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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:18 am 
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My name is Matthew and i am about to complete my first acoustic build. I have Tru Oiled (TO) the entire body and everything turned out ok (not great) except for the top. After a lot of reading about shellac I think I have used waxed shellac as a sealer under the TO. Not sure if it is that, or just my technique. I have already totally scrapped/sanded off all the finish on the top once. I would rather not do it again. I was wondering if I could do something like Frank Ford did on his website ( http://www.frets.com/FRETSPAGES/Luthier ... lish1.html ) to my TruOil top? He scuff sands with 280 then french polishes over the old finish, he doesn't acctually sand all the finish off like I did. Do you think this is possible?

Also, I am about to finish my #2 build and would like to FP the entire body. Also, in your experienced opinion, what is the best brand shellac flakes and oil to use?

Thanks in advance!

MV

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:35 am 
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I don't have any experience with FP over truoil. Sorry

I used shellac flakes from LMII and dissolved them in Everclear.
I also used J&J baby oil. But you can find mineral oil near a pharmacy section if you are worried about the added perfumes.

My first try turned out way better than expected.

Just remember when loading the pad that less is more!
Oh and keep the pad moving.

Best,
_Mike

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:48 am 
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000lover wrote:
My name is Matthew and i am about to complete my first acoustic build. I have Tru Oiled (TO) the entire body and everything turned out ok (not great) except for the top. After a lot of reading about shellac I think I have used waxed shellac as a sealer under the TO. Not sure if it is that, or just my technique. I have already totally scrapped/sanded off all the finish on the top once. I would rather not do it again. I was wondering if I could do something like Frank Ford did on his website ( http://www.frets.com/FRETSPAGES/Luthier ... lish1.html ) to my TruOil top? He scuff sands with 280 then french polishes over the old finish, he doesn't acctually sand all the finish off like I did. Do you think this is possible?

Also, I am about to finish my #2 build and would like to FP the entire body. Also, in your experienced opinion, what is the best brand shellac flakes and oil to use?

Thanks in advance!

MV


Matthew, Sorry for keeping this short as I have the flu right now. I usally am quite long winded on French polishing. First read through the Milburn tutorial on French polishing several times through. It can be found in the resources page at the top of this page under finishes. This tutorial is a good example of traditional French polishing. Pay close attention to what each process does and the order of each process. This is key for success. You might search my user id in the archives as I have written a ton on this topic. Check back with me a few days before you start, and I will be glad to help.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:59 am 
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I am acctually a pharmacist so mineral oil will work great! And we keep Everclear in the pharmacy for compounding prescriptions!


I look forward to reading a lot on FP before i finish #2. I won't start until I completely finish #1 which could be awhile.

I too am sick (Bloody flu shots) [uncle]

Hope you get to feeling better Micheal.


Thanks Mike and Michael

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:19 am 
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A lot of people claim baby oil / mineral oil works and it may but with 40+ years under my belt I have found Extra virgin Olive oil (true extra virgin is getting harder and harder to find) and 100% pure Walnut oil are the best choices. but the truth is you should use so little oil that this is not a huge factor unless the oil you use has contaminates or additives that will aversely affect the film build.

What makes or breaks the finish is technique, or a lack there of. Understanding what the purpose and affect of each process on each of the following process are is the key to pulling off a top notch French polish finish.

While French polishing is a finish process that anyone can employee. It is far from being a simple fool proof process. Though any miss step can be repaired within the process this does not mean that errors can not lead more errors. Once again a true and realistic understanding of each process is the key.

Many think it is just a matter of padding on shellac. While possible to build a shellac finish by simple padding is possible the film built of simple padding on is far less durable and greatly different in structure than and true amalgamated French polish film.

If you have never tried French polishing before make sure you understand in some detail of how the film is built and what role each process plays in the building of the film. Practice these processes on scrap wood before jumping into a final product.

