First French Polish Project

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Project by Jarred posted 10-21-2012 04:52 PM 1196 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first (and only, to date) French polished project. The box is made of curly walnut, padauk, and curly maple inlay. The box is about 11.5 inches wide, 9.5 inches deep, and 6 inches tall. The feet, clasp, and mortised hinges are brass. The interior is faux suede. Woodburned into the sides where the lid meets the lower box are my mottos: “No Reserve. No Retreat. No Regrets” and “Don’t Trifle.”

Each box I make I try to include at least one technique I haven’t tried before. This is the first time I have done inlay banding. Also the first time I’ve French polished something besides a couple of scrap pieces. That was a real learning experience. I used the article on French polishing guitars by Orville and Robert Milburn at as a guide. It’s a great step-by-step and was very helpful for me. It’s amazing how very subtle areas of unevenness become very prominent when French polishing.

It’s pretty hard to show how amazing the finish looks at the end. Very, very time consuming, tedious at points, totally worth it.

The 4th picture shows a preview of my next project. Not quite done with tung oil finish yet.

For woods like padauk, redheart, purpleheart, etc I will coat with ArmorAll as a UV protectant and then fine sand prior to finishing to at least delay oxidation and color change.

Thanks for looking!

-- No reserve. No retreat. No regrets.

5 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


5431 posts in 1584 days

#1 posted 10-21-2012 05:21 PM

Well done Jarred, The French polish looks good.
I will second the referral to the Milburn Guitars link on the technique. It’s as good as I’ve seen.
It is hard to photograph a finish like that but try placing something colorful on the top of the box and photograph from an angle that shows a sharp reflection.
Just a thought

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View TomTinkerSum's profile


220 posts in 2621 days

#2 posted 10-21-2012 05:58 PM

Wow!! Great box! Love the edge banding contrast of the maple to really offset the top.

Beautiful box. Thanks for sharing.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View Grumpymike's profile (online now)


1249 posts in 1101 days

#3 posted 10-22-2012 12:29 AM

What a wonderful finale to a fine project. the edge banding really pops, and i’m amazed that it’s on the beveled edge … great, just ‘plane’ great.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 1905 days

#4 posted 10-22-2012 12:46 AM

Looking real Good, Great style and execution here, another beautiful box You have created, Great job, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View gfadvm's profile


11824 posts in 1476 days

#5 posted 10-22-2012 02:29 AM

That inlay on the beveled edge is a very nice touch. Finish looks great as well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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