I French polish a guitar now and got a problem. The pad does not touch the fingerboard and the body joint area.
Are there any techniques to FP such areas?

Tags: FP, French, polishing

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One way I get into corner spaces is to make a small pointed pad especially for that purpose. I also sometimes use these large Q-Tip-like things that have foam tips (intended for cleaning electronic stuff without depositing lint). It can be tedious!
Igor, I know that spot is a pain. So is the seam between the neck and the body. I've always tried to make little pads that I can squeeze into pointy shapes to get into those corners. It still doesn't get that last little hair line at the joint though. So, the best I've been able to do now relies on getting a couple of good wet sealer coats applied to the joint before beginning my polishing.. I then make a little rubber using just cheesecloth and that seems to get much closer to the joint that the same wad with a covering on it. Much better result, partly because the wad ends up working the area fairly dry.

The only other tip to go along with this is to say that it's really easy to overwork little areas like that and you can actually remove more finish than you lay down if you're too aggressive about trying to build finish fast. Take your time and go for looks rather than finish thickness. They aren't high traffic areas.

is french polish like shooting lacquer to build coats on top of each other right? so why not do nice coverage very short time and let this dry maby do 3 coats a day if this is an obtainable Goal to set and presto 4 days in a row and you have 12 times 1 coat cant you build it this way let it settle for a few weeks and wet sand it down like Nitro ? I dont know so I am asking the Guys here for a tip and insight please
Paul, French polish is strictly a rubbed on finish, which is what makes those corners so darned tough to do. Spraying on isn't an option because shellac just doesn't spray on very well at all. Spraying it is pretty hideous, actually. Over rosewood, it actually takes a few months to completely dry down. Because of that, the only recourse is to do absolutely perfect surface prep and then rub it out to remove defects after a week or so. Real pain in the butt.


P.S. Hey, I thought you were going to give up this grind and go do some performing?
Greg and Bob, thank you for the good advises. I decided to build a thick shellac coat with a piece of cloth in these areas. It will be sanded jently and polished. It takes ages since only two or three coats can be added a day and I will have to wait several days before sanding to let this thick stuff dry hard enough.
I see sealing before polishing would be more quick and easy but I started the process before.
Good, Igor. Your approach, while a bit slower than you'd like, will get the job done just fine and it will look good.

I found a little trick that works pretty well: Take one of the little felt pad polishing wheels you bought for your dremel and wrap it in the cloth you use for FP (e.g., tee shirt or cheese cloth). saturate the pad with your shellac and use it for FP. It works pretty well elsewhere too.


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