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Showing posts from February, 2016

My French Polishing Technique Has Taken On An English Air...

French polish can, of course, be perfectly successful as a finish.

Charles H. Hayward, Staining and Polishing, 1946


I am always tweaking my French polishing technique.

After working six-seven months out of the year as a historic preservation carpenter, I pretty much have to re-learn how to French polish when I get back into my shop. It is something I have to keep working at all the time.

I have and do experiment with techniques espoused by different authors on the subject, I still think that Ron Fernandez's video on French polish is one of the best, but often times what works for one person doesn't work for me.

Here are a few things that have worked for me:

Pumice, alcohol and a little bit of shellac make a great filler. Coating the wood first with egg white makes the filler a little bit harder. I no longer use any "synthetic" wood filler.

Olive oil works best for me, I haven't had much success with mineral oil.

Patience is the best ingredient for a successful f…

On the Bench: Miguel Rodriguez Style Guitar, Western Red Cedar and Indian Rosewood

As one of the supremely expressive musical voices of humanity, the classic guitar continues to fascinate and persuade.

Graham Wade, A Concise History of the Classic Guitar, 2001



Today, I will finish the back bindings on this guitar.



It has a hand split, near master grade Western red cedar top with "wild grown" East Indian rosewood back and sides.

The handcrafted rosette is a close copy of a rosette used by Francisco Simplicio, Ignacio Fleta and several master guitar makers in Barcelona, Spain.



In his article on Rodriguez flamenco guitars, Ron Fernandez states that he remembers that the guitars he saw in the Rodriquez shop in the 1960's were braced with five "fan" braces, two diagonal "cut off" braces, two main transverse braces and diagonal sound hole reinforcements that are inlet into the heel block. There was no bridge patch. To read the full article click here.

This statement intrigued me, because the famous Rodriguez guitars of the 1970's and …

Pore Filling with Aqua Coat Wood Grain Filler

The main purpose of a filler is that of filling the pores of the timber in order to save polishing costs, both material and time.

Charles H. Hayward, Staining and Polishing, 1959


I purchased a tub of Aqua Coat Wood Pore Filler last year with the idea of using it to fill wood pores instead of the traditional shellac and pumice treatment.

I tried it on some East Indian rosewood and was a little shocked at how much rosewood color the paste picked up and I was afraid that that color would bleed into the maple bindings so I abandoned the Aqua Coat.

Yesterday, I decided to try the wood filler again on a guitar that has Claro walnut back and sides.

I applied it according to the directions that a well known guitar maker posted in a short video on how to use the Aqua Coat and the results were terrible, the paste really didn't stay in the pores.

"No wonder so many people trash this product in the woodworking forums," I thought to myself. "but this stuff has got to work otherw…