Question: Damar/Dammar Varnish question

Artemiss

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Just something I've been pondering...!

I've been reading various posts on various sites, regarding transfer methods.
Damar varnish, as well as Shellac have both been mentioned, as part of the recipe which combine with zippo fluid or IPA, etc.

Just had me thinking though. Is there any reason why normal wood varnish wouldn't work?
How about nail varnish? Obviously thinned with zippo fluid, or Isopropyl Alcohol, as per the recipe.

Curious why Damar is mentioned so frequently. Does it have special properties, over a normal vanish? Just curious.

Jo
 

mitch

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Hi Jo-

I don't use the stuff, but if i remember correctly, Damar varnish stays sticky/tacky, so you can use it as a weak glue of sorts. regular varnish dries/cures hard. somebody should be along soon to clarify this.
 

Artemiss

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Thanks Mitch,

Now you have me thinking again though.
When I was a sign-writer, I used a tacky/gluey type substance for gold leaf lettering.
That was designed to stay tacky too. I wonder if that would be any good!

Hmmm... maybe I'll go rootling about in the loft, to have a look for it! ;)

Jo
 

Scottyd

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Hi Jo,
I use Matvar (since it was on sale) instead of Damar. I use the Marvar with acetone. It works well with my Hp Inkjet printer and plain acetate. Just use the default print values (not too much ink). Let the ink dry on the acetate for 10-15 minutes and let the Matvar dry for about 10 minutes then burnish well. If I don't let the Matvar dry long enough then the ink tends to bleed rather than giving a crisp transfer. The Matvar and Damar varnish labels read about the same but the Matvar gives a matt finish.
Scott
 

unclejim1955

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I use the Dammar system and have very good success with it. I was taught to use denatured alcohol, because isopropyl has a higher water content and takes longer to dry. 75% alcohol and 25% varnish seems to work best for me. The Dammar stays tacky long and is "removable" so it cleans off very easily with acetone. The alcohol is not as smelly as lighter fluid. I use Pictorio Ultra Premium OHP Transparency Film and it works great with my inkjet or laser printer. I haven't tried any other brands. Hope this is of some use to you.
 

rod

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Jo,

The two more popular design transfer methods use either inkjet printers, or laser jet printers.

If you are doing design transfer using a laser jet printer, many engravers print onto baking paper, which has the property of being coated with silicon, kind of non-stick and heat resisting, allowing the toner powder to drop off easily, and affix to the metal. Many get results printing onto ordinary paper and then with a light acetone flush ( too much muddies the design), thereafter some heat will assist in fixing the toner, which has heat sensitive glue particles mixed into it.

That said, the silicon coating has the added property of not allowing "super glue" to stick to the paper.

I have had good, simple, and fast results by wiping a thin layer of super glue onto the metal, and immediately pressing the baking paper with printed design onto the metal surface. The toner will stick to the super glued metal, but the paper will lift off. It is so straightforward, that it is worth a try, even to find out if it is better or worse than other successful 'damar/ alcohol/ zippo or heat methods.

Precautions: Too much glue, and or too dark a toner printout will cause the toner to muddy up, so use a little glue on a Q Tip cotton swob. If you experiment, within a few minutes you can hit upon the correct, light print, and light coating of glue. I go for more of a grey printout, rather than black. Do not wipe the glue onto the baking paper, wipe it onto the metal....thin wipe with no excess puddles.

Do not wait for the glue to dry, but apply your design immediately. Burnish with the back of the finger nail, or a bone burnisher, etc., and no need to press too hard. Watch the design leave the paper using microscope or magnifier. When you sense the toner has transferred, you may wait a few minutes to ensure the glue has set. If things go wrong, a quick wipe with acetone cleans the metal down for a second try. If you get partial transfer, your glue may have dried too soon, or maybe you need a little more glue. Use the thin watery super glue, and make sure it is like water, it has a shelf life and sometimes it is already hard or thick from too long on the shelf at the store where you bought it. It is about 20 times cheaper by the once compared with 1 gram at the store. Keep it in the freezer for longer shelf life of about 6 months.

Warning: This will not work with inkjet transparency sheets, as these sheets glue themselves to the metal, but baking paper does not.

If I have the attention of any experienced laser jet printers, I do notice far better resolution when using ink jet results, so are laser jet printers inherently lower dpi resolution? I use a Mac and Photoshop with an HP 1006 printer, and can select either 600 or 1200 dpi resolutions. Would using Adobe Illustrator with pdf file give better resolution?

Why am I now using a laser jet, well I have a sense that humidity here on the Coast may be the cause of trouble in getting an easy inkjet transfer .... it needs way too much burnishing, whereas laser jet transfer almost drops onto the metal with the slightest fingernail rub. Believe me, I have Tom's clear and white solutions, and have worked hard at getting inkjets to work, but since Epson dropped their good transparencies, for me the new alternatives are not successful on the Coast.

best wishes

Rod
 
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Artemiss

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Brilliant, thanks for taking the time to explain guys!

Having a better understanding of the whys & wherefores of the Damar varnish, makes things a little easier. And the fact that Damar is 'removable' makes a lot of sense.

Also, really interesting about the print quality too. I assumed, the more ink/toner, the better, but obviously not.

I'm goiing to go down the road of the 'baking paper/damar/zippo/laserjet' method to start with. Simply because I have most of the ingredients already. Then experiment from there.

The superglue method looks fraught with danger! I usually end up with more on my fingers! :eek:

One thing I have learnt already though... the paper goes into the laserjet, the opposite way to the inkjet!!!! :shock:

Thanks again,

Jo
 

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