Problem French Polishing


New member
Would appreciate advice on a French polishing issue I’m having.  I’m finishing a mahogany desk top.  Plan has been to follow the French polishing approach laid out by John Coffey in the summer 2019 P&T issue.  I had great results on practice boards, but now that I’m working on the real thing I seem to be making all the mistakes he describes.  I rushed the initial grain filling the first go round and had too much shellac on the piece; so stripped it off (which as he notes is very easy). Second time round, I focused on really getting the grain filled without adding too much material. 

Problem I have now is that I over did it with pumice, and there are several spots where the white pumice is in the bottom of some of the deeper grains (mostly spots where the grain reversed etc).  So in hindsight I should have done a better job smoothing, sanding before starting to polish.

Curious what people thing the best next step is.  My inclination is to strip off the shellac again, and then scrape/sand it down a bit in the hopes that when I take off the high spots, it’ll be easier to fill in those gaps.  But maybe there’s an easier way I”m not thinking about (maybe a very thin coat of thin shellac would soak into those spots?). 

Thanks in advance for any help.