French Polishing Question

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
josenebro
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:38 pm

French Polishing Question

Post by josenebro » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:13 pm

Hello all,
this is a question from a newbie. I making my second instrument and on the first I applied the French polishing after I attached the neck. That made it a bit difficult to get a smooth surface where the fingerboard hits the soundboard. I am thinking to French Polish on my second one before I attach the neck. Is that the correct way to do it?
Also which I achieved a glossy look on my first instrument by thining out the last couple of coats, I never got the mirror like surface I see other achieving. I am not sure what I am missing, any Ideas?

and finally, should I apply any sort of lacker to protect the shellac finish?

Thanks in advance and happy new years to all.

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Beowulf
Posts: 442
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:02 pm
Location: London, Ontario CANADA

Re: French Polishing Question

Post by Beowulf » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:13 pm

This tutorial by Orville and Robert Milburn should answer your questions: https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... nmkeE1X6Za

There is little point to lacquering a french polish finish...although there are shellac preparations with additives that can provide a more durable surface.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

RedCliff
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:26 pm

Re: French Polishing Question

Post by RedCliff » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:06 pm

James Lister who is a moderator on this forum has an excellent dvd on french polishing. Helped me a lot.
Giles Ratcliffe
Sheffield
England

josenebro
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:38 pm

Re: French Polishing Question

Post by josenebro » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:29 pm

Thanks Beowulf, the tutorial seems very detail. I will make sure to read.

vesa
Posts: 476
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:52 pm
Location: Sulva, Finland

Re: French Polishing Question

Post by vesa » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Richard Howell has good videos about fp.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnsSOLWayjM
As mentioned check out Milburn, Howell, Lister and all the threads on these pages
(lots of good info there).
Don't get confused about diversity of ideas
- there are many ways to skin a cat - find out what works for you.
Fretboard/top join is possible to do without any ¨pre-polishing¨.
I do that every time when beginning a new bodying session.
1) One long pass all along the side of the fretboard beginning from the rosette with a folded cloth. The cloth must be made so that it goes to the ¨corner¨ where the fretboard and the top meets (it touches the top a little bit too).
2) Then I do 1 - 3 cm wide area of the top that borders to the fretboard with a small muneca as close as possible to the fretboard with out touching it with clock- and anti clockwise rotations, only one pass each.
My small muneca is about size of 5 cent coin and one side of it is very thin so that I can guide it with a finger by pressing it very lightly,
this thin side works closest to the fretboard.
3) When later on bodying the whole top (with a normal size muneca) I treat that part as anything else.
Vesa Kuokkanen

Antonio Marin nr. 813 1995 (Bouchet)
Vesa Kuokkanen 2016

simonm
Moderator
Moderator
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Location: Germany, Würzburg. Spain, IB

Re: French Polishing Question

Post by simonm » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:20 pm

josenebro wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:13 pm
... I am thinking to French Polish on my second one before I attach the neck. Is that the correct way to do it? ….
If you build body and neck separate it is a perfectly good way of doing things.

Paul Micheletti
Amateur luthier
Posts: 513
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:48 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: French Polishing Question

Post by Paul Micheletti » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:18 pm

I've found that inside corners are difficult to get a good french polish on. The corners always want to get starved of finish as it only gets applied in circles from one direction of approach. All other surfaces are covered in all directions of circles so they build much faster.

I found a good approach is to fold up a bit of blue paper towels so you have a finger-tip sized pad that's about 8 layers thick so it can hold some liquid. The blue paper towels are lint free, so they work good for this. Put enough shellac on this pad to make the pad damp and give one quick wipe along the grain in the problem areas immediately before you start a FP body session. This applies enough shellac to get something into the starved corner, and the quick follow-up with the pad that is only slightly damp with shellac will spread out the witness line at the edge and smooth over the application from the blue paper towel.

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