Know up front that this is a some what labor intense process and most efforts to shortcut the labor will lead an inferior final product.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Great advice! I will definitely try on scrap first.

Do you know if there is a youtube video or some other video that show a little of the process in action?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:38 pm 
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000lover wrote:
Great advice! I will definitely try on scrap first.

Do you know if there is a youtube video or some other video that show a little of the process in action?


There are a few clips here and there. Mostly just showing the alcohol vapor cloud happening behind the muneca during boding. Most feel that if you get this right the rest will take care of it's self. while this is important part of the application it is just one indicator flag among several.

If I had to give one key concept to a first timer to keep in their mind during application of this type of finish it would be to forget the concept of coats. you will never apply a coat of shellac during any stage of French polishing with the possible one exception of the preliminary wash or spit coat. After that point in time you will be building one continuous thickness of shellac and it is never applied in coats.

Once one gets past the multi-coat fallacy, How and why each process is done and when will start to make sense.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:17 pm 
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Michael Dale Payne wrote:
Once one gets past the multi-coat fallacy, How and why each process is done and when will start to make sense.


I'm in absolute agreement. It will take a little practice, but you will get the hang of it. Read the Milburn Brothers tutorial a few times. Practice on some scrap and then read the tutorial again!
Good luck and enjoy the process!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Michael Dale Payne wrote:
I have found Extra virgin Olive oil (true extra virgin is getting harder and harder to find) and 100% pure Walnut oil are the best choices.


I've given up on french polishing but cooking is another one of my hobbies - why do you think EVOO is the best choice for FP-ing?

I ask because for cooking circles, it's well known that EVOO has more "stuff" in it that's not oil. That "stuff" is what gives EVOO it's intense flavor and makes the really good EVOOs cloudy and such. I wouldn't think that oil with that much organic particulate "stuff" in it would be good for FP-ing (not saying it's not as I've never tried it just wondering).

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:59 am 
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Andy bro I think it's because these guys like to snack while french polishing. This is also why Everclear is preferred over denatured alcohol...... :D


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:14 am 
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Andy Birko wrote:
Michael Dale Payne wrote:
I have found Extra virgin Olive oil (true extra virgin is getting harder and harder to find) and 100% pure Walnut oil are the best choices.


I've given up on french polishing but cooking is another one of my hobbies - why do you think EVOO is the best choice for FP-ing?

I ask because for cooking circles, it's well known that EVOO has more "stuff" in it that's not oil. That "stuff" is what gives EVOO it's intense flavor and makes the really good EVOOs cloudy and such. I wouldn't think that oil with that much organic particulate "stuff" in it would be good for FP-ing (not saying it's not as I've never tried it just wondering).


EV00? I guess I am not up on this. I would never use oil with any particulate in it. I can’t say I have ever heard of anyone using oil called EV00. But I have only been French polishing for a while laughing6-hehe

Can some one enlighten me on what EV00 is?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:52 am 
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E.V.O.O. (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Don't you ever watch Rachael Ray? :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:02 am 
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000lover wrote:
Great advice! I will definitely try on scrap first.

Do you know if there is a youtube video or some other video that show a little of the process in action?


Matthew,
Ronald Louis Fernandez has a DVD called "French Polishing for guitarmakers 2.0" on his website. If you don't want to buy it, you can rent it from Smartflix for ten bucks.

Here's the links.

Ron Fernandez's site: http://www.fernandezmusic.com/FrenchPolishingDVD.html

Smartflix site: http://smartflix.com/store/video/2371/French-Polishing-For-Guitarmakers-20

Hope this helps.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:08 am 
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No I can't say that I do. i figured it out and was posting that I did but you beat me to it.

