Friction Polish is a shellac based polish ideal for creating a high gloss finish on or off the lathe. It’s a great decorative finish and is ideal for small items but can be difficult to apply to larger items on the lathe (over about 8 inch diameter).
The high amount of shellac in Friction Polish does two main things. Firstly it helps seal bare wood and give it a great shine, which is good. Sadly the price of this commodity shot up a few years ago when the shellac crop failed and it never went back down, meaning that the cost of the polish has also risen sharply.
Nevertheless, Friction Polish remains one of the most popular finishes for turners. It can be applied to bare wood but is normally used over a sealer and any of the sealers in the Chestnut Products range are suitable for this. Applied with the lathe running it dries almost instantly and builds to a deep, rich shine very quickly. Avoid using too much as this can cause ‘rings’ to appear on the surface.
Friction Polish can be applied off the lathe with great success, using it like a French Polish and rubbing it into the surface. This does require a large amount of elbow grease (sadly not something we supply) but the end result is well worth the effort!