Foro Flamenco
Posts Since Last Visit | Advanced Search | Home | Register | Login

Today's Posts | Inbox | Profile | Our Rules | Contact Admin | Log Out



Welcome to one of the most active flamenco sites on the Internet. Guests can read most posts but if you want to participate click here to register.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvir, Philip John Lee and Craig Eros who went ahead of us too soon.
We receive 12,200 visitors a month from 200 countries and 1.7 million page impressions a year. To advertise on this site please contact us.





fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/blushing French polish   You are logged in as Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >>Discussions >>Lutherie >> Page: [1]
Login
Message<< Newer Topic  Older Topic >>
 
jamesmulholland

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24 2020
 

fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/blushi... 

Hi folks,

A first-time poster, after years of enjoying the wealth of information and banter from you lot - many thanks. But enough gushing!

I would like to know if anyone has a fix for a "cloudy" finish to French polish? Without sanding back and repolishing? Apologies, I'm sure this question has been asked, but after a fair bit of research, nothing quite seems to respond. I may be using the wrong terms (cloudy, milky, blooming, blushing...?), which is surely not helping.

I thought I was ready to stick the golpeador on guitar number 2, having left several weeks and followed up with Super Nikco, only to find that wicked murkiness lurking beneath.

I gather it may be because my bodying and final sessions were done in different locations, therefore different humidity levels. Also due to alcohol being more than a year old, and therefore having absorbed water. Also changing pads a couple of times. Does that sound about right?

Now, I have been told by a couple of luthiers here in Paris, "It's your second guitar, just whack on the golpeador and play." But it's just a bit too visible for me. And installing the golpeador feels a little too close to permanent.

A bit difficult to capture in photos. But I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

I'd appreciate any feedback from you wise bunch.

Be gentle, please!









Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (4)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2020 18:23:31
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2952
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Did you use oil during bodying?
During final polishing?
If so, did you spirit off the oil?
Did you sand to level the finish and if so, what grit?

Sorry for all the questions
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2020 20:40:10
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Hi,
I agree with the 2 luthiers. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad finish. Ok, it’s cloudy but a kind of an hand rubbed french polish as you may find in old forniture.
Perfectly acceptable for a guitar you made for yourself and the next one you will improve.

It makes a huge difference to assess if the cloudiness is caused by the wet environment or by some oil trapped in the finish. As Andy it looks to me the latter, which brings to the question, what oil have you used etc..
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2020 21:00:26
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2952
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Yes I forgot to mention, welcome to the Foro and beautiful work on your second guitar!

Oh yeah if it were my #2, that golpeador (and strings) would already be on But it sounds like the finish is bothering you a bit.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2020 21:55:34
 
jamesmulholland

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24 2020
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Well, thank you kindly! I made it with a teacher in Spain, so definitely a guiding hand or two that helped with the final result (except the FP -- I had to return to Paris!).

Thanks also for the quick responses. I should have detailed some of my process to begin with.

I used walnut oil (100%, organic) in the bodying, and a slight amount in the final polishing. Initially I was spiriting off after each session, but I pushed the pad quite hard and finished each session with basically just alcohol, which gave it a very nice and dry finish. As a result, I now realise my potential error: I probably let the spiriting off at the end of each session slide. However, I did begin each day with just alcohol to reactivate the FP, even though the surface felt quite oil-free. Does that count as spiriting off?

I wonder if doing a load of spiriting off sessions might chase out the murkiness?

In terms of sanding, I levelled with 600/800 grit after bodying, then did a very light, probably too light, wet sand through 2000, 2500, 3000 grits. I then left it for four weeks while on a trip back home, and hit it with Super Nikco today on my return.

I don't have aspirations of selling this baby (the main reason the golpeador/strings aren't on already is because I just revamped and converted my number 1's bridge to a 12 hole to fix a woeful break angle -- which, along with the lowered action, has given a rather classical sounding negra a new flamenco voice). But my aim is to sell guitars, as alas, my playing leads more often to frustration than pleasure. So I need to learn how to FP like a pro!

