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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a cheap 91/30 donor stock to experiment with so I'm gearing up to start the search for a more proper color/shade shellac for my 38..
Here's what I'm going to be using to try to get back to the original chestnut finish.
FWIW, the shellac made from these buttons drys to a harder more durable finish than regular flake..and can be mixed with other shades/colors of shellac to modify the final finish.
Donor stock should arrive in a week and I plan on doing the different colors side by side for comparison.
Update in a week or so..
 

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Maybe even more bold take on restoration? Not refurb finish but going all the way for the original finish style - stained oil and nitrocellulose lacquer.

I am not 100% sure if the SVT-38 finish was exactly that - Chumaks book would reveal it - but according to him with SVT-40 it was. I too have a restoration project going on with an extra refurb SVT-40 stock. I am targeting the original finish, we'll see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Part of the problem is that the materials used from that era have changed even if the names stayed the same...Boiled linseed oil is just one example.
Used to be made by cooking raw linseed oil in a pressure cooker so that when the oil was later exposed to oxygen it would cure.
Now they use chemical agents to cause it to cure without getting it near a pressure cooker.
I think violin makers/restorers still use ancient methods but finding out their secrets is even harder than getting info from milsurp collectors!
 

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Here I've been able to buy original BLO made exactly like it used to be. It is made to be used like 70 years ago, sort of vintage-repro-retro stuff. So making BLO-bitumen mix should have been possible. Also the nitro lacquere is made like it used to be in 1930s.

But I decided go the easier way as I noticed that SA-stock oil applied on my Tula refurb (extra) stock matches pretty well on the original reddish-brown colour seen inside the barrel channel . I have not applied the nitrocellulose lacquer yet, but it should brighten up the colour and look very authentic. If all goes well that is.
 

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Both raw linseed oil (probably what was actually used) and Bitumen of Judea are easily found on the net. I believe BLO without the added chemical dryers is also available.

One thing is certain: shellac was never used on original SVT38 stocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hard to prove a negative, but that aside what did they use?
 

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Hard to prove a negative, but that aside what did they use?
Untouched SVT38 stocks are very few and very far between, however Chumak's period documentation points to VK-1 Nitrocellulose Lacquer over oil or oil/bitumen varnish at Tula. Izhevsk stocks do not appear to be lacquered. I think they stopped with the oil/bitumen varnish. I think Podolsk skipped the VK1 also, but I have not seen enough untouched stocks to say so with certainty.

One of these days, I am going to experiment on some junk 91/30 arctic birch stocks and try to replicate the Soviet finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What does VK-1 look like?
Is it clear or tinted or what?
 
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