A Polisher’s Handbook
Finishing Techniques for Australian Woodworkers
Fifth Edition 2016
by Neil Ellis
(Australian Publication)

Softcover - Ringbound
145 x 205mm
198pp

Published by U-Beaut Publishing, Moolap, VIC.

R.R.P.$40.00

ISBN 0-646-25424-3

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As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 104

Neil Ellis, the author of A Polishers Handbook, is an accomplished woodcarver, woodturner and finisher, who many may know as the man who makes and promotes the 'u Beaut range of polishes.

His background in polishing is extensive - he was commissioned by the Victorian Education Department in the early 80's to conduct in-service workshops throughout the state, to teach the teachers how to teach polishing - and he continues to produce commissions for major clients, most recently a Huon Pine State coat of arms, for the Courts of Appeal (Melbourne).

Neil has been teaching himself and others about finishing for a long time, and all of the knowledge he has gathered about traditional polishing techniques, primarily using shellac, are compiled in his book. Designed for use in the workshop, it is ring bound and covered with plastic for protection.

The book covers all stages of finishing, from gluing up to surface preparation, to choosing a finish and applying it. The focus is on various techniques of polishing with shellac, and the text will solve the mystery of french polishing for all but the most stubborn of readers.

The chapter on Stains, Dyes & Chemicals reveals a lot of dirty old secrets many might have thought lost forever.

Neil has also included many recipes for various waxes, furniture creams and polish revivers, oil finishes, woodgrain fillers, French polishes, tack rags, water and oil rubbing compounds, leaving no doubt in the reader's mind that the book is more than just a package for promoting his range of products. He makes a point of humourously pointing out when he is giving his products a plug, and when he does, it reflects a sincere belief in their quality.

A special section on finishing for turners focuses on sanding, troubleshooting and how to get the most out of a variety of finishes.

The list of materials included in the book gives uses for various chemicals that are used in finishing, and complements the excellent glossary and index.

Illustrations: Black & White

Contents

Dedication
Foreword
The Author
Introduction

In The Beginning
Stripping, Cleaning up Stripping, Stripping Hints, Caution, Commercial Stripping.

Preparing The Wood
Dressing, Removing Bruises, Bruise Removal on Veneered Timber, Stopping, Cleaning Up, Staining, Staining Hints, Filling In.

French Polishing
Skinning In, The Swooge (Fad), The Swooge Coat, Making the Polishers Rubber, The Work Begins, Hints and Tips, Bodying Up, Extremely Important, Stiffing Up, Johns Method of Stiffing, Notes.

Advanced Polishing
Colouring and Matching, Bleaching, Dulling Down, Acid or Vitriol Finish.

Shellac - More Information
What is it, How to Mix Shellac, French Polish, How to Use Shellac Polish, Applying With a Brush, Waxed French Polish, French Polished Finish, Spraying, Coloured French Polish, Dewaxed White Shellac, Stained Timber, Sanding Sealer - Application, Special Hint - Shellac and Talc.

Gluing Up
A Bed Time Story, How it Should Be Done, Hide Glue, More on Hide Glue - Pearl Glue, Powder Glue, Heating the Glue, Other Glues, PVA Glue, Aliphatic, Urea & Resorcinol Resin Glue, Contact Adhesive, Cyanoacrylate (Superglue), Hot Melt Glue.

Abrasives
Grading, Types of Paper, Glass Paper, Flint, Garnet, Sanding, Wetting down, Mechanical Sanding, Disc Sanders, Belt Sanders, Orbital Sander, Random Orbital Sander, Other Sanders, Tips for Hand Sanding, Making Your Own Block Sander, Hand Sanding Without a Block, Joke Time Again.

