The advantage to a shellac finish is that it is completely non-toxic if food is involved. Old high quality sheets, pillow cases or t-shirts can be used. Generally '2 pound cut' shellac is a good place to start because it is not too thin or thick to apply. I haven’t been brave enough to start mixing yet, so I will stay within one company, so far that has been Seymour Duncan.
When dissolved decant through a coffee filter to remove wax and impurities. In this instructables I decided to demonstrate with figured maple because the unique grain pattern really pops after french polish.
As the pad dries out increase pressure to push out more shellac.
I continued the process of leveling and building for several weeks. You can see this board had some damage on the ends that would need to be taken care of. Then let it rest 1-2 days. I tend to be very judicious with this though. It took me about 15-20 min (3 applications) on this small piece of wood wiping it down in between. I then put one end of the pre-cut fret into the slot and give it a firm tap with the hammer. Again, very brief polishing is needed. The process of surface preparation depends on what the wood is for, and the sheen of finish you're going for. With your pad's core nearly depleted of shellac, place a new cover on your pad and add about 10 drops of alcohol to the core. When they are seated in place on the fretboard for any amount of time I also tape them down. My recipe for a 2lb cut is 2oz shellac flakes to 8oz Alcohol. The shellac flakes will dissolve in the alcohol usually starting in a couple hours. The spit coats I will put on fairly wet, not as worried about runs and ridges to a point. Pumice can be used to fill pores in hardwoods. Do not get impatient and try to hurry. French polishing dates back as far as the Victorian era but was brushed aside early in the 20th century in favor of less labor-intensive methods of finishing. If not I had no issue in going back a step and reapplying the medium.
Add drops of alcohol as the pad dries. I then place the fretboard on the neck and check the back for whether or not it is sitting squarely on top of the neck. We have some reflection starting to build but the reflections would not be very defined.
I also try to be generous around the edges so the veneer doesn’t peel up of flake. To add a glaze, make a 1 pound mix of shellac or thin out some of the 2-pound premixed shellac as directed by the manufacturer. It is definitely recommended to go ahead and pore fill before loading. I have been measuring the thickness with calipers and trying not to take more than 1 mm off. Shellac and French Polish In which he stated: I don't know if I'm an "expert", but I've French polished half a dozen or so pieces of furniture with excellent results. I will use circular motions for about 5 minutes than a brushing movement for 2-3 then repeat. The hand rubbing does seem to put more of a sheen to it but the polisher was definably a god send for the brute force. That way the sides got a very liberal application of shellac. The next step was to clean up the nut slot with a chisel and set the nut. With a little Naptha we can picture what it will look like eventually. Here I am showing my muncea getting ready to be applied to the board.
Always load the muneca from the outside with alcohol. I used the ROS at 80 Grit and it took it done pretty well. I decided to attempt a fix to the guitar and then assemble it and let it ‘gas off’ while I was playing it. I had just purchased an air driven polisher so was excited to give that a try.