French Polish Tote

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Project by shipwright posted 01-31-2013 06:44 AM 2083 views 14 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 fiberglass trees.

17 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8430 posts in 3086 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


14699 posts in 2368 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

17876 posts in 1372 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.

1526 posts in 1509 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


856 posts in 2113 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 , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View SPalm's profile


5173 posts in 2916 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 2957 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


8520 posts in 2682 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

13995 posts in 2139 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


3400 posts in 1857 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


13737 posts in 1724 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


6174 posts in 1832 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 fiberglass trees.

View Roger's profile


17666 posts in 1838 days

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

A nice finishing caddie Paul.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View gfadvm's profile


13737 posts in 1724 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


5435 posts in 3111 days

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

you are a freaking genius.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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