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Finishing  The instruments are finished with Tru-oil varnish, a modern robust oil varnish, that remains very thin, irrespective of the number of layers, allowing the wood to move and produce a good sound. The instruments are thoroughly sanded with progressively finer papers, until I finish with a 600 or 1200. Once completely dust free, with fan and de-humidifier off, I use either a small cotton cloth or a small brush, to apply the varnish. Tru-oil is easy to work with, non-toxic, and depending on temperature and humidity, dries quickly, with coats applied on a daily basis. With light sanding between successive coats, a good gloss can be rapidly built up. On open pored woods such as rosewood and mahogany, I am using a pore filler, to close the pores, to achieve a more even finish. After each coat, the instruments are hung in the drier to cure. The finish is usually fine after 7-10 coats, and left to cure for a week or two.

Bouzouki after 1 coat of Tru-oil varnish.

Mandolin after 4 coats of Tru-oil varnish

Drying cupboard.