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Anyone using the "polissoir"?

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Forum topic by bobro posted 11-29-2014 12:06 AM 1683 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bobro

308 posts in 770 days


11-29-2014 12:06 AM

How can anyone resist making a tool that rhymes with “pissoir”?

So I made one, tried it a bit on some pine. It’s definitely different than just rubbing on wax, I think it actually forces the wax into the wood. Anyone using one? What do think of it, any tips?

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.


10 replies so far

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richardwootton

1699 posts in 1415 days


#1 posted 11-29-2014 12:19 AM

I haven’t used one yet, but have been wanting to try. Do you have any pictures of the one you made?

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

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bobro

308 posts in 770 days


#2 posted 11-29-2014 12:29 AM

Yes, but my phone died and I can’t send the photo. The new phone I bought doesn’t have a camera- “gimmee the cheapest one you have”. So I’ll have to borrow a phone or camera. I made the “redneck polissoir” I saw on the internet, it’s just a bunch of broom bristles bound with those metal ties I can’t remember the name of in English, hose clamps or something. Left the bristles long on one end, it’s probably the homeliest polissoir ever made.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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bbrown

173 posts in 3012 days


#3 posted 11-29-2014 02:34 PM

I also made my own from whisk broom bristles. I asked this question about 6 months ago on the SAPFM Forum and really did not get any interesting answers. I did see a YouTube video by Don Williams
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5al4CtLFebU

There’s an article by Chris Schwarz at Pop Wood as well.


Anyway, I did a little experimenting and so far I really cannot see much use for it. But I have not given it an extensive effort.

—Bill

-- Forest, Virginia ; Micah 6:8

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bobro

308 posts in 770 days


#4 posted 11-29-2014 02:51 PM

Decades ago I read that in the 18th century they would rub fine brick dust with wax into the pores of hardwood- experimenting with the polissoir, I think this would be the tool.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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Sylvain

639 posts in 1959 days


#5 posted 11-30-2014 04:40 PM

the garden hose clamps will not be comfortable

Gregg Merritt shows how to make it with good old navy knots.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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bobro

308 posts in 770 days


#6 posted 11-30-2014 07:50 PM

Yes- the worm gear hose clamp is actually fine, but only in one grip, which isn’t going to fly beyond a little experimentation. Marman clamps would probably be fine, but if this thing looks like it’s going to be useful, I’ll tie one up properly.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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Sylvain

639 posts in 1959 days


#7 posted 12-01-2014 05:29 PM

According to Roubo,
polissoirs are made with a particular kind of rush:
“La prêle ou aprêle, fig. 7, aussi appellée queue de cheval , & en latin equisetum ” etc
(page 859, planche 296 L’art du menuisier ébeniste ).

According to the French wiki article about this rush, it contains silica which explains its abrasive properties:

“Le mot prêle est la contraction de asprele qui dérive du latin asper [rude, rugueux] en rapport avec la propriété abrasive de ces plantes riches en silice.”

See also “Full Chisel Blog” . This post is anterior by a few month to the mention of polissoir by CS. One of the commenter said :
“While these are still green, bundle them up tightly with cord (like a smudge stick) in equal lengths of about 6″ and 2-3″ in dia….Use the ends to scour. I’ve been using them to polish burl for ages.”

Roubo warns against using the ring between two sections as it would be much harder and would scratch lines.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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bobro

308 posts in 770 days


#8 posted 12-01-2014 06:02 PM

Well that explains a lot- it’s horse grass, “horsetails”!

Going to have to wait until spring to pick some of that up at the pond.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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Sylvain

639 posts in 1959 days


#9 posted 12-01-2014 06:15 PM

Roubo says (free translation)
Before its use, soak the polissoir with melted wax. Let it cool down. Rub on a planed board to make it even and fit to the polishing work

wax finishing
1 using a scraper
2 using sea dog hide as sand paper
3 using equisetum ( see previous comment) as sand paper
4 waxing with the polissoir ( the friction produces heat but not enough to unglue the veneering)
5 scraping the wax excess with a wax scraper (a scraper with rounded edges)
6 buffing with “serge” (serge is a cloth a bit rough like denim)

I may be wrong in my previous comment as Roubo says the polissoir is made of ordinary rush. (Whatever it is).

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

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bobro

308 posts in 770 days


#10 posted 12-01-2014 07:01 PM

Okay, the horsetails are an abrasive and the polissoir is made of rush. So I don’t see any reason not to use ordinary broom corn for the polissoir.

I wonder if they used just plain beeswax- I’ve used it before and it’s fine, you just have to melt it a bit and rub very hard, but the polissoir should make that a lot easier.

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

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