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Message started by obmissy on May 1st, 2008 at 3:32pm

Title: French Polishing
Post by obmissy on May 1st, 2008 at 3:32pm
Okay.  I have decide to give french polishing a go.  My first three 'ukulele that I have attempted to french polish have turned out OK but not great.  The problem areas are around the heel joint and where the fretboard meets the soundboard. Any suggestions from experience on how to get into the tight places?

Once I use up all my shellac flakes I may turn back to the Tru-oil.  Personally I think the Tru-oil has a warmer, deeper finish.  Although, the shellac seems to produce better sound quality.  I finished 2 concert koa...one with shellac;one with Tru-oil.  The Koa for each was cut from the same log.  When all was said and done, side by side, the shellac sounded far and above way better than the Tru-oil.

Title: Re: French Polishing
Post by unkabob on May 4th, 2008 at 2:21pm
Obmissy:
Was that comparison made soon after completion or a month or two later?

I have used Watco Danish Oil and found that it takes at least a week for the sound to return. Tru Oil should dry faster from what I have read around the board. I would expect the sound to improve over time with an oil finish.

The Watco oil requires a week to dry to the touch for the third coat or beyond. (Yes I rubbed it dry after an hour).

Just my experience.

Title: Re: French Polishing
Post by Wood_Butcher on May 7th, 2008 at 1:23am
This is someting I ran across in a search.  Does anyone have any experience with this product?


Mark

http://www.woodfinishsupply.com/FrenchPolZin.html

Title: Re: French Polishing
Post by haoleguy on May 7th, 2008 at 10:51am
Obmissy -
I've finished 2 ukes with french polish and your right, the hardest part was to apply the finish arount the heel and fretboard. What worked for me was to add a crease to the pad (muneca) that will fit in around the heel or fretboard. You could also fold a piece of cloth and use that too. Then apply the finish just like you would any where else. Make sure that the pad or folded cloth is charged with the right amount of shellac. If its to wet you'll end up taking off more than you're putting on. Milburn guitars has a good tutorial....
http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html
Rick

Title: Re: French Polishing
Post by konacat on May 7th, 2008 at 3:18pm
Mark,

I would not use the Zinsser French Polish product.

There is a lot of discussion on other forums regarding making your own shellac or using a premade version. There consensus is that only two premade shellac product should be used for french polish.

1. Zinsser Seal Coat universal sanding sealer. This is a fairly clear 2# cut of shellac that has been dewaxed. The other Zinnser products contain wax. I'm using it now and it seems to work quite well.
http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID=72

2. Liberon Special Pale French Polish. This is a very clear 3# cut of dewaxed shellac that also works well. I think I will try this product soon.http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=5525

Philip

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