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Geoff St. Germaine

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Geoff St. Germaine last won the day on January 11 2015

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About Geoff St. Germaine

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  • Birthday 06/30/1981

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    Dartmouth, NS

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  1. Very nice! Looking forward to seeing how these ones turn out.
  2. Paste wax or a polyurethane should work over your oil, but it depends on what you've used. I use polyurethane applied with a cloth by hand over danish oil on furniture I've built as well as paste wax over danish oil on necks. The polyurethane will provide more protection and typically the paste wax is going to require reapplication to maintain the look you get from it when you initially buff it off with a cloth.
  3. I've gone primarily with the Milburn French Polishing tutorial, which seems to be pretty heavily referenced and he advises the extra virgin olive oil as there's no chance of inadvertent additives affecting the finish. http://api.ning.com/files/fBYtwDmBUnDWf0sjTN8aZ7yQRhFYxNmpqZRsrDGLjGOtxW3Dg-7kHFIzPIT04SrI350qBJ3vUmdlkRs0tBbJfhiX7FNzTiQo/HowToFrenchPolishClassicalGuitars.docx I'm going to be keeping this sound hole design as my standard "modern" archtop. I'm very happy with it.
  4. So long as all of the oil was removed I imagine it should be compatible with most finishes. I think that getting all of the oil removed could prove to be difficult and cause potential problems with the finish adhering. This might prove to quite a hassle. I really don't think there would be enough of a benefit to outweigh the drawbacks.
  5. Scott, There are a few options for the oil that I've seen. There are two options initially - drying or non-drying oils. For French polishing olive oil and mineral oil seem to be the two most common choices for non-drying oils. Olive oil is usually stated as being the most common, but there shouldn't be much difference between the two. I have a lot of olive oil on hand and I am out of mineral oil right now, so I made my choice based on that. These oils wind up being completely removed between sessions by "stiffing" the finish with an alcohol soaked pad. As far as I've researched, drying oils such as walnut oil can be used for French polishing, but these oils are incorporated into the film and change the properties slightly. It may be something to experiment with in the future. I've read that walnut oil results in a film that is less brittle and can achieve a higher gloss. To me the backside of this guitar is the best looking part. I did the first finish levelling. The process I'm following uses olive oil for wet sanding with 400 grit. I've only used water with added dish soap for wet sanding before and the oil makes a tremendous difference. The paper doesn't clog nearly as much, though the sanding action is much slower... not necessarily a bad thing.
  6. French Polish Tutorial Part 1. Ok, so French Polish is a technique for applying finish. While there are a few options for finishes that can be applied that way, I'm using shellac. Materials: Danish oil Shellac flake Ethanol Olive oil Ground pumice stone Cotton balls Cotton fabric (old t-shirts) 400 and 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper I mixed up a 2lb cut of very light blonde shellac. This means 2 lbs of shellac flake dissolved in 1 gallon of alcohol. I mixed up only 16 oz/0.5 L so I used only 53 g of shellac flake for this. First I applied Danish oil. I did this as one flood coat and a second where I used 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper to wet sand the surface. While this made the surface smoother, part of the idea was to partially fill the pores. I don't believe this really did much if anything to fill the pores. I then let this dry for 72 hours as per Watco's directions. At this point I applied a flood coat of shellac. The purpose of this coat is to lay down enough shellac for pore filling. I just applied it with some folded cotton fabric. Pore filling is done by using a fresh pad made up of cotton balls inside of a cotton fabric pouch made with a piece of fabric and held into a ball with an elastic band. Only alcohol is applied to the pad along with a very small amount of pumice. This is rubbed on the shellac and causes the shellac to partially dissolve and then this along with the sanding action of the pumice stone creates a wood fibre/pumice/shellac slurry that fills the pores. This process is done over the open pored wood - in this case it is the walnut, Bloodwood and mahogany. Three sessions over the entire surface got me to where I was happy with the filling of the pores. Here's a couple of shots of pore filling: Open pores in walnut: Surface after one of the sessions: Trying to show the change to the surface: I think this shows pores being filled: Once this is done I move on to the "bodying" sessions. This is building up the shellac finish and hopefully doing it while keeping it level. For this a new pad is made the same as before but the cotton ball centre is soaked with 2lb cut shellac. About 6 drops of alcohol are added to this followed by one drop of olive oil. I tap this on the back of my hand to spread the oil over the pad. This is then rubbed on the surface in small circles and quickly enough to keep the pad from sticking. You can see the finish get cloudy where the fresh shellac is being applied and it dries back to clear rather quickly. I do one surface entirely before moving on to the next (back, sides and top). As the pad dries/runs out of finish, I add more shellac, alcohol and oil to the pad and keep going. I do this three times before "stiffing". Stiffing is applying only alcohol to the pad and running it in long strokes over the finish. This does two things - removes the olive oil and levels the finish a little bit. Once this is done I let the finish dry 2-3 hours before another session. This is where I'm at now - 2 bodying sessions complete. I'll do a few more before I wet sand the shellac flat and continue building up the finish prior to the final polishing.
  7. The guitar is looking great! For the strap buttons/pins I placed the neck side button on the side of the upper bout next to the neck on the Explorer I built last year and it worked well. I do like the look of demonx's placement and I may borrow it on my two upcoming Explorer builds.
  8. This is looking fantastic. The neck work looks extremely clean!
  9. Scott, I'm getting a lot of pictures of the process, so I'll include a mini tutorial on the whole french polish process. This is my first try at it, but I've spent a considerable amount of time reading and watching videos of doing it.
  10. I've started the initial stages of the french polish, which really isn't french polishing at all, but is applying the initial shellac that is to be used for pore filling. I've applied 4 coats of shellac using a charged pad and just running it across all of the surfaces with the grain. The top really doesn't need any pore filling except in the binding and bevels, so I sealed the soundboard and built up the shellac only in the areas right around the binding and bevels. I'll let this dry overnight and tomorrow I'll start the first pore filling sessions using pumice stone and ethanol on the shellac that has been applied already. A shot of a light reflection so you can see the open pores in the walnut. These will be filled with a pumice/wood dust/shellac slurry when I start the pore filling sessions.
  11. Thanks a lot guys. I'm glad people are digging this guitar. I am waiting about 5 days to make sure the oil is dry before moving onto the French polish. I have some minor work to do on the neck in the meantime - drilling tuner holes, finalizing the fitting of the neck and final sanding before it gets the oil as well.
  12. The bloodwood you see in the "cutaway" is veneer. There's a shaped piece of Port Orford Cedar underneath that was shaped to form the cutaway and then veneered to match the binding and forearm bevel. Oh, and thanks for the compliments on the guitar. I am pretty stunned by it too. The walnut is gorgeous!
  13. Today I got the softwood soundboard sanded to 280 and back and sides to 220 and ready for the first application of oil. Here are the photos: I'll do the next oil treatment later today. The idea is to use the danish oil with wet/dry sandpaper to create a slurry to fill the pores in the walnut. Once the slurry is created it is forced into the pores using a small squigee. This won't completely fill the pores but what it will do is make them easier to fill once I move on to the shellac.
  14. Great looking design! I'm looking forward to seeing this take shape.
  15. Yeah, I have no issues with carving after fretting. For most of my carving I have the neck held by the sides at the body end. I find the uncarved neck gives me more stability for hammering frets.
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