Guitars #2: French polish using super blonde shellac

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Blog entry by Loren posted 04-11-2013 02:08 AM 1719 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: 7 string classical guitar Part 2 of Guitars series Part 3: Laying out the 7 string nut »

Finish isn’t done yet, but starting to look and feel real nice.

6 comments so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1835 posts in 1993 days

#1 posted 04-11-2013 12:03 PM

Loren. That looks great. I make my living teaching and playing classical guitar. So I am asking as a player; is it a 650 scale? Or is it smaller. I notice also up close to the body it follows the neck along the heal there. Did you derive the shape on your own, or is this a copy of something that you have seen. Either way I like it. Would love to hear it

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1835 posts in 1993 days

#2 posted 04-11-2013 01:32 PM

Also is that a 7 string? Adding the low B or a high A. Just professional curiosity and my GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome) kicking in

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3109 days

#3 posted 04-11-2013 02:57 PM

Nothing like damning us with faint praise. Wish more of my finishes would start out looking like that, but I am
getting there. The guitar build is not in my near future, but my wife who is a drummer, and plays the guitar
and piano also, likes the look of your guitar, but will not trust me with remodeling our kitchen cabinets, because
I have been helping a friend for four months with his custom quartersawn red oak kitchen and we just finished
the final spraying of 83 door and drawer panels, and are putting the walls and ceiling sheetrock back up in
the kitchen after adding new outlets, insulation and lighting. She thinks it should have been finished 2 months
ago. Maybe I will try building a guitar instead.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Loren's profile (online now)


10476 posts in 3671 days

#4 posted 04-11-2013 05:44 PM

650mm. There are unusual cutaway sound ports… the heel is pretty normal I think.
The teardrop sound ports are not my idea but they are very uncommon.

It is a 7 string. I’ll probably tune it with a low B and in 4ths.

I don’t usually french polish with shellac… it takes too much time,
but I suck at spraying.

View rrdesigns's profile


531 posts in 3209 days

#5 posted 04-12-2013 03:21 AM

I’ve attempted a French polish twice now with mixed results. Biggest struggle is getting the sheen even and keeping the coats thin enough that you can not see any streaking. Any suggestions? Yours is looking pretty good so far.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

View Loren's profile (online now)


10476 posts in 3671 days

#6 posted 04-12-2013 03:59 AM

Well, I’m not after perfection for one thing. You do have to lay it on
in circular patterns and apply a little pressure to compress the layers.
After it starts to get sticky you can pull it out into straight lines with
the grain. A little oil helps but it’s not needed if you get a feel
for what’s going on under the pad. If you use the oil you have
to spirit the oil off.

Beyond that, it is actually possible to build it thick enough that
you can sand it level just like lacquer and buff it.

I think I’m using a 2 lb. cut. I’ve done it with a thinner cut before
and it’s really tedious to get it to build up.

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