Oil AFTER varnish?!

I saw a TV show today about making violins. They put on 4 coats of varnish and then several coats of oil. Seems to me that it would just make a mess. What is that all about?
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If I understand correctly the varnish remains pliable and does not fully harden which allows the violin tone to come from the wood and hardened varnish will not. Stradivarius' varnish still has not hardened if the instrument has been maintained.
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
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harden which allows the violin tone to come >from the wood and hardened varnish will not. Stradivarius' >varnish still has not hardened if the instrument has been >maintained.

That would make sense as the repeated oilings would deliver enough solvent and oil into the varnish to keep it from hardening. But the added resins remaining from the varnish would allow some sheen and some water resistance.
I know some of the better luthiers are clever people and they go by processes.
Do you think this method was developed to maintain the tonality of the wood?
Robert
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On 2 Apr 2007 11:39:25 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

harden which allows the violin tone to come >from the wood and hardened varnish will not. Stradivarius' >varnish still has not hardened if the instrument has been >maintained.

That is what I understand from what I have read one of the reason Stradivarius violins sound as they do is his varnish, was also told when shopping for a instrument to play press your thumb against the back for 5 minutes it should leave an thumb print with ridges on a quality instrument. Why guitars get lacquered I do not know though if that is the case.
Watched a fellow who liked to make violins for a hobby, he would spend hours scraping and thinning parts then bowing them to listen to them. He made 4 to 6 a year and gave them to local school music programs. The one I heard sound good as a violin or fiddle.
Mark http://home.mchsi.com/~xphome /
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wrote:

They used different gums in their varnish instead of modern resins. Unless you're making your own, it won't work. Do not expect this to affect your alkyd, phenolic or urethane resin.
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