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Lesson learned

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Mark the Moose, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Working on a partscaster body, I decided to build with shellac and then switch to tru oil for an outer shell. Having never worked with shellac, I was excited to learn something new. Read the forums and how-to guides, watched the YouTube vids...nobody ever said "don't wet sand the shellac. So I got it looking beautiful, then though I would do an easy wet sand with 400 grit before switching to tru oil. BAD BAD BAD! Do not wet sand shellac! The finish got all cloudy and blotchy. I tried to fix it with denatured alcohol, just made it worse. Tried rubbing in more shellac, no dice. So I just spent a few hours with a bag of rags and some denatured alcohol rubbing off most of the shellac.

    Lesson learned. Starting over. Do not wet sand shellac!
     
    Steve Holt likes this.
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've never had any luck with shellac myself.
    Best of luck to ya.
     
    Novatuc likes this.
  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have only used shellac as French polish and you don't wet sand or polish FP. I didn't quite get the gloss that I do with lacquer but thats my technique, not the fault of the shellac
     
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  4. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    He brushes the shellac (mixed from flakes) on (up until about 2:00 mark), then dry sands it back using a wide range of abrasive grades until a final rub with polishing compound.
    Note: he advances the video (FF) to reduce viewer boredom/fatigue, so drying/applying times are compressed for the viewer. The result is very nice. This guy makes fantastic guitars!
     
  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    This was the level of gloss that I got with FP. I think it suits the classical but its not what I would want on an electric. The wood is fir so it doesn't have a lot of character

    IMG_6629.JPG
     
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  6. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Traditional French polishers "wet sand" with oil and rottenstone. They usually use a light oil like Walnut or olive oil, and they use various grades of rottenstone.
     
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  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I used olive oil and went thru the "spiriting off" process. If I ever did another FP I would spend a lot more time studying one of the masters.
     
  8. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    So frustrated because it was gorgeous, I just thought I could get a little glassier finish with a gentle wet sand. I should have just hit it with a little steel wool then moved on to the tru oil.
     
  9. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    what was the liquid?
     
  10. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    I knew a local guy who was married to a British woman. Her dad was the foremost French Polish expert in Britain at one point probably 30-40 years ago. He was the guy that got called upon to restore historically significant architectural wood work and furniture in palaces, cathedrals etc. He wrote a book on French Polishing which was out of print for some time when I read it about 20 years ago. I got to borrow it for a month or so. I wish I could recall his name. I got to talk with him once when he came over to the states to visit his daughter and her family. It was an incredible experience to talk to a guy who has worked on 1000 year old pieces of well known wood work.
     
  11. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Water. Turns out that is the wrong liquid. Should've read more.
     
  12. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll be shellacking a pink strat this spring. The paint is milk paint, which means water. The cure time has to be ample to prevent what you discovered, but I've had good results so far. The shellac will be platina, so I'm estimating the resulting color will be very close to aged shell pink.
     
    Mark the Moose likes this.
  13. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Afflicted

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    Good luck! Be sure to post some pics.
     
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