houstonwoodworker

Diluting shellac

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10 minutes ago, wdwerker said:

Oh hell no ! 

Use denatured alcohol. Nothing else will work.

Except Everclear. That works.

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There is an article  on the Pop Woodworking site (you can Google for it) about adding mineral oil to shellac to improve the finish.  That seems odd to me since mineral oil doesn't really dry, but one of the comments was about adding a little mineral spirits to improve the application (and reduce the drag) of applying the shellac.  I've never tried it, but it should not be too hard to try any of the options (turpentine, MS, MO) on a scrap board....

 

 

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There is an article  on the Pop Woodworking site (you can Google for it) about adding mineral oil to shellac to improve the finish.  That seems odd to me since mineral oil doesn't really dry, but one of the comments was about adding a little mineral spirits to improve the application (and reduce the drag) of applying the shellac.  I've never tried it, but it should not be too hard to try any of the options (turpentine, MS, MO) on a scrap board....

 

 

Shellac, lubricated with oil, is the recipe for french polish.

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1 hour ago, wtnhighlander said:

Shellac, lubricated with oil, is the recipe for french polish.

duh on me.  of course, should have remembered that.

 

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2 hours ago, DRonly said:

How about  95% grain alcohol? It is less toxic

Not always! :P

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There are certainly variations and even "special" alcohol products for shellac.  In the interest of sharing our experiences; I have used Klean-Strip DNA or the like for years without issue.  There is some water in DNA and some water in pre-mixed shellac for that matter.  Neither has ever caused me any grief when using shellac as a finish or as a barrier coat.

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10 hours ago, gee-dub said:

There are certainly variations and even "special" alcohol products for shellac.  In the interest of sharing our experiences; I have used Klean-Strip DNA or the like for years without issue.  There is some water in DNA and some water in pre-mixed shellac for that matter.  Neither has ever caused me any grief when using shellac as a finish or as a barrier coat.

That's what I use as well.

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I don't have a lot of experience with shellac, but reading stuff by those do suggests that pure ethanol is the very best. Availability can be an issue though.

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Getting ethanol from a 95% ethanol 5% water solution to 100% ethanol requires the addition of a tiny amount of benzene, which is a known carcinogen.  This may be the reason for the availability issue.  

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