Hi I just did this a few minutes ago and thought I would post it as there has been some discussion about this.
The neck is Tasmanian oak, it has tree coats of Orange Shellac brushed on and fine sanded and then one application of teak wax buffed on hard. Work time about five minutes all up.
Hey, Shellac has been my favorite finish material for a number of years. It dries in minutes, can be hand rubbed for an amazing high gloss finish and repairs are simple (wipe on more shellac). You can sprinkle fine pumice onto your shellac wiping pad and it will fill open grain for a glass smooth finish.. New shellac applied over old will mix and become a single finish. Don't know of any other finish material that will do that.
Shellac was the go to finish for fine furniture for hundreds of years. Go Shellac!
Hi Tom T, yes you are dead right, I always have a jar of Shellac ready to go, I mix my own from flakes, as fresher is better. I did a hand rubbed (French Polished) application on a recent guitar, the look and feel was great but the time it took was way too long.
its also a good sealer and works well under any other finish. It is however a less than hard wearing finish, but as you mention it's easy to repair. I finished all my early instruments with it and my first guitar, 1977, has a Shellac finish but does look the worst for wear.
I used to mix flakes when I did antique clock restoration, bu these days I never use enough to make it worth mixing. Biggest problem is that in humid areas the flakes have a shelf life and as you know alcohol loves to absorb moisture which ruins it for mixing.
I wish more folks knew how good shellac is as a finish.
Taffy, thanks for the pic's and the tip. I often use shellac as a sealer, before poly topcoat, and haven't veered off of that for many builds. Time to try a shellac and wax finish...seems like a time saver, and good life as well. And, no poly on the frets!