Stains, Dyes and Chemicals
Stains - Pigment, Binder, Carrier, Stain Examples l & 2, Dyes, Old Dyes - Logwood, Yellowood, Brazilwood, Walnut Crystals, Cochineal, Madder Root, Liquid Nightmare, Tea. Mordants, Chemical Treatment - Potassium Bichromate, A Little Experiment, Sulphate of Iron/Green Copperas, Vandyke Crystals, Alkalis, Danger. Modern Synthetic Dyes, Water Soluble Dyes, Alcohol Soluble, Oil Soluble, Notes, Joke.

Other Finishes
Spraying, Nitrocellulose Lacquer, Sanding Sealer, Applying the Lacquer, Some Rules For Spraying, Polyurethane, My Method of Applying Polyurethane, Finishing the Finish, Matt Finish, Satin Finish, Bright Finish, Oil Finishes - Tung Oil, Danish Oil, Danger, Linseed Oil, Organoil - A Quick Lesson. Notes on Oil Finishes, Wax Polishes, The Problem With Beeswax, Traditional Wax, Methods of Use, For Antiques, For Woodcarvings, For Woodturners, For Furniture. Good Question (Joke), Notes.

Recipes
Safety First. The Fun Begins - Walnut Brew, Liquid Nightmare, Tea Stain, Potassium Bichromate, Potassium Permanganate, Copper Sulphate, Tannic Acid. Wax Polishes - Recipe Number l (beeswax paste) No 2 (hard bright wax) No 3 (soft wax polish) Extra Ingredients. Furniture Cream, Polish Revivers - Revivers No 1, 2, 3. Oil Finishes - No 1, 2, 3, 3A. Woodgrain Filler - Oil Based, Water Based. Beaumontage, French Polish Button Shellac, Flake Shellac, Granulated White Lac, Tops. Note on Shellac Shelf Life. Tack Rag. A Make Your Own Boo-Boo. Final Note on Making Your Own. Saying.

Decorative Finishes
Decorative Finishing, Decorative Shellac, Applying the Finish, Gesso The Fun Finish, Textured Gesso, Lets Make Some Gesso, Recipe 1, Effect No 1 (Stippled), No 2 (rolled brush), No 3 (Bagged), More on Gesso, Recipe 2, Using Recipe 2 - Effect No 1 (3 colour cut through) No 2 (Marble) Still More Gesso, Decorated Oak. Marbling, Water Marbling, Lets Do Some Marbling. Scumbling, One For the Drips, Let us Dribble, The Bottom Line, Gilding - Water Gilding, Oil Gilding, Let us Gild.

Fire & Weather Worn
Burnt Finish, Light Edge Burn (Spanish Style), Burntwood (Heavy eroded style) Weather Worn Simulations. Sandblasting, Hints & Tips, Safety First.

For Woodturners
Sanding Techniques - Wet Sanding, Method, Tip for Sanding & Polishing Thin Walled Bowls, Rotary Sander, Finishes & Decoration, Shellawax, Danish Oil, Organoil, Cynoacrylate, Warning, Waxes, Wax Over Shellac, Decoration, Burnt Rim, Casting resin cove, Windows, Colours

U-Beaut Polishes
A Brief History. Shellawax - Small Bowls, Hand rubbing. Shellawax Cream - For Woodturners, For Woodcarvers, on Flat Surfaces, Tips and Tricks. EEE-Ultra Shine - For Woodturners, on Crushed Velvet, Finishing the Finish, For Stone, For Polishers & Restorers. Traditional Wax - Coloured Wax, Polish Reviver. Non Toxic Water Dyes. Shellac, French Polish, White Polish, Sanding Sealer. Talc, Tripoli Powder, Woodturners Waxtik. Shellawax Problem Solver. Woodworking Australia. Treefella Extraordinaire (joke)

Shellawax Problem Solver
A Few Favourite Things
Materials
Glossary
Recommended Materials

Suppliers List
U-Beaut Distributors
Conversion Tables
Addendum
Four More Pages of Jokes
Note Pages
Bibliography
Your Favourite Suppliers
Woodwork Forums Info
Metalwork Forums
Index
The Last Page