Real EVOO is pressed in a press that has had nothing but EVOO pressed in it and and is cleand between batches, plus the oil is filtered to remove all particulate. However for the past 10 years or so the market has come to know what use to be considerd general porpose olive oil as EVOO. Manufactures lable very poor purity olive oil as EV if the clearity is good. despite the fact that the odds are that the presses were used for many gades and types of Oil. If if is not real clear and it is not real clean I assure you It is not really EVOO as we use to know it no matter what it said on the lable.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:12 pm 
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So how do you find pure 100% olive oil?

I know that mineral oil that says " mineral oil, USP" is pure and has no additives. So which do you choose, the posibility of particulate matter in olive oil or mineral?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:14 pm 
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Also, I know that pumice as the pore filler is controversial, but what are your thoughts?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:18 pm 
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Well that is a good question these days look for clearity and no visible particulate adn Extra Virgin on the bottle right onw on olive oil I don't know you can do better than that. this is one reason I switched to pure walnut oil several years ago now.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:25 pm 
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Michael Dale Payne wrote:

Real EVOO is pressed in a press that has had nothing but EVOO pressed in it and and is cleand between batches, plus the oil is filtered to remove all particulate. However for the past 10 years or so the market has come to know what use to be considerd general porpose olive oil as EVOO. Manufactures lable very poor purity olive oil as EV if the clearity is good. despite the fact that the odds are that the presses were used for many gades and types of Oil. If if is not real clear and it is not real clean I assure you It is not really EVOO as we use to know it no matter what it said on the lable.


I don't want to start a fight here but while I'm sure you know more about FP-ing than I, I can assure you that there are plenty of EVOOs that are cloudy - they're the un-filtered sort and are the best in terms of flavor (if you're in to that flavor). I lived in Europe for a year and being a foodie we did a lot of eating and a lot of investigation on what's what in the food world - including buying EVOO right from the groves - it was cloudy and delicious!! [:Y:]

Again, the thing that makes EVOO so tasty is the stuff that's in there that's not oil. That's why the smoke point is so low and why the filtered ones are so much darker than virgin OO or regular OO. It may be worth investigating using a more refined OO to see if it's better or worse.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:00 pm 
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Yes there are extra virgin olive oils with dark greenish brown color, lighter medium green and clear green. The color and clarity has mostly to do with the state of the Chlorophyll in the fruit at time of cold pressing most of the cloudier oils have a small amount of leaves and suckling branches left in the crushed pulp prior to cold pressing to enhance the flavor. These would be still considered extra virgin as it is cold pressed with no other treatment. These are among the best for cooking and garnishing. The clearer EV oils tend to be older riper fruit with no leaves of suckling branches allowed in the press and is screened for particulate. This is ideally what you are looking for when French polishing.

Even dark and cloudy would not bother me a bunch as it would be easy to filter out the particulate that make is cloudy. And the color will have little or no affect on the shellac as it does to go into solution with the shellac and is removed each spirit-off session. Particulates on the other hand i would not want in my oil for French polishing.

The problem is it is getting harder to insure the that Extra Virgin on the bottle actually denotes cold press olive oil only as maufactures have become natorious for cheating to extend the product.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:51 pm 
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000lover wrote:
Also, I know that pumice as the pore filler is controversial, but what are your thoughts?



I think that the only real controversy is how much elbow grease you are willing to put into it! ;)

Pumice, after a little practice -- read Milburn about pumice -- works really well, but IMHO Z-Poxy does as good a job for less labor -- YMMV.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:36 pm 
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what did your top look like after you Tru-oiled it? I finished some spruce scraps and they looked pretty decent...I used non-wax shellac as a seal coat and wiped it on after that. I did notice that if you don't sand the wood to a high grit then you can't ever really get a nice sheen on top..

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:02 am 
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It turned out decent. I really didn't like it at first but then decided that I would be sanding it all off anyway, why not try to steel wool it for a while and see what that does. It acctually did pretty good! So, I did the backs and sides that way, polished it up with some RENAISSANCE microcrystalline wax, and I am happy with the final product. It is more of a semi-gloss now. [:Y:]

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