So I was unhappy with my progress on my first French Polish attempt. It wasn't going well, and on top of that, I sorta made an unrecoverable mistake on the back. It didn't look professional. So I stripped it and started over.
For the past week and a half or so, I've been building coats. I've been cheating with my technique. I wipe on shellac, then I let it dry. I cut the ridges with sand paper, and then rub it out. And repeat. I've built up a nice finish, and am about ready to do final bodying.
When I first finished the neck, it had a nice color, but up close it looked bad. I have not been able to get a good stain color on the neck that looks nice. The neck is a solid piece of mahogany, and it doesn't soak up stain evenly. It really looked terrible on the last application, believe me. This time, I have a clear base, and I'll be doing bodying with garnet shellac, which will darken it some. This will give the neck an even color, without streaking where the end grain is exposed on the headstock and heel. But then it will wear unevenly. Still, this will look best in terms of a coloring option.
I haven't yet been able to take a picture that looks like the real finish color. The flash makes it look too light and reddish/orange, and my digital camera does funny things with natural lighting.
Shots of the neck without flash.
Shots of the neck with flash.
Check out the rosewood binding in this picture. I really like how the color of it contrasts against the body. It came out better than I could've imagined it.
I still have work to do on the sides. This is what it looks like before it gets 'scuff-sanded'. The binding in this picture looks uneven, the upper piece looks lighter than the lower piece. That's just a weird flash effect.