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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Western Australia
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    74
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    3,290

    Arrow French Polishing

    It dosen't appear apparent that there is much ado about french polishing these days!
    Is this art slowly disappearing with the range of new finish's available today?
    How doe's this finish compare with the modern finish's of today for durability,hardness,and refinishing practicality?
    Are there out there amongst you artisans, that ascribe to this BB, those that can enlighten those of us number amidst the the unenlightened?
    We await in anticipation.
    Cheers

    ------------------
    Johnno
    Johnno

    Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 1999
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    Grovedale (Geelong) Victoria
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    11,609

    Post

    Go to U-Beaut Products click on "A Polishers Handbook" (bottom of the side-bar). It tells you all you need and more. You could also have a look at the link for French Polish.

    Still the best finish of the lot. Not the quickest but not the slowest. You do need a little skill, but not much. If you restore antiques it is a must. There are those who will tell you that polyurethane and lacquer etc. will preserve an antique and make it tougher etc. True but it also greatly devalues the antique. GREATLY DEVALUES.

    French polish is reserved for your best work not for every day work that goes out to the great unwashed masses. People today do not know about the finer art of caring for their furniture (this seems to have been lost a generation or so ago). They seldom use place mats or tablecloths when dining, for that matter they seldom dine, just eat. The recipient of a french polished piece of furniture should be educated on the care of the furniture.

    If you are making Generation Furniture i.e. the stuff that is made as a heirloom to be handed down through the generations, you wouldn't use anything but french polish. This type of furniture should also be glued up with hide glue not any of the modern glues. The reason for the french polish and the hide glue is that they are both reparable.

    A french polished finish does not necessarily have to be the full blown piano type finish, there are various types of finish that can be achieved with this method including an egg shell finish and even something as simple as a shellac and wax finish which can be done also in a variety of ways. The possibilities are endless and they are also good fun to do as well as being one of the more relaxing past times and for many people a great way to wind down at the end of a hard day. Great therapy.

    Sorry bout the ramble.

    Cheers - Neil
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    Drop Bear Capital of Gippsland (Lang Lang) Vic Australia
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    Post

    Thanks Neil, and John, whilst I find french polishing something of a black art my wife actually enjoys it, poor woman, she did a course some years ago as we were restoring a lot of antique furntiure we have. It is a wonderful arrangement, I do the repairs and she does the finishing. I wonder how much money we have saved. I prefer oil finish but, as Neil points out, it does not lend itself to antiques. Me, still can't be bothered with the work involved but me hat goes off to those who have the patience.
    Stupidity kills. Absolute stupidity kills absolutely.

  5. #4
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    Jul 1999
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    Brisbane, Qld.
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    Post

    I dont think it could be answered any better than what Neil did.

    One thing I will add though concening your comment about the art of French Polishing slowly dissapearing.

    When I completed my trade, my certificate had my title as a French Polisher. My last apprentice I trained had his title on his certificate renamed to a Furniture finisher.

    The name change really was only political, but it does highlight the fact that french polishing is slowly taking a back seat. Something which shouldnt be allowed to happen. Even the courses taught during the apprenticship have been changed to suit industry requirements, which means a lot less emphisis on 'French Polishing' and more emphisis put onto 'Industrial Finishing'. Its called industry specific training...hmmmm
    I had a lot of disagreements with certain tafes about that, As I am not classed as 'Industry' so what I wanted my apprentice trained in, wasnt a concern, and even less now. Anyway, thats my gripe of the day

    Cheers



    ------------------
    Shane Watson..

    Combine Love & Skill & You Can Expect A Masterpiece!

  6. #5
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    Western Australia
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    Talking

    Thank-you gentlemen for your informed comments.
    I know of people who have done a course also primarily with the veiw in mind of restoring an age old article of furniture they have in their possession.
    I guess it is left to the true craftsman producing period or one-off pieces that is employing the art these days.
    Cheers

    ------------------
    Johnno
    Johnno

    Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
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    Smile

    Currently on Our House website:

    http://lifestyle.ninemsn.com.au/ourh...00/default.asp

    Brett

    ( Just fixed up the url Brett. )

    [This message has been edited by Shane Watson (edited 06 November 2000).]
    Brett

    Only Robinson Crusoe could get everything done by Friday!

