And, if so, do you sand the epoxy back to bare wood or just. Drop fill the chips with superglue after the bottom nail polish has hardened. Therefore, i restrict my repair work to fine guitars made in spain or portugal, and latin american fretted folk instruments e. Repair chips and cracks in finish fender stratocaster. Restoring shellac finishes, information and illustrations. Since im an instrument restorer, not a builder, ill describe the process of adding new finish on top of old to fill in wounds, irregularities, crazing, crack repair, moisture damage or wear. A clean soft cloth will generally do the job on fingerprints or general schmutz. The most commonly used material to be applied with the french polishing technique is shellac. Shellac or french polish is probably the easiest to repair but not so easy to apply, it has a clarity and depth that is unmatched, but it is fragile and can be damaged by moisture and alcohol a common solvent at some festivals. Spots where the finish is totally destroyed may require restoration. Brune only uses hot hide glue and french polish for finish touchup. Dreher guitars is a new division of swm and is located in the lower level of spider web music in warren ohio.
Many other finishes resemble shellac, and to further add to the confusion, shellac is sometimes used as a generic term referring to any clear top finish. The common misconception is that french polish is the best finish acoustically. The traditional finishes mostly classical guitars are done with shellac, in a process called french polish. Rather, french polishing is a method of applying shellac to wood furniture, musical instruments, or decorative accents in many thin layerstypically well over 100. If your guitar has finish checking, polish will build up in the hairline cracks, and this can discolor the wood underneath or even cause the finish to flake off. If your guitar ever needs a repair, the silicone will prevent glue or finish from adhering, making even simple repairs more difficult and costly. Could i find out if its a shellac french polish finish by applying a little alcohol on a rag somewhere inconspicuous. To get the right viscosity for french polishing, use a jelly jar like i did, matching your mix to the photo. A simple guitar finishing trick for a better shellac. It is easy to apply and requires little or no infrastructure and practically no space to work and, since most us and european workshops are small, it fits northern hemisphere builders to perfection. Of all the conventional guitar finishes, french polish requires the most care. Scratches can be touched up successfully because the lacquer can be dissolved or softened. Would it be worth just having him refinish it, or would that be an expensive option. The first being through an impact such as a dropped guitar or something falling on it.
This is the main reason why most european and us builders will try to convince guitar buyers that french polish is better, bla bla it is not. Restoring checked and crazed finishes woodworking network. Unfortunately, a new owner polishing an old guitar. In the world of musical instruments it is often referred to a a finish. My understanding is that a type of finish known as french polishing gives not only a handbuilt look to an instrument, but also a better quality of tone and a fuller sound. As dan erlewine was packing a customers les paul for shipment, he noticed that somebody in his shop had scratched the top. I do a limited amount of outside repair work because i am largely occupied with settingup the instruments we import. May 19, 2017 french polish crack repair 60 second series. For someone who has experience using french polish, repairing the finish is an easy job, but using a method appropriate for other finishes can be a disaster. Do you still use epoxy for pore fill when using violin varnish. French polish ready mixed, or made by dissolving shellac flakes in methylated spirits 25g100ml rubber soft cotton pad or cotton wool, wrapped in a lint free cloth, for applying polish 0000 steel wool and furniture wax, to match the finish with the rest of the piece.
Id use gel crazy glue and fill the cracks with drops until it is level, then sand just. Both businesses are owned by guitar repair expert luthier matt dreher who has earned a bachelors degree in music emphasis in classical guitar from kent state university and is a certified teacher in the state of ohio. But, when the check is small, and on a new instrument like this one, the repair becomes something of a necessity, just to keep the instrument in salable condition as a new guitar. This polish is made from the secretion of the lac bug in india, and it is purely organic. Guitar polishes are specially formulated to be gentle on lacquer finishes. Martin guitars the patina of the finish can be one of the true delights of an old martin guitar. The players kit took the guitar polish world by storm a few years ago and continues to amaze users worldwide. Dan fixes the problem and shows how to keep this happening from happening again. In this video, ill demonstrate and explain a simple guitar finishing technique specifically for french polishing guitars made from resinous woods like cocobolo plus we take it a step further with. Most of us have seen instruments with these unsightly finish cracks.
Light scratches can be buffed out with power equipment. Local service also spares you the expense and anxiety of packaging and shipping your guitar to the factory in nazareth, pa. A solid and quite original martin 042 from the early years of the 20th century, with original inlaid handel tuners. Superior guitar works studio located just outside of philadelphia, pa. Finally a guitar polish that does more than just clean it polishes and removes scratches, too. Product added to cart successfully \div\div,actions. A large change of humidity from the original will cause the instrument to be dry and place the wood under considerable. Gsi recommends planet waves polish spray and polishconditioner. Tips on french polishing hector berlioz himself was a guitaristnot in paganinis class. Always apply the polish to the cloth, never directly to the guitar. There that looks quite a bit better not bad for a 70 plus year old guitar. I made this baby guitar for my granddaughter kate, and french polishing let me finish it in time to cut the cake. A lacquer finish is more durable than french polish. Leave it on until it dries and then use another clean cloth to buff it and clean it off the surface of the furniture.
