We sing the praise of French Polishing often in our little music shop. It makes touching up over almost any type of finish viable, efficient and safe. We also sing the praise of hide glue………….but that’s another post! What is French Polishing? It’s a technique that employs applying shellac by hand with a cotton pad. A remarkable process that results in a thin, (good for tone), rich lustred finish with a deception of beautiful depth. Pretty amazing, we know, but equally amazing is that shellac is produced by collecting secretions from the female lac insect deposited onto trees in India and Thailand! A process that reminds us that it’s difficult to better mother nature, and if you have an enquiring mind also, go here, to watch how it is derived in detail. We have applied shellac over just about any type of finish with success, including oil, it’s miraculous!
The solid koa uke in these photos presents a nice example of shellac touch up as seen in the before and after photos. Adhering over top of a thin PU finish without issue. We also changed out the cheaper 1:1 tuners for some affordable geared ones which makes tuning more enjoyable. Completing the project we installed a small clear PET pick guard to avert any further wear.