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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:38 am 
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Hello,

I'm following Robbie O'Brien's French polishing video. I've got through multiple build and leveling phases on the back of the instrument. I'm happy with the amount of finish on it and it looks good and level. I used 800 grit paper to level between build phases (gasp! beehive).

Now I'm on to the spiriting off phase. What I find is that there are small streaks or ridges being left behind after spiriting off. I *think* this is coming from my muneca which is linen (recommended by Robbie). I got the tightest weave linen I could find. should I plan to level it after spiriting with 1000, 1500, 2000, etc....? Robbie doesn't do that in the video. I cannot figure out how he's getting a smooth glassy look after spiriting off with the linen muneca.

Ideas are appreciated.

Brad

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Here is a pic, hopefully you can see the streaks. Almost looks like fine brush strokes.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:36 pm 
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bcombs510 wrote:
Image

Here is a pic, hopefully you can see the streaks. Almost looks like fine brush strokes.


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Looks like the muneca was too wet with alcohol or too much pressure used while it was wet. Alcohol instantly dissolves shellac so you can't use any pressure till the muneca is almost dry.



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:38 pm 
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I agree with Mike's diagnosis, I follow Robbie's method and I can reduce the pad mark's by spending quite a bit a time in multiple spiriting off sessions polishing after the pad drys. As the pad drys I apply more more and pressure and keep going. Still, having said that my FP do not look like sanded and buffed sprayed lacquer. So your idea of a sanding schedule through buffing is a fine idea if you want a perfect looking finish. Cyndy Burton sands her french polish on the guitars she finishes for her husband Jeff Elliot, including a final sanding and buffing after the guitar has sat for awhile. She has been French Polishing guitars for a long time.

I personally like the pad marks (probably a bit self serving) but people know right away my classical guitars have been french polished.

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These users thanked the author johnparchem for the post (total 2): Imbler (Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:23 pm) • bcombs510 (Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:40 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:45 pm 
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Thanks to you both! I'm experimenting on this uke with the hopes of FP'ing a couple dreads this winter. I'll light level with 1000 and try again with less pressure and wait for the pad to dry some more before adding pressure. If the results are the same I'll resort to the sandpaper.

John, regarding buffing.... I would take it up to 2K paper and then buff with Menzerna GW16 & Atol6. I know this is serious blasphemy, but... sound ok?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:57 pm 
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Not blasphemy at all. In his course, Tom Bills levels with 1000 grit twice during the process, and then does a final sanding with a fine grit of micromesh (can't remember off the top of my head which) before polishing with some compounds.



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:34 pm 
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I'm not familiar with the video but I would say yes that looks like it's from your pad. Make sure you use a new cover for every spiriting off session. After I do a final leveling I spirit off then go right into glazing and use a new cover, or at least another new part of the same cover, every time and that has helped.



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:59 pm 
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bcombs510 wrote:
... John, regarding buffing.... I would take it up to 2K paper and then buff with Menzerna GW16 & Atol6. I know this is serious blasphemy, but... sound ok?
Sounds good to me!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:09 pm 
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Tom Bills suggests 8 sessions of fp, sanding with 1000 grit (lightly), 5-6 more sessions, then sanding with 32-3600 micromesh(wet), then another 5 sessions, as required. But the last sessions are very dry. Very dry. Let sit for a couple of days, then buff out by hand with Novus. Eugene Clark would then add, rub gently with your choice of buffing compound on toilet paper to really bring out the shine.

I've been following this schedule, and I'm really pleased with the results.

I'd also highly recommend Tom Bills' online course. I find it much more comprehensive than the Robbie OBrien one.

Tom Bills may be the single most anal guy I've ever seen in a course like this. And I mean that in a good way :-)

Steve



These users thanked the author JSDenvir for the post (total 2): bcombs510 (Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:07 pm) • James Orr (Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:24 pm)
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:51 pm 
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+1 on the Bills course. He is SUPER ANAL!!!! But the results are spectacular. You are free to be less anal and still get great results. I'm personally DONE with spraying. Just like Bills, I love the fact that I now have a finishing process that is peaceful, healthy, gets reliable results and doesn't need dedicated space. The only substitution is that I use Royal Lac on the last coats rather than adding in a little walnut oil.

As for your guitar, I don't mean to pile on but it looks like you were WAY to wet. I can't remember who told me this (I don't think Bills) but the pad should never feel "wet" on your skin when spiriting off. It should only feel "cool" with alcohol.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:07 pm 
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like everyone else, the pads too wet. But I will add that if the pad feels like it's grabbing, just walk away and come back later after things have had a time to flash off.
That's good to hear about the Bill's class.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:27 pm 
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Thanks, all. I'll go back over it with a dry pad and see how it goes. My understanding is that I can go back to the spiriting step as often as is needed.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:38 am 
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I actually embrace those 'pad lines', in fact I deliberately include them. The 'trick' is to make them look as though it's intentional (so no whip marks!), it's done in very straight, slightly overlapping lines, always with the grain. It has the effect of scattering the light and results in a slightly softer looking finish. I'm afraid I'm not one for the extremely highly polished wood that looks like it's covered in a candy finish. Sorry but I know there are plenty of people who think that type of finish is the ultimate. To me, it's a very boring and cold looking finish.
If you want the flatter glossier finish then it's very easy to recover from where you are now. Those lines are nowhere near as prominent as they seem. If you left the finish as it is now you will find that it will change over the next month as the finish hardens and sinks a bit. That's also a method to get a flatter finish, allowing the finish to sink and harden before flattening it. How you finish with the pad and how soon you flatten the finish gives you control over the final effect - however temporary that may be.



