In June of 2005 I was invited to demonstrate my French Polishing techniques at the convention of A.S.I.A. (Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans). We had 45 people in the class. We handed out supplies and I am happy to report that everyone was able to achieve a nice finish with the techiques shown in the DVD.
French Polishing is a method for applying spirit varnish by hand–it is the traditional finish of master Spanish guitarmakers. The basic techique uses only shellac, alcohol, pumice, oil and a special rubbing pad. It is simple in theory but often tricky in practice.
In this step-by-step presentation, the complete process is shown, from preparing the guitar through sealing. filing, loading, and clearing. Special advice on materials and practical techniques is included throughout.
In addition, 2 printed charts are enclosed with this video. They explain how materials are used during each stage of the process and also suggest a typical work schedule.
This DVD provides guitarmakers and repairers with what they need to SEE and UNDERSTAND so they can really French Polish effectively.
This new DVD is a revised version of our 1995 VHS video. To improve the clarity of images I digitized the original footage. Then, I edited the entire video from scratch adding new titles, scene transitions and tighter splices. While some extra scenes have been added, more than 90% of the original ones remain. One of the advantages of the DVD format is that I have been able to add chapter markers so the viewer can jump to specific sections. At the end of the DVD there is a new section showcasing 3 special instruments I have French Polished in recent years (included is a Felix Manzanero flamenco guitar which was delivered to me in the “white” by Felix so I could French Polish it from scratch). Enclosed with this DVD are 2 printed charts which detail how materials are used during each stage of the process and how a typical work schedule progresses. There is also a short bibligraphy for those who want to examine some of the literature on this topic. And…. I have added some incidental music at the end of the video and under the menu of me playing the Portuguese guitarra.
Run time 53 minutes.