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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:24 am 
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I am alive but still can't seem to fire on all cylinders. By today or Wednesday the Swap Donation shipments should have arrived. Please accept my sincere apologies for the trouble I have caused. NOW--- How many of you actually used U-Beaut Hard Shellac for a finish that "counted?" Do you know anyone else who has liked it as an instrument finish and wants to use it again?


    I have played around with the bottle that Tracy L. shared with me after buying it/them from Hesh. I found that it should be cut into half strength and even substantially finer for initial wash coats. I further found it to be fussy when rubbing unless it is cut. In my limited experience the use of oil(in my case walnut oil)doesn't have any detriment and spiriting is quick.

      I would really like to hear negatives, if any, from a luthier's perspective as well as any success stories. I may use mine up on the one guitar I have too far along to quit on.

                                    Thanks, Mike T.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:22 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Hesh
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Hey Mike - great to see you here my friend.  Check with Bob Connor in as much as he has been consistently producing world-class finishes with U-Beaut - very impressive, thin, and with a super high gloss.

I would be interested in using this product even though I passed on my two bottles which at the time was done because there was no reliable US distributor for U-Beaut and I was concerned about shelf life.  I hear nothing but rave reviews about it but as you know developing a finishing schedule takes time and experience and if the sources are unreliable it's difficult to justify standardizing on a product for use going forward.

Thanks for you efforts in pioneering how we might use this very fine product for guitar finishing.

Happy New Year too to you!!!



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:22 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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As I understand Bob uses Ubeaut neat from the bottle, no cutting, no rubbing, no oil, and no wash coat. Just 2 neat coats from a gun, leave it alone for at least a month to harden whilst polymerization takes place, (that is why it is called HARD shellac) and then buff it out.

I will leave it to Bob to elaborate but I do not think there is much more to it.

Cheers

Kim


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:05 am 
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Koa
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Mike - Kim pretty well summed up how I use it.

Straight from the bottle it's a 4lb cut so it will need thinning if you are going to french polish with it.

I'm happy enough with it. Here's some pics.







Bob

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Mahogany
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Hi Bob,


Could you please elaborate on the finishing schedule,


What have you used under it for pore filling where needed?


I want to use it on some tassie Blackwood.


Jeff



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:37 pm 
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Koa
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G'day Jeff

I'm just finishing a 12 string out of Blackwood.

Pore filled with Z-Poxy finishing resin then sanded back so the resin only remains in the pores.

2 coats of Hard Shellac straight from the bottle about 15 minutes apart.

Hang it for a month to allow the Shellac to cross-link.

Sand with ROS 400 grit to level.

I then sand with ROS micromesh 1000 and 2000 grit (Festool platin2)

Then off to the buffer with fine Menzerna compound.

Cheers

Bob

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Bob Connor
Geelong, Australia


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:28 pm 
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Koa
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I've done the same as Bob does.

I didn't hang mine for a month, I strung it up and played it for a month before buffing it out. Just because it's not fully cross linked doesn't mean it's too fragile to handle, it just ain't real hard yet.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:01 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Who carries it in the US at this point?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:54 am 
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An effort has been launched, however, it will be tough because air shipping/importing of lower flash point flammables is restrictive.

       Happy New Year!!!- A fair amount of time ago when there were the first postings, I corresponded with the Pres,/owner of U-Beaut about US distribution. Since Penn State Industries( seller of the only small batch of HS here) was the USA distributor they needed to indicate wherther they wanted to handle the non-polishing products. After a time, they gave the go ahead- they really didn't have interest in that market. That became very good news as Neil Ellis pondered whether to take me on board for the other products.

       For reasons I now know , Neil was busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

      Then came Swap and Sell. I really wanted the suff because I do have access to a gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer. I really did not want to step on Neil- it's just not me. Through some timing issues I could not buy Hesh's 2 bottles. LISTEN UP- this forum is dear to me and to many of us and finer people are hard to find. Tracy L. sent me one of the two bottles at cost. We wanted to get this stuff here. Tracy, independently of me, had corresponded with Neil but he too ended up without any definitive answers.

     We all know by now that I am not a born luthier- but, I'm darn good with setting up and using hand tools. I have a friend in Australia who knows Neil Ellis. That opened the door because he established my " bona-fides." The door opened and figuratively, Neil himself opened that door and shook hands with me- believe me, I was/am humbled and excited.

     Tracy is in line for some kind of beneficial thanks because he re-lit the torch. All have to realize, though that if I carry this off, it will likely need to include wholesaling to the big 2 and to US sellers of woodworking tools and materials. I need a customs agent,a license, specific determination of hazard level for air-freight, and all sorts of other bureaucratic stuff has to clear.

