Hi everyone, I had a hunch about using burn-in stick balm to protect lacquer from steam blushing. This morning I did a little experiment. To me it looks like a big winner, what do you think?
Experiments and the little inventions du jour that go into working on old instruments are what keep me turned on, in the era of social media it has been really cool to see information and ideas being shared. Woodworkers learning from machinists, machinists learning from jewelers, it’s the upside for me.
I hope this burn-in balm thing catches on, I’m pretty excited about it at the moment.
What's going on here? I'm too dumb to make sense of the photos!
Sorry my photo narrative isn’t too strong! I put a smear of burn-in balm on an old lacquered guitar. Then I held it over a boiling kettle to blush the snot out of the finish, that big white area. Once it cooled off, I wiped off the spot where the balm was and it wasn’t blushed.
My conclusion is, painting burn-in balm on the area around a fingerboard extension and around the heel should prevent blushing when the neck comes out of a dovetail.
Interesting. Must admit I've never heard of the stuff.
Hmm, from the MSDS it seems the main ingredient is petroleum jelly with some stearic acid for thickening.
Might it be worth a try to use Vaseline for the same purpose?
so maybe the idea is as simple as having a layer of something water-repellent as a moisture barrier, not so much to block the heat, and maybe that's enough to keep the lacquer from going south?
Seems like? But the balm I used is for protecting leacquer from a hot knife during a shellac stick burn-in so maybe it does something for the heat as well. I haven’t recently had to pull a bridge that wasn’t already real loose, but it could be handy there too
A brief googling suggests that the fumed silica component (mentioned in the msds Mark was wise enough to post) has effective thermal insulation properties in addition to thickening, anti caking, light diffusing, and abrasive uses. Seems it may be an important component of the burn in balm.
Has anyone done further experiments or tried this stuff during neck/bridge removals etc. since this thread last saw activity?