In this video series you will see how i french polish a spanish guitar while i explain and share the way i do this process. French polish repair techniques including refinish. All cracks were repaired years ago and the top was french polished. I do a lot of french polish repair work, which may entail refreshing the finish and filling dings. Mark off chipped cracked area with tape 2s around chip drop fill the chips were wood shows with matching black nail polish. Preservation polish gently cleans, polishes and protects lacquer and varnish finishes. French polish is not a specific material but rather the effect of applying shellac to a woodworking project that produces a tough surface with a very glossy, mirrorlike finish. For example, french polishing, which is a method used for applying a highly polished shellac finish primarily to small table tops, is a technique used successfully only by the most experienced workers.
Your guitar is french polished shellac, a very thin and delicate organic finish that allows the instrument to be extremely responsive. So if you decide to pad or french polish with either. It can be resurfaced and buffed over real nicely too. Each instrument needs to be evaluated before a price for service can be determined. The real truth is that the finish on an electric guitar will only play a very small role in the overall tone. Based on experience, i believe cleaning your guitar is more beneficial than polishing or waxing it. Identifying a shellac finish can be difficult, however, and if you repair a nonshellac surface by laying shellac over the top of the finish, it will not produce good results. The first step in making a repair is to clean the surface with mineral spirits. For this baby guitar, i mixed only four ouncesa quarterpint.
Authorized martin service kovacik guitars and fretted. Our setup department uses turtle wax or most any other guitar or violin polish a small amount on a dry cloth, rubbed by hand should do. Nov 07, 2014 apply a few coats of furniture polish. French polishing yields a very nice finish from an acoustic standpoint, but the finish is extremely delicate and can easily be damaged even by a fingernail. Finish crack in polyurethane how to repair the gear. Aug 03, 20 will kelly, vintage guitar magazines monthly repair columnist shop of hard knocks shows you how to safely and successfully buff and polish the finish on your guitar to restore its original. The pickups, bridge, neck wood, neck thickness, nut material, body wood, body shape, string gauge and the player himself will each have at least as much to do with the tone as the finish, if not considerably more. Aug 14, 2011 restoring checked and crazed finishes. However, with this finish, you start with the 1800 micromesh and go through the 12,000 again and then repolish with the novus. It can be polished and maintained by a variety of finish care products and guitar. Im presenting just an illustration of what french polish actually is, and how i approach it. French polish shellac people who own guitars with shellac should be particularly mindful of polishes and. French polishing dates back as far as the victorian era but was brushed aside early in the 20th century in favor of less laborintensive methods of finishing. With nearly two decades of experience, he has worked on vintage and collectible guitars of all descriptions and has completed work for guitar stores across north carolina, massachusetts, and new york city.
Shellac is a natural resin that is made by the lac beetle when it feeds on the sap of several different types of trees in india and southeast asia. Unfortunately, a new owner polishing an old guitar can destroy the original patina forever. Use extra care not to sand off any color that may be in the coating or any stain in the wood. Heat and water damage, loose veneer, dents or gouges this video will show you a way to tackle them. It can be polished and maintained by a variety of finish care products and guitar polishes. The finish on a guitar serves many different purposes. While beautiful and vibrant, french polish does not provide the degree of surface protection most musicians desire. Outperforms normal guitar polishes with a total finish restore this is the one people are talking about. Cleaning system for acoustic and electric guitars with guitar one cleaner, guitar polish, fone oil fretboard cleanerconditioner, and 2 microfiber cloths. The heat can cause glue to come loose and cause way too many issues besides melting the finish. Learn about the highgloss finish and how you can embellish any wooden piece. Guitar specialist guitar repair and restoration services. An older finish with decent french polish added should be as good as new. The top has 3 cracks, and the center seam of the twopiece top had opened.
Dont forget that acetone nail polish remover is your best remedy for getting your fingers unstuck with crazyglue. So, this time, instead of returning the guitar to the manufacturer for refinishing, i. Andy does a wide range of repair and restoration work on guitars and related fretted instruments. A natural resin dissolved in denatured alcohol, shellac has rather poor resistance to water, and its usually applied in a very thin coating, so it also has very little resistance to scratches. The thin, watery superglue will fill cracks in lacquer pretty well.