Cheers all
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2020 23:17:58
 
JasonM

Posts: 1701
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

I have the same issue with my number 1. I re polished the top after replacing the fingerboard and that’s when it appeared. It could have been caused by moisture in the alcohol because I transferred it to a squeeze bottle with a tiny opening and left it uncapped for a month .I also cut my alcohol with acetone. Or my pad was too wet. In the end I just slapped a golpeador on there two days after polishing!

Oh congratulations on number 2!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2020 23:27:14
 
RobF

Posts: 1118
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

quote:

I gather it may be because my bodying and final sessions were done in different locations, therefore different humidity levels. Also due to alcohol being more than a year old, and therefore having absorbed water. Also changing pads a couple of times. Does that sound about right?.... I used walnut oil (100%, organic) in the bodying, and a slight amount in the final polishing.


I think, if you were able to dissolve the shellac flakes without issue and had a nice clear liquid to work with, then your alcohol was probably OK. I also doubt that changing pads would be an issue (especially if the first pad was getting dirty or sticky).

I’m more inclined to think the walnut oil is the culprit, as it’s a drying oil. It might even be why you had to change fads. Perhaps try some fairly aggressive spiriting sessions, followed by some polishing sessions using a non-drying oil such as a light olive oil. It might get you close enough to where you want to be to be happy enough to stick a golpeador on and start evaluating the guitar. If, in time, you decide you really can’t live with it, you can always pull the golpeador and repolish the guitar at a later date.

Maybe don’t use walnut oil on the next guitar? I know it gets suggested now and again, but it’s not really traditional.

Oh, and ditto on congrats on your second guitar. It looks nice.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2020 23:43:45
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2952
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

So am I reading right that you went straight from 3000 grit sanding to the polishing compound? I haven't used Super Nikco so I don't know how abrasive it is. But after the 3000 grit sanding I personally would have French polished with diluted shellac and a little oil.
I also don't use oil during bodying so I'm not sure exactly how much spiriting off is needed for that method.
Usually using a polishing compound removes the oil pretty nicely so maybe the clouding is from some remaining fine sanding scratches?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 0:27:00
 
jamesmulholland

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24 2020
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Thanks again for all the feedback and the encouragement.

Yep Andy, that's right. It seems I may have missed that important step of giving it a final light shellac between the 3000 and Super Nikco.

Maybe the best is to give it a light sand and go that route. But beforehand, nothing tried, nothing gained, right? I'll experiment with your suggestion of fine sanding scratches remaining, try to buff them out with several sessions of Super Nikco, and also Rob's suggestion of a few aggressive spiriting sessions. I'll try one on each lower bout on the back since the clouding is worst here...let's see how we go.

And will definitely try an alternative to walnut oil on the next guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 9:00:54
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Well, I don’t consider myself a good french polisher even though I usually achieve good results and I did it on a lot of guitars.
Given that, if the problem is the siccative oil in between the french polish session, you won’t fix it by adding some diluted final sessions.

I read more and more people avoiding to use oil in the bodying up stage.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 11:42:11
 
JasonM

Posts: 1701
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to Echi

Aahhh I missed the part about walnut oil! I also used walnut oil so maybe Rob is on to something then. The cloudy appearance is sort of what I notice as soon as I introduce oil to the pad during a session. I learned the hard way that you should spirit off between sessions to avoid having the oil dry and form crusty spots. I cut back and made sure to spirit off between every session but I still had the same problem of cloudiness in the end product. Let me know if any solution works for you.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 15:14:01
 
Jose Marques

 

Posts: 35
Joined: Feb. 13 2020
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

walnut oil is not good for my, iv tried before and I had a similar problem, I use olive oil or if possible no oil, yes no oil at all is possible but in that case you will not do the French polish ( the 8 or 0 movements ) you willingly apply and wait, sand, apply etc .

but I do French polish in most of my guitars, I prefer the final aspect, maybe it only in my head but it looks different .

go to 6000 or 12000 micro mesh and polish with alcohol and the pad almost dry, softly at the end if I decide to have more shiny I use novus 2 it works good for me
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2020 18:44:58
 
jamesmulholland

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24 2020
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Thanks again for all the feedback.

