After the guitar "gases out" for about an hour, you are ready to "spirit off" the guitar. Spiriting is the procedure used to remove the excess oil that has accumulated on top of the guitar's finish.
Spirit the surface using long, straight strokes. Use less pressure when the muneca is wetter and more pressure when it is relatively dry.
Time and pressure of the muneca has allowed the oil to permeate to the surface. We will want to remove the excess oil to prepare for the next bodying session. Spiriting is done in the exact same way as stiffing. In fact, there is really no difference between the two except for the reason you are doing it. A small amount of alcohol is loaded in the muneca and, with straight even strokes and firm pressure, go from one end of the guitar to the other. Use overlapping strokes, covering the entire surface of the guitar. There will be a very small amount of shellac left in the muneca which will guarantee that we will not be removing any shellac during the spiriting. After spiriting the entire guitar we are ready for the next bodying session. Even though the shellac is almost dry to the touch as it is being applied, it is advisable to let it continue to harden
During most French-polishing processes "reading" reflections can be a valuable method of evaluating your progress.
before more finish is applied. If too much finish is applied in a short period of time without allowing it to harden there is a danger of the finish "crazing". Crazing is a term given to a finish that has microscopic cracks in the surface. This occurs when solvents get trapped in the underlayer of a finish. The top layer, when exposed to air, will harden faster than the underlayer. When the solvents in the underlayers try to gas out, the top layer cracks as it shrinks. Crazing will also occur if the top layer is not properly amalgamated with the previous layers. This is why it is very important to press firmly on the muneca as you polish. French-polish will not craze if properly applied. After completing the first body session and the guitar's surface has been spirited off, look over the entire guitar for areas that may not have all of the grain filled. With alcohol and a little pumice, go over these areas again until they are filled. It is never too late to fill overlooked places that might have been missed- it just gets more difficult to fill pores as the finish builds.


Now, lets review the bodying procedure . . .
  1. Load your muneca with alcohol, shellac, and a single drop of oil. If your muneca is new you should wet it with at least 10 drops of alcohol for the first loading. Once the muneca is used, 6 to 8 drops of drops of shellac to five or six drops of alcohol will be sufficient to load the muneca from then on.
  2. Smack the loaded muneca against the back of your hand to help distribute the shellac/alcohol mix. Use a sheet of typing paper to blot the muneca. A wet blot means too much mixture. No blot at all means it's too dry. A water mark print means that the muneca is correctly loaded.
  3. Always glide on and off the guitar. Use rotating strokes, never stopping the muneca. Doing so will damage the finish where you stop.
  4. Be methodical. Mentally divide the guitar surfaces in sections and do each section, one at a time, assuring even coverage. Apply shellac to the surface using circular overlapping strokes followed by long straight strokes pulling over the shellac. Pressure is very, very important. In general, use low pressure when the muneca is wetter and more pressure when the muneca is drier.
  5. Watch for the telltale cloud behind the muneca! No cloud means that no shellac is going on to the guitar.
  6. Use a paper towel or dry rag to blot excess moisture from the muneca. A muneca that is too wet will damage the instrument.
  7. Use only alcohol while stiffing off the surface. The residual shellac in the muneca will assure that no shellac is being removed during stiffing.
  8. Stiff the guitar in one direction. From the heel to the tail, start from the middle and work to the edges. When stiffing the sides, start at an edge and work to the middle.
  9. Develop a technique that will allow you to change directions without stopping the muneca. Circular and figure 8 patterns followed by long straight strokes are used by experts.
  10. Pay close attention to the edges and the corners of the guitar. It is natural to neglect the edges. Always treat the edges as separate surfaces. This will assure that the finish on the edges will not be too thin
  11. Remember, use the oil sparingly. It is not necessary to add oil each time that you recharge the muneca. Use oil only when the muneca begins to drag or has a tendency to stick
  12. In most cases, twice over the guitar using circular patterns, once using straight passes, and stiffing between bodying is considered a session. Remember, the muneca is gliding over the surfaces of the guitar many times as you work methodically in an area. In actuality, you have (or should have) covered every square inch of the guitar many times during each session.
  13. Look over the guitar very carefully and re-pumice areas that may have been missed.
  14. Spirit off the entire guitar using only alcohol added to the muneca using firm even strokes.
  15. Continue to body for at least 4 more sessions