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I am planning to make some touch up violin varnish that combines Venice turpentine, elemi resin, and shellac in an alcohol carrier. The recipe calls for the turpentine in the solid form, which I could not find. However, I did see European larch tree gum which should meet my needs. I am interest to know what function is serviced by the use of elemi in conjunction with the turpentine?
I also plan to make a parallel batch of the touch up varnish substituting tru oil for the turpentine and elemi.
Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible. —Frank Zappa
The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson
Since we are told that alcohol is dangerous, I'd fear that using it as a medium might harm the pre-existing varnish on the edges of the areas you want to touch up. And I might be tempted just to use oil to touch up, since people theorise that oil was the secret to Strad's varnish. I've been wondering whether I even care about the varnish on my violins. In community orchestras you see instruments that look like s**t and sound like Shinola, and I wonder if I am being too precious.