Well, I arrived at a solution, but it's surely not the best/safest one.

I Super Nikcod the living bejeezuz out of it. As counterintuitive as going hammer and tongs with an ultra-fine polishing compound may seem... But after a few days, it got me there.

I tried a couple of ways to begin with: keeping it soft until the Nikco disappeared, repeating several times; starting firm and getting softer. But what seemed to work best was starting soft and buffing non-stop, easing the pressure slightly when I hit the sticky phase, and then the Nikco suddenly seemed to "melt" and felt like rubbing cream. Then a very short burst pushing really hard. I learned to stop soon after this point, as insisting with pressure in this phase seemed to reveal more blooming than before (??).

I used a rubber (an actual rubber, not muñeca-style) inside a cloth and used spot where the Nikco glazed and accumulated on the surface. Seemed to work much better than a clean surface.

I'm really not quite sure how it worked, if the pressure and heat generated meant I was burning through the top layer of cloudy FP until I reached a cleaner second layer, or if maybe the heat was simply melting the top layer into the second.

But very happy with the way it turned out, the golpeador is now on and she sounds great (far better than my playing deserves!). Now to find out how to avoid the same mess with the next guitar... With the pressure I've been putting into the soundboard, I have an aching jaw - not just from the physical effort, but also the permanent half-scream I've been wearing for days, afraid of the dreaded slip and nail gouge (I only did it twice...thankfully?).

If this kind of last-ditch fix sounds familiar to anyone, any ideas as to how you avoided reproducing the same dodgy finish afterwards?



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 1 2020 17:31:50
 
JasonM

Posts: 1701
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

Glad to hear you got rid of the cloudiness. I will give the niko wax a try. It almost sounds like you ‘polished’ with the wax and a lot of elbow grease!. I wonder if wet sanding with highest grits of micro mesh would make the process go quick and finish with the wax. Micro mesh might be top course but I might try it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 3 2020 20:17:18
 
jamesmulholland

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24 2020
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

I would have imagined that micromesh would have helped speed things up, but I just couldn't seem to get a great result from that on the back. Maybe it's my technique. But the elbow grease worked, which is what makes me think it may have been melting layers together that chased out the smudginess.

Let me know it you have any luck combining the two, Jason.

Oh, and the Super Nikco is definitely a polishing compound, not a wax.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2020 12:10:16
 
JasonM

Posts: 1701
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

I forgot to add for the records that I also successfully removed the cloudiness with McGuire’s compound. Came off pretty easy!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 31 2020 3:34:32
 
jamesmulholland

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Feb. 24 2020
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to jamesmulholland

I must try that stuff too. Maybe it is little more abrasive than the Nikco. And then again, maybe my polish was just in a worse state to begin with.

I'm using lockdown time to repolish guitar N° 1, which I never finished. Let's see what I've learned...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 4 2020 22:24:35
 
RobF

Posts: 1118
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to JasonM

quote:

I also successfully removed the cloudiness with McGuire’s compound.


Which McGuire’s compound do you use? I’ve been using #9 for years, but I haven’t seen it in stores in a long time, so I’m not sure what I’ll do when it runs out.

I also occasionally finish off with the #7. I don’t believe it cuts, I think it acts more like a wax. I’ve found that the layer it leaves can at times be difficult to remove if touch up is needed, so I’ve been tending to avoid it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 5 2020 3:17:48
 
JasonM

Posts: 1701
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to RobF

I used the Ultimate compound. I’m guessing they have discontinued their numbered products in favor of the ultimate? Seemed to leave a nice gloss but I don’t have anything to compare
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 5 2020 19:36:02
 
RobF

Posts: 1118
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: fix for cloudy/milky/blooming/bl... (in reply to JasonM

Thanks, Jason. I’ll check it out.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 5 2020 19:50:51
Page:   [1]
All Forums >>Discussions >>Lutherie >> Page: [1]
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software powered by ASP Playground Advanced Edition 2.0.5
Copyright © 2000 - 2003 ASPPlayground.NET

0.0625 secs.