How To Make A French Polisher's Rubber

by Simon Gilboy

In this presentation I am demonstrating how I was taught to make a French Polisher's rubber.

If you are just starting out and looking at french polishing for the first time then this is the correct way to start.

I apologise if this reads a bit arrogant but having looked at the video presentations by other people on YouTube that are trying to teach people how to do it, I thought it was about time someone demonstrated how to make one the traditional way.

To make a French Polishers rubber is hard to describe but as you can see in the presentation it is well worth practising.

It will make your french polishing journey considerably more rewarding if you start by making the rubbber correctly. A fully charged rubber will last a good amount of time and allow you to work the body of polish without having to stop.

The art of polishing starts with the rubber: It is the reservoir of polish that is stored within the cotton wadding inside the rubber that allows the French Polisher to work the surface.

The art of french polishing is understanding how much pressure to apply to the rubber in all directions and.... :

1) The downward applied force of pushing the face of the rubber onto the surface.

2) The pressure or 'squeeze' you apply to the body of the rubber in the cup of your hand.

3) The speed at which you move on the surface be it slow or fast

4) The direction you travel on the substrate being careful not to over apply and not to leave marks on the surface.

All the above has to be understood and mastered to achieve a good result in a reasonable amount of time.

It is very much possible to obtain a good finish by using other methods that are demonstrated on YouTube but, from what I have seen, some of the pieces polished started off the process as 'new' ended up as antique by the end of the process.

I would also very much recommend practising forming and folding a rubber. *Instead of using polish try it with warm water, this way there is no wasted polish and meths.

Discover an insight of how to french polish.




    Nice to see a properly made rubber done exactly the same as I was taught by my father and the way I do,ime also French polisher by trade and thus is the first sight I’ve seen that shows the real method

  • John

    Dear Gilboy’s.
    I have just completed a full service of an Art Deco Mantle Clock Movement C1920-30.
    Would your Gold product help revive the tired looking veneers and inlay, used to make the clock case?
    Kind Regards.

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