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Thread: Dull spot while french polishing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Default Dull spot while french polishing?

    So I started french polishing a ukulele the other day. This is my first attempt at actually french polishing something, and everything was going well until I noticed a large dull spot on the top. The back and sides look great, so I can't figure out why this happened. Any advice to fix it would be greatly appreciated

    image0[1].jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Little River, California
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    Wow. That is a rather large dull spot alright. My thought is that something got on the wood there that is inhibiting the alcohol from absorbing into the wood. Glue perhaps? Wax? Fixing it depends on how deep it penetrated into the wood if that is what is causing the spot. If it was me I would sand down to bare wood and do a test until it started to absorb evenly. Maybe others have a better idea.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post
    Wow. That is a rather large dull spot alright. My thought is that something got on the wood there that is inhibiting the alcohol from absorbing into the wood. Glue perhaps? Wax? Fixing it depends on how deep it penetrated into the wood if that is what is causing the spot. If it was me I would sand down to bare wood and do a test until it started to absorb evenly. Maybe others have a better idea.
    Should I just sand down the dull spot and then brush on shellac to match the thickness before going back to french polishing?

  4. #4
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    Oct 2014
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    Sure if you can get away with that and don't have to go too deep. Otherwise you will have to take the entire finish off if it doesn't match.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2013
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    Trois-rivieres,Quebec
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    When I have a dull spot in FP it is usually because I have used too much alcohol and rubbed to heavily. So I remove shellac instead of buiding it.
    Put light coats rather dry on the dull spot and let dry several hours between session.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2012
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    Napa Valley
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    What method of FP? What mix, and what was the prep?

  7. #7
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    Aug 2018
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    I was french polishing with a pad, 2lb cut, wood was sanded to 220. Alain Lambert was right, I was rubbing too quickly and had too much alcohol/shellac. I lightly sanded the spot dry with 600 grit sandpaper, and reapplied shellac very dry and it the sheen came back.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    image0[1].jpg

    Here's where i'm at on the uke, although it took some work to do and fix, I'm very happy with the finish. I've struggled to find a finish I enjoy doing, but I think this'll be my go to from now on. Although it has a steep learning curve, it's very forgiving.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam.R.B View Post
    image0[1].jpg

    Here's where i'm at on the uke, although it took some work to do and fix, I'm very happy with the finish. I've struggled to find a finish I enjoy doing, but I think this'll be my go to from now on. Although it has a steep learning curve, it's very forgiving.
    Nice work, and thanks for sharing your solution and your uke

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Petaluma, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam.R.B View Post
    image0[1].jpg

    Here's where i'm at on the uke, although it took some work to do and fix, I'm very happy with the finish. I've struggled to find a finish I enjoy doing, but I think this'll be my go to from now on. Although it has a steep learning curve, it's very forgiving.
    I am not a pro or have the time demands of one, so French Polishing is what I use. I really like to see the wood come through right under my hand. Yes you do get in touch with the process.

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