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Pumice and Polish - a question

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jamesbisset
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Work on the laminated semi-hollowbody continues.

Following @tv101 ’s lead I’ve been applying Liberon Easy French Polish. Probably because it’s so easy, it comes with little specific instruction compared to the extended series of 12 step Youtube videos on normal French Polish. The only guide I could find was on the web shop where I bought it, which suggested painting the stuff on with a £28 French Polish brush.

Instead, and still following my master’s lead, I made up a rubber (sheep’s wool and teeshirt cotton) and attempted to paint on a similar layer. Although it’s touch dry in minutes, I waited the recommended 3-4 hours before rubbing down and applying another layer. 

What I didn’t expect, 6 layers later, is that French Polish - even Easy French Polish - exposes every pore in your close-grained finely sanded wood. And also reveals for the first time, all the band saw scoring on the sawn veneers front and back.

Turns out that the first scene in any self-respecting French Polisher’s act is rubbing the wood down with pumice powder - a kind of traditional rubbing compound. The wood dust then fills the pores.

So, is there any point, at this stage, in rubbing in more shellac with some artificial P1000 grit (not 0000 steel wool - I’d end up with a uniform grey guitar), or should I just sand and varnish and repeat until all pores are filled in?

IMG 0343

Look closely at the highlight. You can see the pores. It’s like HD telly!

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.


   
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Russ
 Russ
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@jamesbisset

Hi James, I've only seen it up close being done the old fashioned way so I haven't really any idea how the quick and easy stuff works but I would imagine that the grain filling has to be done first. 

I'm not sure that you would have to go to the bother of using pumice powder if you are going to use the Liberon Easy French Polish. You would probably just use some kind of modern grain filler first. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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jamesbisset
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@russ I’d love to know what makes Easy French Polish easy. Longer curing time? Thicker solution? I came across a video on traditional FP techniques by The Art Of Lutherie which said to use a wet pad to strip and a dry pad to build up finish. That might explain the tiny holes that started appearing around the MoP inlay on my ebony veneer headstock a couple of days ago. I’m having much more success rubbing tiny circles than the long strokes suggested by the vendor.

I reckon the easy bit was mixing it and putting it in a tin for me.

Here’s the pumice video BTW:

Jack of all trades and master of my own destiny. It’s only a small destiny.


   
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 Russ
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@jamesbisset

Thanks James. That wee video does show the same way that I was shown. You certainly need a lot of patience and stamina to do it. Hope it all goes well.

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🗝️ "Life's what you make it"🗝️


   
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