      Those who bought earlier may have gotten a price break since PSI already had its niche( wood-lathe turners). I am ballparking everything and the product will have to retail at about $30/500ml. Within the US laws, I will probably control retail price. The $$$ layout to get it here somewhat efficiently is substantial. When I hear back from agents and the like I will be in a better position to know if I can pull this off. I can't have it fall apart - I owe too much to Neil and to my friend in Australia- not $$$- respect and gratitude are the concerns.

      So, I do need to know whether people really would use this as a french polish, or shoot it as our present Australian friends do. I need to know whether luthiers demand this, or is it just a whim? It is truly harder and much more sturdy in the presence of eth and H2o. It survives multiple cut ratios and has a very long shelf life after opening.

      I wasn't trying to be sneaky with my post. This, and making wooden and infill planes may very well be my retirement and things are really in flux now. Questions? Regards, Mike


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:37 am 
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Koa
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Mike

I guess you already know that Neil has the largest woodworking forum in Australia with some 11,000 members.

Woodwork Forum

General consensus on that forum is that all of Neil's products including the Ubeaut Hard Shellac are brilliant.

It is certainly harder and and much, much more resistant to water and alcohol than traditional french polish. In fact it is very popular here in Australia with furniture restorers for refinishing horizontal surfaces ie table tops, sideboards etc for that very reason.

If you did end up importing it to the States I think that the larger part of your market could well end up being for non-luthier related finishing depending on how you market it.

Many of the woodworkers here use it as a french polish and thin it to a 1 1/2 lb or 2lb cut.

We buy it in 5 litre containers. The current container is a little over 12 months old and is still fine.

How the finish holds up over a number of years remains to be seen. It is a relatively new product so there is no way we can know what it'll be like on an instrument in 20 years time.

I know Graham MacDonald did have a problem with the Hard Shellac finish on one of his mandolins.

Details are here

Graham MacDonald

Cheers

Bob

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Bob Connor
Geelong, Australia


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:14 am 
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Hi Mike,

Good to see you back on the OLF. I got my package from the swap meet the other day and I'll send you an email. I love the chisels and the walnut set.

I'll be french polishing my builds and I would be some U-Beaut when/if it becomes available. Since I'm only a beginning hobbyist, I wouldn't be a major customer unfortunately.

Happy New Year....get back to running on all cylinders.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:51 am 
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I lurked on the U-Beaut forum for awhile and then joined. I am certainly convinced that Neil's products are top- notch. It is a complicated process - I guess understandable in today's world.mt


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:00 pm 
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Koa
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I'll be over in Tasmania in about five weeks. I'm going to look into using the hard shellac as a finish for my April students when I go back and teach "Build a Mandolin in Four Days."   We build them and set them up "in the white", and then the students get to finish the instruments at home. This looks like just the right stuff.

Any evaporative cure finish will craze if it's done too thick and too quickly.   I would think that more coats sprayed thinner over a little more time would be a safer way to use this stuff if you're not going to FP. If you've got a month to let it cure, you've certainly got a few more days to spread out the application.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:35 am 
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Koa
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I've done a 1# cut with it and used it for FP. It worked beautifully. I noticed it was a little harder than standard shellac even after 24 hours.
If I can ever get my hands on another batch of the stuff, I will probably airbrush several lighter coats at around a 2# cut.
-j.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:37 am 
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Koa
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First name: Tracy
Last Name: Leveque
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I did my last concert ukulele with hard shellac, and it turned out beautiful. I used z-poxy as the pore filler, and just brushed on the shellac straight out of the bottle using a foam brush. I let it harden for about 3 weeks, then used Renaissance wax with synthetic steel wool to satin the finish out. It looks really nice using this technique. This type of wax is used to restore old furniture, and is not like traditional wax. It seems to harden differently than regular wax. But anyway, here is a closup:


The finish does seem harder than regular shellac too. I highly recommend it!
Tracy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:18 am 
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Koa
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Mike,

I sent you a couple of notes to your regular email address regarding Hard Shellac. I thought it would be good to respond here too as I later realized that you were asking for input about potential users here.

I would definitely be interested in buying this product and would use it for both french polishing and spraying. I'm just a relatively new builder. Hence, my needs would probably be on the small size. However, I have some friends who are established luthiers who french polish who may also be interested. I could contact them to see and let you know if you would like.

Regards,
Max Bishop
Brighton, Michigan

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