Skip to main content

Tips on French Polishing

(Hector) Berlioz himself was a guitarist-not in Paganini's class, perhaps, but from all accounts a remarkable player.

Frederic V. Grunfeld, The Art and Times of the Guitar, 1969





A few tips on french polish.


Tip #1: if your wife is into fiber arts (spinning, knitting and beading) like mine ask her for some wool from a fleece she has sitting in one of her trunks. Wash the wool making sure that you don't felt any of it and let it dry.





Borrow her cards (this reminds me of when I showed Suffolk sheep in 4H when I was a kid, I had to cut and card the wool to the right height in order to place well in the show) and card the wool to a nice fluffy state.





The wool in my right hand is uncarded, the wool in my left hand is carded.





Tip #2: Place the wool in a 4x4 inch piece of Irish linen hankerchief material, I know that it is pricey, I paid almost $25 a yard for the stuff, but it is worth every penny of it! It's available at www.elfriedesfinefabrics.com in Boulder, Colorado.





Add 1.5ml of EverClear then 1ml of 2lb cut shellac, make your pad and start polishing. I was amazed at how well the Irish linen works as a pad cover, you can't go wrong with this stuff.





(Ron: This photo is for you. I spent an hour this evening working on the cedar/maple guitar and the finish is building up nicely again after the crack repair. I'll work on french polishing the neck tomorrow night and then work on the body on successive nights. It is such a wonderful guitar, when I work on it I think about when my friend, Leo, gave me the maple board for the back and sides, finding the right cedar shakes for the top, resawing out the back and sides, assembling the whole dang thing. And it sounds wonderful to boot!)


Tip #3: Buy and watch Ron Fernandez's DVD on French Polishing for Guitar Makers!


Rob Reid at classicalguitartraining.com just linked one of my posts to his site and asked me if I would do a Part 2 on the basic tool kit for guitar making. I will, so stay posted. In the mean time, if you want to make a guitar buy Wm. Cumpiano's Guitarmaking and Making Master Guitars by Roy Courtnall, those books will tell you everything that you need!

Here's a YouTube of Reid performing a work by Jorge Morel. Enjoy!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Off the Bench and For Sale: Miguel Rodriguez Style Guitar

This guitar has a Western Red Cedar top, Claro walnut back and sides, Royal ebony fretboard, Indian rosewood bridge and a 650mm string length.

This guitar has a beautiful voice and is loud! I was amazed at how loud it is as soon as I got the strings on and tuned to concert pitch. It is easy to play and I am blown away by the musical nuances that can be created with this guitar.

Please click on Guitars Currently Available or Studio Model to read more about this wonderful guitar!



1961 Hernandez y Aguado Style Classical Guitar, Redwood/Indian Rosewood, For Sale

The partnership of Manuel Hernandez and Victoriano Aguado was one of the most successful in guitar making history.

Roy Courtnall, Making Master Guitars, 1993

Please note that this guitar is currently for sale at Savage Classical Guitar. Please click here to see this guitar!

I made this guitar several years ago, but because of custom orders, I had to set it aside. I put strings on it two weeks ago and it is a most magnificent sounding guitar! It has good, clear separation string to string, wonderful sustain with evenness and balance throughout with a very lyrical voice. I originally made this guitar for myself, but someone with a good strong technique and a good understanding of musical interpretation should own this guitar and play it on a regular basis.



This guitar is a fairly close copy of a guitar made by Hernandez y Aguado in 1961. The body length is 480mm, most of the HyA guitars had a body length of 490mm; string length is 650mm, many were 655mm and longer; other than that I trie…

Late Summer, Early Fall and a Spruce/Ziricote Classical Guitar

Thus begins what many residents feel is the Southern Rockies' most beautiful time of the year - Indian summer.

Audrey DeLella Benedict, The Southern Rockies, 1991


It is sunny today with bluebird skies highlighting the golds and oranges of the aspen trees.

Fog covered our little hollow all day yesterday, the sun came out at exactly 4:45pm and shone upon us for fifteen minutes, then the clouds came back.



The aspens and ferns in the backyard...



A few wildflowers are blooming, like this harebell...


Our little flower garden is going to seed...



I dropped six ponderosa pine on our property last week for firewood and fire mitigation, as you can see I have much work to do splitting and stacking the firewood.


This is the latest guitar on the bench, a 1961 Hernandez y Aguado style guitar, with a Colorado Engelmann spruce top...



and ziricote back and sides.

I am in the process of pore filling, later this week I will start the French polish.

It has an incredibly loud tap tone, it will be wond…