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:08 pm 
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JSDenvir wrote:
Tom Bills suggests 8 sessions of fp, sanding with 1000 grit (lightly), 5-6 more sessions, then sanding with 32-3600 micromesh(wet), then another 5 sessions, as required. But the last sessions are very dry. Very dry. Let sit for a couple of days, then buff out by hand with Novus. Eugene Clark would then add, rub gently with your choice of buffing compound on toilet paper to really bring out the shine.

I've been following this schedule, and I'm really pleased with the results.

I'd also highly recommend Tom Bills' online course. I find it much more comprehensive than the Robbie OBrien one.

Tom Bills may be the single most anal guy I've ever seen in a course like this. And I mean that in a good way :-)

Steve


Is the monthly subscription the only way to access this course? I don't really want to sign up for 30 bucks a month. :)




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:44 pm 
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bcombs510 wrote:
JSDenvir wrote:
Tom Bills suggests 8 sessions of fp, sanding with 1000 grit (lightly), 5-6 more sessions, then sanding with 32-3600 micromesh(wet), then another 5 sessions, as required. But the last sessions are very dry. Very dry. Let sit for a couple of days, then buff out by hand with Novus. Eugene Clark would then add, rub gently with your choice of buffing compound on toilet paper to really bring out the shine.

I've been following this schedule, and I'm really pleased with the results.

I'd also highly recommend Tom Bills' online course. I find it much more comprehensive than the Robbie OBrien one.

Tom Bills may be the single most anal guy I've ever seen in a course like this. And I mean that in a good way :-)

Steve


Is the monthly subscription the only way to access this course? I don't really want to sign up for 30 bucks a month. :)




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Sign up, do the course, and quit. That is what I did. Well worth $30.

Yes he is hoping you do the gym membership thing where you forget to cancel, or maybe it takes you four months to actually finish a guitar and you keep going back. But there is nothing stopping you from quitting the program once you have gotten through the course.

If you do sign up I recommend having a guitar ready to finish and work along side him. I took good notes, but once you cancel your subscription you can't go back and re-watch a step. Fortunately I had a guitar ready before the month was up and was able to go through it again guitar in hand.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:57 pm 
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I can second the Bills course. Tons of useful info


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:22 am 
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SnowManSnow wrote:
I can second the Bills course. Tons of useful info


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Yeah, I got my Tom Bills starter kit today from Amazon.

Image

I can't believe how much that guy looks like Patrick Dempsey in Can't Buy Me Love. I can see him on a riding mower driving to his shop.

Seriously though, he's like the zen master of guitar making videos.

The audio quality is good and the level of detail is quite good as well. I've watched the relevant parts of the course and will start a body with oil session this evening.

Oh, and don't forget the Bounty paper towels. Being from Cincinnati, the HQ for Proctor and Gamble, I feel I owe it to him to try to get him an introduction to their marketing department. He needs a sponsorship. :D

Brad


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:44 pm 
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rlrhett wrote:
If you do sign up I recommend having a guitar ready to finish and work along side him. I took good notes, but once you cancel your subscription you can't go back and re-watch a step. Fortunately I had a guitar ready before the month was up and was able to go through it again guitar in hand.


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There are always work-arounds...

https://www.flashbackrecorder.com/express/

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:55 pm 
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I just finished up the first body + oil session. So far it's going ok. I was most certainly working with things too wet before. Way too wet.

Image


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:24 pm 
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Looks incredible!



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:41 am 
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Looks great Brad!!!



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:18 pm 
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Looking good Brad!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:05 am 
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bcombs510 wrote:
Hello,

I'm following Robbie O'Brien's French polishing video. I've got through multiple build and leveling phases on the back of the instrument. I'm happy with the amount of finish on it and it looks good and level. I used 800 grit paper to level between build phases (gasp! beehive).

Now I'm on to the spiriting off phase. What I find is that there are small streaks or ridges being left behind after spiriting off. I *think* this is coming from my muneca which is linen (recommended by Robbie). I got the tightest weave linen I could find. should I plan to level it after spiriting with 1000, 1500, 2000, etc....? Robbie doesn't do that in the video. I cannot figure out how he's getting a smooth glassy look after spiriting off with the linen muneca.

Ideas are appreciated.

Brad



Final
Wet sending with Walnut Oil with 2000 and 3000 grit paper after that apply Novus 2 as a final coat with fresh munneca and make sure do not use much, only one drop is enough for whole body.

I am not a master of french polish but I heard this from some groups


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Still coming along, I've got the second set of body coats on. I'll hit it with micromesh after the weekend.

Brad


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:33 am 
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klooker wrote:
rlrhett wrote:
If you do sign up I recommend having a guitar ready to finish and work along side him. I took good notes, but once you cancel your subscription you can't go back and re-watch a step. Fortunately I had a guitar ready before the month was up and was able to go through it again guitar in hand.


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There are always work-arounds...

https://www.flashbackrecorder.com/express/

I'm not sure we should be advocating pirating copyrighted material from fellow hard-working luthiers.


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