  8. #7
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    Thumbs up

    Hi Brett,With that sort of exposure perhaps my misgivings will be countered with the surety that some of the age old crafts will see a revival in the sense that they continue to give pleasure.
    Cheers

    ------------------
    Johnno
    Johnno

    Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Sydney, NSW
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    2,261

    Wink

    As long as people dont find Shellac is made from beetle dung



    Brett
    Brett

    Only Robinson Crusoe could get everything done by Friday!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Geelong, Vic, Aus
    Posts
    12

    Cool

    Greetings from Geelong,
    obviously a hot topic this one - & VERY well answered lads.Visitors just arrived so I'll have to cut it short. In my 17 yrs I am just starting to move to FR. pol. Don't think modern lacquers are all they're cracked up to be. Solvents are among the MOST carcinogenic substances on the planet- only external air supply safe(diving hookah type). Also I've found on fine pieces I made 8-10 yrs ago modern lacq. cracking across joins- I believe it sets too hard on a surface which is always moving, even with 6 coats. I have to go & celebrate my b/day now. Home brew rules! Remember with antiques "Originality = value" Take care all -Humidor

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    295

    Post

    Happy Birthday Humidor! Home brew rules, but I haven't had time recently so go for the next best - Coopers Pale Ale, mmm mmmmmm. Cheers mate, have a good one. Rod

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Grovedale (Geelong) Victoria
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    11,609

    Unhappy

    Typical bloody "Lifestyle" program they can't get a bloody thing right. Shellac is not made from beetle dung, or poo, poop, or any other form of beetle shyt. In the simplest terms it is an waxy excretion which the beetle lays down on twigs of a tree and eventually encases itself in.

    SHELLAC IS DUNG FREE. YOU IDJUTS!

    Strewth!!! It's these "Lifestyle" programs that are full of dung not the shellac.

    My 2 bobs worth - Neil

    PS Happy Birthday Rod
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  13. #12
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    Brisbane, Qld.
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    Angry

    You tell em Neil! Damn lifestyle programs. Mind you it kinda says it all when you read on there ( so called ) Fact Sheets, that they accept no liability for the correctness of the information???? One day they might actually get a story nearly right

    Hehehehehehehehe......

    Cheers......

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Mallabula, NSW
    Posts
    163

    Talking

    Hey Neil, I just came back from a trip to the USA, where I discovered among their 80 or so cable TV channels one called Home and Garden TV (HGTV), i.e., 24 hours a day of lifestyle shows! Just the ticket for you, I reckon! By the way, send Woodworkers Warehouse in Boston some tips on how to use your wax properly!
    Rick
    RFNK

  15. #14
    Join Date
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    Location
    Western Australia
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    Exclamation

    I guess that this is where I eat my hat with the misgivings that French Polishing may be diminishing by use out there in the community.
    If as Humidor states the case with Lacquers, then I would hazard a guess that the old art of applying a quality finish such as been mentioned still has a long way to go in modern furniture applications.
    Happy B/day Humidor.
    Cheers

    ------------------
    Johnno
    Johnno

    Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Geelong, Vic, Aus
    Posts
    12

    Cool

    Thanks for the good wishes guys,
    fancy a Brew from home (I'm a kiwi) taking the cup!!
    One thing that peeves me about Fr. pol is the number of people who brush a couple of coats of shellac on then rub it back with a bit of wax & call themselves Fr. polishers. In MY opinion Fr. pol. is a very specific technique for applying shellac, using linseed oil & rubbering. I used to laugh at those home unimprovement shows but when I see the amount of money they spend & some of the crap they come up with - now I cry. I did notice that table being "Fr.Pol.ed?" the other night while channel surfing . If you looked carefully it wasn't even grainfilled! - so much for quality.
    Unfortunately I've found the quality craftsman's worst enemy is the bl**dy ignorant customer who is only concerned with getting a product as cheap as possible.
    If you want a finish to put a hot plate or coffee cup on - mod. lacq. for you- otherwise lets see some more Fr. Pol. products on the market.Summary: you wear different clothes for diff. occassions - same with glues & finishes.
    Happy Honing.

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