Emulsion ground for stringed instruments:

Roger Hargrave has written about the possibility of casein grounds in the old Cremonese violins. Casein is made from milk. In essence, the process is simple. Take some skim milk, add vinegar and strain the watery part off to leave the curd. This curd is casein. If it is mixed with ammonia, borax or lime water, it will produce a glue. Only the lime casein glue is waterproof.

One reason for using an emulsion is to promote the varnish sitting on top of the wood, as compared with "soaking in" to the wood. One of my requirements for violin ground is that contributes as little damping as possible to the wood. Dr. Martin Schleske has published work on the importance of using varnish that absorbs as little energy as possible.  Emulsion grounds tend to have this characteristic. 

Another important aspect of water/oil emulsion grounds is the ease of adding color. Since there are two phases, water and oil, one can use an oil soluble dye or a water soluble dye, or both. 

Since I did many experiments with casein, I decided to order a bulk amount. Now I can pass the savings on to others. My pricelist for pure casein is the following:

200 grams     10.00 USD
400 grams     17.00 USD
1 Kg             30.00 USD

There is no handling fee, and shipping is the actual shipping cost. Specify shipping method when ordering. Usually the least expensive is parcel post. Currently only shipping in the USA.

casein/oil emulsion recipe

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