French Polish Tote

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Project by shipwright posted 01-31-2013 06:44 AM 2504 views 13 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The topic of French polishing has come up on several threads lately. It made me think that some of you might be interested in this little tote that I made to keep my polishing bits and pieces together. I was introduced to the procedure last year at ASFM and got the general idea of the little squeeze bottles and a compact storage tote from Patrice who gave the instruction. The actual tote design is my own however.

The squeeze bottles on the front are for alcohol, pore-filling mix, pumice, shellac and mineral oil. There is an extra one that I will likely end up using as a second alcohol bottle as it seems to get used up the quickest.

The jars on the back are for pore-filling pads and bodying pads.

I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on the subject and even among those who are there as many methods as practitioners I think. At any rate here’s a little video of the way I do it. This was originally posted in my “Marie's Table” blog.

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Thanks for looking.


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

17 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10056 posts in 4021 days

#1 posted 01-31-2013 06:58 AM


Was that steel wool pad or a dark cloth pad?

You were keeping pretty good time with the music!

Was that a shellac coat?

You sure do good work!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3303 days

#2 posted 01-31-2013 07:31 AM

I’m sure I could do this Paul, as it is the same technique I use on the kitchen counters, lol. Now I just need a kit like yours. That sure is a fine looking tray, and with so much fantastic detail. I can admire and appreciate it even more now after working with my own little project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28964 posts in 2307 days

#3 posted 01-31-2013 08:02 AM

Good job being organized. Still trying to find my pencil :-)

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2444 days

#4 posted 01-31-2013 08:06 AM

Forget the french polish! Whatever it is you are varnishing is absolutely gorgeous.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Triumph1's profile


889 posts in 3048 days

#5 posted 01-31-2013 12:20 PM

Great way to keep everything handy. I know this sounds dumb but I found watching you french polish very relaxing. You are definitely a master at what you do.

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3851 days

#6 posted 01-31-2013 01:19 PM

You are such a class act.
Thanks for the inspiration.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3893 days

#7 posted 01-31-2013 01:36 PM

Can’t wait to learn. Nice tray I was just looking at the design in my the MARQUETRY by Pierre Ramond. I hope my efforts will yield close to those results I can’t imagine how many hours you have in that tray.

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3617 days

#8 posted 01-31-2013 02:31 PM

Paul, this looks very useful. it’s nice to have things grouped together like that for use/storage. nice work

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20314 posts in 3074 days

#9 posted 01-31-2013 04:21 PM

Sweet project. I love organizational projects…Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View peteg's profile


4276 posts in 2792 days

#10 posted 02-01-2013 02:11 AM

Always enjoy a “Master Class”, Mate we never tire of your lessons, Where elese would you have your material stored other than in a purpose made tote :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2659 days

#11 posted 02-01-2013 02:29 AM

Like the tote but love your polish finish. I’m still way behind on the learning curve but haven’t given up. You must have a lot more shellac in your pad as mine begins to stick/grab much sooner than yours (you never recharged it thru the whole video). Back to the shop for more practice for me!

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

View shipwright's profile


7967 posts in 2767 days

#12 posted 02-01-2013 05:14 AM

Thanks all

Joe It’s a bodying pad, linen on the outside and wool on the inside and yes, it is shellac with a tiny bit of mineral oil.

Jeff, French polishing is relaxing.

Mike, Bob, It’s not actually a tray it’s the top of my Music table.

Andy, If you are sticking, you may have too much shellac and not enough alcohol. I add several drops of 1.5# cut into the inner wool pad and then add alcohol a squirt at a time when it gets too dry. That much shellac will last quite a long time.

Thanks again

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

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2773 days

#13 posted 02-01-2013 03:38 PM

A nice finishing caddie Paul.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2659 days

#14 posted 02-02-2013 01:26 AM

Thanks Paul

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

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4046 days

#15 posted 02-05-2013 05:40 PM

you are a freaking genius.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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