www.KitGuitarsForum.com

Learn to Kit Build a Guitar. Learn to Scratch Build a Guitar. Learn EVERYTHING Guitars Here!
It is currently Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:54 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: French polish helpers?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:00 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 112
Hello,

Has anyone found success using an electric buffer or polisher when french polishing? Perhaps just in the early stages? I am pore filling using a pumice abrasive and it is looking fantastic. However, It is a ton of work and I am doing multiple projects and am having some wrist/hand pain while doing this.

I may try at least enhancing my polishing operations mechanically, try to make an electric pad do what I'm doing by hand. Currently, it takes a good 30-60 minutes to go from wash coats to mostly pore filled in just a small area of the back. Perhaps I'll get faster but the sides are a daunting task and I'm doing several guitars.

This is just a few wash coats (just padded on 1# shellac) then polished w/ pumice and alcohol only. It actually seems a lot nicer and faster for me than the various water based pore fillers. Those are easy to use but I tend to think it is too thick then i've sanded it off and have start over and I did probably 5 coats. With pumice, I like the idea that the guitar finish will be 100% shellac ( well, I guess some oil stays behind ) but it sure will take a long time.

I think my answer is obviously no as if there were, then that's how everyone would french polish. :D

update: the mrs. suggested we hire my nephew who seems to like woodworking. hmm. now we're getting somewhere.


You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
Posts: 2196
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no short cut or mechanical way of doing french polishing. It is a very labor intensive, arduous way of finishing. However, it's highly rewarding, because it simply doesn't compare to any other finish. The good news is that as you become more experienced, french polishing goes much faster.

There are quicker ways of pore filling. I pore fill with Aquacoat or 2 part epoxy, which is faster than pumice. I put 2 wash coats of shellac to seal the wood, then I pore fill. Aquacoat pore fills fast. Use thin coats, pushing them into the pores like your grouting. Get the excess off so it'll dry quickly and sand.

Another alternative is to pore fill with shellac and sawdust, using dust from your guitar. Robbie O'Brien demonstrates this technique on YouTube. I've not done it yet, but it looks like a good fast alternative.

https://youtu.be/EcRc1cJrgtU


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 9:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 112
yeah, i've given up on on that line of thought. I just keep thinking a small mechanical polishing pad might help w/ the pumice rubbing, doing what I'm doing w/ 3 fingers. But you are right, I am getting faster and using less energy as I get experience. Basically, the pumice does fill w/ shellac and sawdust but you gotta raise it off the surface and it is super slow. I'll watch the vids. thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2020 4:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:04 pm
Posts: 253
Location: San Jose, CA, USA
Tom Bills' Introduction to French Polishing is in depth and quite well done.

_________________
- Randall Newcomb
10 fingers in, 10 fingers out - another good day in the shop


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 6128
Location: Hegins, Pa
labor intense process but worth the time to learn

_________________
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
president of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:47 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 1271
Location: Chestertown Maryland
Not the same as french polish, but you can brush on 4-5 coats of 2# cut shellac and polish it up. I have done this on 2 instruments, now 7 and 8 years old. Looks as good today as it did then.

Ed


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue May 09, 2017 5:34 am
Posts: 49
Hi Ed

Could you show some pictures of those guitars with the shellac finish?

I am interested to see what it looks like.

Thanks

Pat


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:14 pm
Posts: 7
Location: San Jose, CA
rcnewcomb wrote:
Tom Bills' Introduction to French Polishing is in depth and quite well done.

I second this. A few guitars ago, I learned Tom Bills's method of French polishing and fell in love with it. So much so, that now, while I'm building my third violin, I decided to French polish it (a no-no, I guess, among most violinmakers), after using a waterbased dye (Transtint) to color the violin a reddish/brown color. It seems to be working out. I started the French polishing process on this violin almost two weeks ago (March 9th), and am almost done (23 sessions). All I have left to do is to now wait 5 days until I can do the final polishing with Novus #2, and then I can finish up the violin. I know it takes a long time to do, but it is SO relaxing and hands-on, and I love the process! I've been posting my process on Facebook, so if you want to see it, it's here: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.matsushita.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:55 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:52 am
Posts: 112
i appreciate the replies. I've been able to get this project filled and moving. I have made a few adjustments and pace is better. One thing I did was make a bigger pad. Taller to make it easier to hold and wider for more surface are to push the pumice, shellac and sawdust around easier. Also, as expected experience helped me figure out to use the right amount of things on my pad to make the pushing around a bit smoother.

The hand buffer idea was fleeting, perhaps and old back massager? haha. kidding


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group