French polish repair techniques including refinish youtube. Lacquer is nearly as deep and clear looking, but it requires spray equipment and safety equipment. Thin modern polyurethane finishes do not hinder tone nearly as much as the older polyester finishes and are much, much more resistant to chipping and scratching than nitrocellulose, and in fact, when used on a guitar with a high quality neck and bridge, high quality pickups, etc. Ordinary guitar polishes shine by leaving a longlasting silicone residue thats very hard to remove. Heres how i repair a nasty crack in the top of a french polished sewing box. Repair of high gloss polished polyester lacquer finishes. The pad must be in motion as it contacts the surface. Some common issues that may be covered by warranty include neck resets, cracks in the top caused by the curling of pickguards that were applied at the factory under the finish, lifting bridges and loose braces. Start by using a 400wd sandpaper to sand out the lines. Repairs to french polished surfaces need be be done by people who can successfully apply a french polish finish. Jan 17, 2018 heat and water damage, loose veneer, dents or gouges this video will show you a way to tackle them. Luthier and instructor, robert obrien, shows how to fix hairline cracks in a brazilian rosewood guitar back and then repair the finish. Gsi recommends planet waves polish spray and polish conditioner. How to restore wooden furniture finish howstuffworks.
Polishing will make your guitar look better, but really doesn. Now that you have a clean and scratch free finish you can concentrate on filling the cracks. From the end of the 1950s through the 1970s, highend radio cabinets often had high gloss polished finishes. Most fine guitars are finished with nitrocellulose lacquer. Lacquer has much better alcohol and water resistance than french polish. To create such a finish, the surface of the wood was coated with up to 1 mm thick polyester varnish, followed by sanding and polishing. A poorly informed repair tech might use some finish other than shellac to do touchup, might sand too aggressively, or might not have the skill with the pad and the shellac to blend, fill, and smooth the finish. The french convection a complete multilayer refinishing could polish off your bank account q. Feb 23, 2017 mamie shared this great tip for making scratches disappear, while renowned guitar photographer john peden shot closeup photos. Reamalgamation is a grand revival technique that can make alligatored, crazed, cracked, and scratched furniture look like new. My concern is preserving authenticity of old instruments. French polishing is a process as opposed to a material. Its more resistant to scratches, body heat, and the normal wear of handling.
What is the best way to clean fingerprints from a french polish top. He also told me that every french polished guitar he had examined has also had this problem. Due to the previously discussed weaker vibrational energy of classical guitars, the acoustic transparency of french polish is of particular benefit to the classical guitar. French polish repair techniques including refinish duration. People who own guitars with shellac should be particularly mindful of. How to buff and polish your guitars finish youtube. Does the finish on an acoustic guitar affect tone expert. Nov 24, 2011 this article discusses a remedy option for repair or redoing a guitar finish when the polyepoxy finish is no long presentable or desirable. The most traditional french polished surface is different from what we typically do on guitars today. Like wood, it is susceptible to high humidity and temperature and can get worn down with use. On the other hand if the guitar is made with hide glue and french polished theres a good chance the luthier can do an excellent and noninvasive repair job. However, with this finish, you start with the 1800 micromesh and go through the 12,000 again and then re polish with the novus. Ill work on french polishing the neck tomorrow night and then work on the body on successive nights. A pint of shellac will easily finish a full size guitar.
Dick, when it comes to finishes, i pretty much hate all of them. French polishing and expert repairs by ron fernandez. I spent an hour this evening working on the cedarmaple guitar and the finish is building up nicely again after the crack repair. Fixing crack in the lacquer the steel guitar forum. It will show up as haze but when you look at it with your close up visor, you will see tiny cracks occurring in the finish.
Its flexible, so resists cracking, scratches, and weara definite advantage if. French polish crack repair 60 second series youtube. Refrets, setups, and structural repairs are commonly needed. So the term french polishing is really talking about the physical act and technique of applying the finish rather that the type of finish itself. How to french polish for a fast finish without spraying. Choose a lacquer repair kit which contains the substances that you. I recommend an expert for valuable items, but, anyone. French polishing is an ancient technique of wiping or rubbing shellac to apply a very thin high gloss finish. French polish finish instructions luthiers mercantile. Dan erlewines got a neat trick for a mandolin repair, and.
Guitar repair, luthier spider web music warren, ohio. My specialty is french polishing see my video, french polishing for guitarmaker 2. The technique involves applying many coats of shellac dissolved in alcohol in very thin layers. Dreher guitars guitar repair warren, ohio dreher guitars. Original varnish french polish finish on the back, sides, and neck, with no cracks to the neck or the rosewood on the body. The process consists of using a pad made up of absorbent wadding inside a smooth natural fiber cloth.901 1047 1029 894 290 522 1231 1342 1576 1054 952 744 148 710 1480 857 1517 501 206 1312 1234 1317 119 81 1174 1000 684 747