COAT AFTER COAT, one application after the other, One in the morning, sometimes another in the evening. It sounds kind of boring, but it is really quite exciting as you see the beauty of the wood develop and grow under the repeated thin applications of dilute shellac.
four or five hours after each application of shellac, I go over the instrument again with a munica loaded with only alcohol. This process called "stiffing off" removes the olive oil that was used to lubricate the last shellac application and seems to smooth off the surface and make it shine even more.
Once you have built up a rich coat of shellac you will find a bit of roughness here and there, a few run spots that are too thick, It is time for the first sanding. I use 600 grit wet and dry paper dipped into a saucer with a little water and a drop or two of dishwashing detergent. Use a flat sanding block, a rubber eraser works great. Sand the shellac finish smooth, cleaning the paper frequently of the residue so that it keeps cutting. Don't get things too wet. I frequently wipe off the uke with a paper towel. When sanded all over, let it dry for an hour and when you apply the next application of dilute shellac you will be amazed at the improvement, and how quickly it restores to the shine. If you are really fussy you might want to repeat this sanding after a dozen more applications. Pictured is the Brazilian Rosewood/Redwood #82