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Thread: Is French Polish too fragile to be practical?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    3,717

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    IMHO true FP is a weaK finish IF you are a consumer of alcohol - particularly spirits, they will sweat onto the neck and other parts of the uke a 'solvent' that will turn the FP into mush over time. Like all truly organic finishes it is great to look at, and, if it is never handled will remain fabulous. It is the only finish that provides a depth and luminosity that enhances the grain and figure of a piece. BUT, and I had French Polishers finish my furniture when I made it (who were also ace off-the-gun sprayers) so this comes straight form the horses mouth.. I quote from Dave: "it is a finish which needs constant maintainance. Every year, we (that was Dave and Colin his business partner and ace French polisher also) had to go up to London to all our bosses clients' to refresh the skirting boards and architraves, dressers, chairs, tables and beds.... basically all the furniture and woodwork that had been French polished. This piano (pointing to a grand piano that they were black French Polishing working either side and meeting in the middle with no evidence of a join) has an 'acid finish' which gives it this really bright look. In 6 month's time it will need doing again. Try and persuade your clients to have a modern finish...."

    Although environmentally friendly, superior in look when it is done right (spiriting off to amalgamate all of the applications and remove the lubricated mineral oil that should be used in the classic technique) it is fragile... Very few clients would take the care to keep an FP finish pristine so nitro it is for its working properties and durability in my workshop. All the best with discovering how to use this finish.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hamburg, Germany
    Posts
    921

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    We used to use parafin oil for lubrication but meanwhile have switched to walnut oil. We still spirit off some of the oil, some stays in the finish.

    We've also tried mixing in the oil (walnut oil and turpentine) with the shellac and the mixture was very nice, went on well, looked beautiful, but.... took about six months to cure completely.
    Last edited by erich@muttcrew.net; 05-04-2012 at 03:51 AM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    439

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    . . . in that case you need a UV cabinet. They can be made pretty cheaply. I made one for ageing spruce and drying oil varnishes.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Hamburg, Germany
    Posts
    921

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    Good idea - may do that some day.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Southwest Ohio, USA
    Posts
    177

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    I picked some walnut oil on sale from Woodcraft today. It's made by Mike Mahoney, a Utah-based bowl turner. It says pure, filtered, heat treated and completely natural. I'll give it a try and see what happens. Great reading all of the interesting replies to my post! Thanks.

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