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  #61  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:44 AM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
I'm wondering if steaming might help a bit. If you get clouding can't that be repolished?
Steaming will not help with scratches as material has been removed. Steaming only helps with dents. It helps raise the wood back to where it was before it was dented.
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  #62  
Old 02-11-2019, 11:48 AM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi pz

I have a friend who builds world class instruments, and he ALWAYS tries to discourage buyers from choosing French Polish. He jokingly claims that you have to work on it while wearing dark goggles, and without breathing on it because you may dent or scratch it.

Clients are usually convinced that french polish creates a noticeable difference in the projection of the instrument, and he feels it's just a pain to maintain. And then the artists who own them usually don't take them outside the home. They are often sold within a couple years.

I'm not sure about refinishing, perhaps a visit to the Custom Shop section of the forum (where builders often post) would answer your question.

Turns out I might have some luck with Randy Wood guitars. Apparently he knows how to do FP but chooses not to because of how labor intensive it is. He said to bring it in and if doesn't require redoing the whole top, he would do it.

One question: It might not cost me much more do redo the whole top in a more traditional surface. Some people say that will ruin the responsiveness but is that really true? Is there that much of an improvement in tone? On the other hand, I have read that the thickness counts more than the type of finish used.
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  #63  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:49 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
One question: It might not cost me much more do redo the whole top in a more traditional surface. Some people say that will ruin the responsiveness but is that really true? Is there that much of an improvement in tone? On the other hand, I have read that the thickness counts more than the type of finish used.
French polish, by its very nature, allows you to achieve a thin finish that is both attractive and protective.

Last edited by Bluemonk; 02-11-2019 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #64  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:58 PM
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It wont sound exactly the same to you but other people wont know, cant tell the difference between finishes whatever you put on your guitar.
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  #65  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:05 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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Originally Posted by Bluemonk View Post
French polish, by its very nature, allows you to achieve a thin finish that is both attractive and protective.
I might argue with you about the protective part. Even a stray fingernail can leave a mark that other finished won't. Though I have heard that after a long period of time it will harden further. Not sure if that's true.
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  #66  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:05 PM
Bluemonk Bluemonk is offline
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Originally Posted by mercy View Post
It wont sound exactly the same to you but other people wont know, cant tell the difference between finishes whatever you put on your guitar.
I don't think that's really predictable, but I agree that any difference, if it exists, will be perceived by the player, and not so much by anyone else.
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  #67  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:07 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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Originally Posted by mercy View Post
It wont sound exactly the same to you but other people wont know, cant tell the difference between finishes whatever you put on your guitar.
That's my question. Will it really sound different? I have heard that the thickness of the finish matters more than the type.
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  #68  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
No way that was caused by anything other than

(A) a poltergeist
(B) a human fingernail

My money's on (B).
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  #69  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:35 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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Originally Posted by frankmcr View Post
No way that was caused by anything other than

(A) a poltergeist
(B) a human fingernail

My money's on (B).
Then I must be having blackouts because I would know if I scratched it that hard---twice.
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  #70  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:44 PM
jimmy bookout jimmy bookout is offline
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French polish is a great finish as it is light, thin, and EASILY repaired. But, as the OP has learned, French polish is a wood protective FINISH, NOT an impact protector. Obviously, the new finishes (UV cure polys, etc) are VERY tough and very hard (but also more difficult to repair). There's a reason that most high end classical guitars are French polished, and most high end steel strings AREN'T.

I would advise to take the guitar to someone who does FP regularly. The great Bob Benedetto said it best: "French polishers are born, not made"

And finally, the top looks to be Cedar or Redwood, both of which mar easily compared to the spruces.
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  #71  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:49 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
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Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
Then I must be having blackouts because I would know if I scratched it that hard---twice.
Then you better call an exorcist before you call a luthier.
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  #72  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bluesman62 View Post
Ok ,What is French polish?
Hi bm

It's a process not a product.

It's often a hand rubbed finish, (many many many hand applied coats of shellac) the finish being diluted with denatured alcohol, and applied with a cotton or wool pad (sometimes wrapped in cloth). It is VERY VERY VERY FRAGILE.

It is time consuming and can produce a wonderful deep finish.

Why put it on a guitar?
Supposedly the thinner coat will let acoustic properties through better than 'thick' finishes (and when new it is beautiful to behold). Thick is a relative term…

Why not put it on a guitar?
It is so easy to damage it…



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Last edited by ljguitar; 02-11-2019 at 03:34 PM.
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  #73  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
…Some people say that will ruin the responsiveness but is that really true? Is there that much of an improvement in tone?
Hi pz
"Some people" say a lot of unsupportable things about guitars (and cameras). Two subjects I'm pretty familiar with and very pragmatic about.

Yours are good questions. I don't think having it refinished would ruin anything, and I don't find 'improvement' in the French Polished instruments I've played compared to traditionally finished or modern finished (UV) by the same builders.

I have played multiple guitars from three great luthiers in both French Polished and traditional finishes (UV finish, and nitrocellulose finishes) and I did not detect a difference between the two finishes and responsiveness, sustain, resonance and projection.

Even knowing it, there was not a detectable difference between their versions of their finished guitars. I'm not an expert, just an experienced player who makes music and loves great instruments (and great cameras and lenses).



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  #74  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:52 PM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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Default Can french polished top be repaired?

Properly applied FP on the top will allow the most vibration of any of the finishing processes...and ALL of the steel string builders that I know who offer it have said it delivers the best sound...at a price (which you are now experiencing)...so if you were to pull the neck and bridge off of the guitar in order to replace the FP with, say, nitro...well, you will likely hear a difference.

You would be best off (IMO) finding a classical guitar builder that can do the work.

Also, there is a FP substitute product called Royal-Lac that is harder than standard shellac, so you might look into finding someone familiar with this product. It could be applied, likely, without the difficulties of doing a nitro finish.

That said, Royal Lac will not be as nick-resistant as nitro...but that’s the beauty of FP...the best tone, and easily repaired.

Only a hands-on/in-person evaluation will determine how much of the damage goes into the wood.

Last edited by Larry Pattis; 02-12-2019 at 10:27 AM.
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  #75  
Old 02-12-2019, 06:05 AM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Then I must be having blackouts because I would know if I scratched it that hard---twice.
I still think it was the kids or the pets. Dogs and cats can jump, y'know.
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