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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Brisbane
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    325

    Question French polishing

    What sort of oil should be used for French Polishing. I have a set of instructions that say to use "white oil", but I don't know what this is. Would standard household oil, aka sewing machine oil, be appropriate?

    I've recently finished an inlaid camphor box, and I love the finish from french polish, but I did it the cheaters way. I just painted it on, sanded it back smooth, and polished it with trad-wax and steel wool. I've also heard of people spraying french polish, which might also be a good option if it produces decent results. Anyone else tried this?

    Cheers,

    Dave
    Good things come to those who wait, and sail right past those who don't reach out and grab them.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Grovedale (Geelong) Victoria
    Posts
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    Default

    White Oil is paraffin oil available from the chemist. You can use that or raw linseed oil. DO NOT USE household oil.

    Cheers - Neil

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
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    49
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    639

    Default

    Are you sure that your instructions don't mean White shellac or just shellac? Shellac is the basis for French polishing from what I can gather. You can find White Shellac here http://www.ubeaut.com.au/dewaxed.html.

    Good luck, haven't tried it myself but have some shellac flakes sitting in the shed that I'm going to try when I get my next project done....

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Werribee, Vic
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    63
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    2,517

    Default

    Best Polish for it is:

    Metho
    Turps
    Linseed Oil

    One third of each shaken before use to get them to mix.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    The Fabulous Gold-plated Coast.
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    3,634

    Default

    As mentioned above, the oil is mineral oil, aka baby oil. I like the memories
    the smell evokes when I'm polishing.

    Make sure you use pure metho, available from Sceney's. I think Paint Rite store carry it.

    You can dispense with using pumice atone and the like-I use Meguiar's
    auto body products instead-#2 polishing compound and wax leaves a
    fantastic finish.

    The recipe noted previously for oil/wax is 1/3 turps/boiled linseed oil/beeswax.

    I don't like the smell of oil or wax inside a draw or box, and in fact the oil
    is food for the organism that makes things smell musty inside. Wax will eventually go rancid too.

    Have fun

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Age
    73
    Posts
    197

    Default

    You might be interested in reading the very comprehensive tutorial on French Polishing at http://www.milburnguitars.com/fpbannerframes.html

    It explains, in considerable detail, the materials used and how to use them. The FAQS page is worth reading for the info on repairing scratches, etc. on already FPed surfaces.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Victoria
    Posts
    5,215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryq
    baby oil. I like the memories
    the smell evokes when I'm polishing.
    Hmmm... Polishing what?

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