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The Wonders of French Polish, Part 2

Among the greatest perils that could stalk a guitar, except for being run over by a truck, are the climatic changes from humid to dry and viceversa, especially if these changes are produced rapidly.

Jose Ramirez II, Things About the Guitar, 1990.


Just a quick blog, here is the sitka spruce/black walnut from an earlier post. I leveled sanded the entire guitar after several "bodying" sessions with shellac, I sanded with 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper and used olive oil for a lubricant. I understand that this "satin" look is very popular on guitars today.

Here is the guitar after 15 minutes of french polishing, quite a difference isn't it.

Last night I was re-reading Things About the Guitar, by Jose Ramirez II, he didn't think that shellac was a suitable finish for a guitar. From what I read in the American Luthier magazine, many Spanish makers today send out their guitars to be finished with catalyzed urethane, which I understand is highly toxic to apply. Apparently you have to be suited up with a self contained breathing apparatus when you enter the spray both! Wow! You have to watch the beautiful video
of the workshop at Ramirez guitars, http://www.guitarrasramirez.com/video.html

I'm getting better at this technique called french polishing and I enjoy it far more then trying to brush on some other varnish, I just wish I had tried it sooner!

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