Gentlemen prefer Blondes
I've recently discovered I love Blonde, the gentle rubbing down, the smooth silky translucent look . . . . . .
Talking de-waxed shellac here the Blonde variety. In the past I've used normall shellac for French polishing but each light coat darkens the finish, this was an expensive "Blonde" but the results are well worth it.
I've not seen anyone else on the forums using french polish for wood & brass camera restoration but I feel it's well worth the effort.
Oooohhhh, those French...
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
French polish is very famous on instrument making and extremelly easy to strach and ruin all the finish.
Even finger nails or acid at your fingers easily deforms it. Best looking polish but if you dont play the guitar or camera but keep it in glass. If you use it at winter , rain , snow demolish all the look and finish.
If summer , wet fingers will ruin it.
If you want a similar look but resistant , use epoxy WEST system Wood Epoxy Saturation System. Cheap everywhere , an distributor in Tuzla Istanbul and all fretless bass guitarists prefers it , it gives all the grain of the wood , penetrate in to pores but without experience its a bigger mess. Its looks like something matte and plastic , soulless.
Another idea is polyurethane finish , more successfull , used in every camera in plastic.
Nitrocellulose is another but flammable.
I think best finish could be linseed or walnut oil , takes time to set but linseed oil have an excellent smell , very freshing. Linseed oil is violin finish grade and easy to repair with the new layer , cheap. Oil paints have it also that all we love the shine.
I'm a purist Umut, if it was originally French polished then that's what it gets on restoration In practice it's as resilient as polyurethabe or cellulose based paints, they all scratch. I don't remember scratching my violin when I used to play one
My older plate cameras, 2½ Houghtons, were french polished and there was little wear the polish was intact despite some minor knocks etc over the preceeding century.
Since I made the original post I've almost finished french polishing another 5 Thornton Pickard (or similar) shutters (well the wooden cases) and spare lens plates and the Blonde Shellac is a nicer finish. I can use a coat or two of the darker shellac when I need to get a better colour match.
I have used it on a guitar I built but not for cameras. However, whatever type of varnish finish I put on wood, I usually thin it a little and apply it the same way as you would French polish.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
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Never used blond shellac for my french polish, but have used the method extensively for years as a furniture maker.
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