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Thread: French polish or Padding...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    French polish or Padding...

    I understand it's not really French unless pumice is used, but whichever it is, I tried the technique on a cherry table that I built, and am so-so happy with the outcome. I have embedded "swirls" that won't come out,even when I did the alcohol-only pads... with a touch of oil for lube. I got a real nice shine and deep finish, but the swirls are seen..not badly, but noticable.... where did I mess up? I mixed fresh shellac... waited a day between steps(varying amounts of mixture).. my arm is sore, but I gotta make this right...it's a gift for my better-halfs' B-day TOMORROW!!!
    "Treat everyone equally,keep your word, and overlook peoples' mistakes...you'll make plenty yourself "..... spoken to me by a much wiser man than I.

  2. #2
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    I've not done any french polishing. I'd send a PM to Dave Hawskins. I'm sure he'll be able to help you out.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Well, I'm not an expert but I have done some FP. A couple thoughts- maybe you were pressing too hard on the pad or stopped the pad before lifting it off the surface? Also, the final strokes ("spiriting") are always with the grain. Or, maybe too much pumice was used (I only use the pumice during the initial sessions (for pore filling)). At this point, you might have to do some very light sanding (> 400 grit) or better, maybe just some pumicing with the grain to eliminate the swirls. I bet it'll look drop-dead gorgeous when done.

    FWIW, here's the method I've (more or less) used for FP on instruments and furniture:
    http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html

  4. #4
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    I do a lot of French Polishing. it takes a lot of practice and the right steps to make it look good. This can not be tough over the internet you have to learn hands on with an accomplished polisher. Or just make a lot of mistakes and learn from them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hawksford View Post
    I do a lot of French Polishing. it takes a lot of practice and the right steps to make it look good. This can not be tough over the internet you have to learn hands on with an accomplished polisher. Or just make a lot of mistakes and learn from them.
    I've found that's the case with a LOT of WW issues....

    I can see the reward in it, as well as the headaches...
    "Treat everyone equally,keep your word, and overlook peoples' mistakes...you'll make plenty yourself "..... spoken to me by a much wiser man than I.

  6. #6
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    James, I'm no help with French polishing, but the question of the day:

    Did she like it? I hope she is having a great birthday.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    James, I'm no help with French polishing, but the question of the day:

    Did she like it? I hope she is having a great birthday.
    thanks...and yes she did!!!

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by James Edwards; 08-19-2009 at 01:11 AM.
    "Treat everyone equally,keep your word, and overlook peoples' mistakes...you'll make plenty yourself "..... spoken to me by a much wiser man than I.

  8. #8
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    James I can tell you that you need to make your padding strokes longer as you add coats. With light sanding after each 3rd or 4th coat. Then use Liberon 0000 steel wool with a good wax and buff it out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hawksford View Post
    James I can tell you that you need to make your padding strokes longer as you add coats. With light sanding after each 3rd or 4th coat. Then use Liberon 0000 steel wool with a good wax and buff it out.
    gotcha,Dave... I hadn't read anything about sanding, so I didn't do that... I should 've known to use the 0000 tho, as I remember my Grandfather using it religiously....
    "Treat everyone equally,keep your word, and overlook peoples' mistakes...you'll make plenty yourself "..... spoken to me by a much wiser man than I.

  10. #10
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    Wondering what oil you were using? When I used to use Boiled Linseed Oil I got swirls quite often. I switched over to using mineral oil and that helped a whole lot. I, too, have only used pumice for the initial application on deep grained wood to fill the grain faster.
    Jerry

    http://www.sawdustersplace.com

    "If politics wasn't built on careful deception it wouldn't need its own word and techniques. It would just be called honesty, education, and leadership."
    Bob "Phydeaux" Stewart one day on Woodnet

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