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Thread: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

  1. #26
    Registered User sebastiaan56's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    How do you generally apply spirit varnish -- brush or spray on?
    I pad it on with a french polishing rubber. I have brushed it as well

  2. #27
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by sebastiaan56 View Post
    I pad it on with a french polishing rubber. I have brushed it as well
    Thanks. I was also planning on using a brush after watching this video but im my test application on a piece of scrap did not go nearly so smoothly? Seems to me my brush runs out of varnish much sooner and as a result the coverage I end up with is not this smooth and uniform? As a result my thoughts are tend toward spraying it on?
    Bernie
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  3. #28

    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Pablo Requena has a series of 9 videos on YouTube that helped me understand how to apply French polish. He is applying it on a guitar but the same principles should apply to other instruments.

    Danny

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  5. #29
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    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodbldr View Post
    Pablo Requena has a series of 9 videos on YouTube that helped me understand how to apply French polish. He is applying it on a guitar but the same principles should apply to other instruments.

    Danny
    Thanks I'll check them out. I was finding that my varnish did not see to wash over the surface so smoothly like the guy in the video (that I linked in post #27). He somehow got a thin, smooth and uniform wash of varnish over the entire back side of that violin with a single bush full. That was not my experience where my brush (red sable) seemed to "run out" of varnish rather quickly -- requiring a lot more "brushfulls" and all kinds of messy issues with the varnish getting sticky and unmanageable too quickly. This gave a patchy-streaky look with an uneven distribution of the varnish over the surface.
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  6. #30

    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    When I apply the polish in the beginning it looks uneven, but the layers build/mix together as they are added. I notice it beginning to even out after about 5-6 polishing sessions. That is where watching those videos will help, you can see how everything builds until it is ready to buff out. Here is a picture of a curly walnut/spruce guitar I polished following Pablo's techniques.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #31
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    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    That's very nice work. Was your recipe pure shellac or did you add sandarac and/or mastic?

  8. #32

    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Just dewaxed blond shellac, 1 lb cut. I plan on trying to add sandarac and mastic for the next batch to try.

  9. #33
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    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodbldr View Post
    When I apply the polish in the beginning it looks uneven, but the layers build/mix together as they are added. I notice it beginning to even out after about 5-6 polishing sessions. That is where watching those videos will help, you can see how everything builds until it is ready to buff out. Here is a picture of a curly walnut/spruce guitar I polished following Pablo's techniques.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20200817_190453.jpg 
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Size:	765.8 KB 
ID:	188859
    The guitar finish looks wonderful! I'm about half way through the Pablo Requena videos and they are very informative. Did you use epoxy to seal the rosewood also? I'm wondering to if these techniques would work as smoothly on a mandolin or violin since one has few flat surfaces to work with on these instruments?
    Bernie
    ____
    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

  10. #34
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    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Curves are not a problem with French polishing. Corners are. That's one reason we like to finish necks and bodies separately before we glue them together.
    For the record, corners are also a problem with sprayed finishes. And also when we touch up or refinish older instruments.

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  12. #35

    Default Re: Spirit Varnish for a mandolin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    The guitar finish looks wonderful! I'm about half way through the Pablo Requena videos and they are very informative. Did you use epoxy to seal the rosewood also? I'm wondering to if these techniques would work as smoothly on a mandolin or violin since one has few flat surfaces to work with on these instruments?
    Thanks for the compliment. I used z-poxy finishing resin to pore fill. I can attest to the application of polish being more difficult with corners. For the walnut guitar shown above I didn't use a fine enough abrasive on the body and neck before buffing out, and had to do redo the finish with the guitar assembled. I had issues with the corners that are not noticeable until you are about a foot or two from the guitar.

    Danny

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