge:

"When initially mixed together, the driers will impart a blue/green cast to the oil or medium with which it is mixed. Exposed to indirect sunlight for a few days will remove this colour difference (Exposing the oil or medium to indirect sunlight will not sun bleach or thicken the material). If used in correct proportions, the colour of the cobalt drier will not interfere with oil paint brightness or colour saturation."

I also add a little red oil to develop a rich brown colour to the finishing oil.

Note, also, "Cobalt Driers are known as ‘surface’ siccatives (driers) and will only speed the drying of the surface of the paint film. They are not ‘through-film’ siccatives and do not perform as successfully with thick films of oil." I'd very much like to try colorless Siccatif de Courtrai https://www.lefrancbourgeois.com/row/product/white-courtrai-siccative/ https://en.pebeo.com/catalogue/siccatif-de-courtrai-75-ml-75-ml-650401 "This zirconium-based siccative acts in depth and on the surface. It accelerates drying and balances thick layers while hardening. It is very powerful and must be controlled with care. Colourless, it does not alter light colours." I can't find this product in the US however.

Last edited by JJJ; 09/10/23 10:52 AM.
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Woodreaux #636573 10/18/23 09:36 PM
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EDITED (The history behind this has also been discussed previously on these forums incl https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=54629&page=1 )

I happened to be in London the other day and called in at Purdey. During a discussion the gentleman in charge of the gun room we turned to stock finishes and techniques. He pulled out a copy of Lt Col. Peter Hawker's book and flicked to Manton's recipe Salopian once posted in these forums. He went on to recount the story behind the Purdey finish. Apparently a very long time ago they employed a gentleman by the name of (Harry) Lawrence. Over time they noticed that the finish on the stocks he did lasted a lot longer than others. It turned out he was using his own formula. Purdey tried to buy the recipe. However, Lawrence refused. He did, however, agree to sell the bottled finish to Purdey. This continued until his son, on his retirement, agreed finally to sell the formula to Purdey. To this day it remains a closely guarded secret with just a few trusted people knowing the formula which is locked up in a safe. Apparently they make it in batches and various batches develop a reputation within the company for greater or lesser quality. Those in the know at Purdey, when shown the recipe in Hawker's book, responded "no that's not it." Unfortunately, I couldn't recall the recipe Salopian said had been attributed to Purdey to further the conversation although, in any event, the gent I was talking to was not one of the few 'in the know' anyway.

Last edited by JJJ; 10/22/23 10:08 AM.
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Woodreaux #636697 10/22/23 10:20 AM
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FWIW I think you will find "rose pink" is made by "precipitating chalk or whitening with decoction of Brazilwood."

https://ia802203.us.archive.org/20/items/rudimentsofcolou00fiel/rudimentsofcolou00fiel.pdf

Last edited by JJJ; 10/22/23 10:24 AM.
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JJJ #637921 11/23/23 09:12 AM
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I've been mostly off of the forum for a while. I appreciate all the input and can see that some edits to the Digest are in order. Thanks to all of you for your interest and information


Jim
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JJJ #643709 03/07/24 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JJJ
An old thread but....

I apologize for not responding more completely before. You have done a lot of work and brought up many interesting points and additions or corrections to the information I had seen before.

I would like to reply to much if not all of what you've brought up, and I'll start with this later point about 'rose pink'.


Originally Posted by JJJ
I think you will find "rose pink" is made by "precipitating chalk or whitening with decoction of Brazilwood."

Thank you for finding that reference, because I think that it sort of clears some things up for me-- starting with why things get so confusing when the older sources describe colorants and such. But it also finally demystified this one element, and I have now found some sources for buying rose pink, if one were so inclined.


My summary (with additions from other sources) is as follows:

- "Pinks" are a kind of lake, and may be of yellow, green, or red hue.

- "Lakes" are pigments made by precipitating a dye with an organic, inert binder.

- "Rose Pink" is a kind of lake with coarse texture and rose color, e.g. whiting and 'brazil wood' coloring.

- "Brazil wood" can refer to several species, but is most precisely the common name of Paubrasilia echinata, which was previously classified as of the genus Caesalpinia. "Western" Brazil wood, aka pau brasil, aka pernambuco, is prized for both pigments and, more commonly today, bows for musical instruments. The color derived from Brazil wood extract varies depending on the mordant used to make the pigment. The Brazilwood tree is vanishing along with the Brazilian rainforest, which is the only place it grows, so most Brazilwood pigments sold today are derived from the related (and non-endangered) Asian trees of the genus Caesalpinia, aka Eastern Brazil wood or sappanwood.

So, if someone wanted to produce a true Rose pink today, the closest they might come would be using whiting and sappanwood extract. Or one could buy one already made such as this

I've started editing the Slacum Digest to add this info and make corrections.

Some screenshots from the referenced book:

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Last edited by Woodreaux; 03/07/24 04:57 PM.

Jim
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