johneone

Alchohol for mixing shellac

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So I find out that California has banned the sale of Denatured Alcohol. What else can I use to mix up a batch of shellac? Before you suggest grain alcohol, we haven't had that since 1969 :)

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Pick some up next time you travel to another state? Doesn’t help you right now though. My only other suggestions are to move or to make your own grain alcohol. :lol:

My wife and I lived in CA for 4 years and couldn’t wait to get out.

 

39 minutes ago, Tpt life said:

They banned the 190 proof. Maybe 150 proof will work in a pinch?

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They don't really sell denatured alcohol where I live, but I found essentially the same thing sold as fuel for alcohol burning indoor fire places. It was pretty cheap too. 

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16 hours ago, johneone said:

So I find out that California has banned the sale of Denatured Alcohol.

People keep saying that California has banned items but in reality it is usually a county thing.  Everything that I hear mentioned by Southern California woodworkers that are banned, I can still by locally were I leave.  I think some of it comes from the fact that Southern California had a bigger problem with clean air situations so they are taking big steps now.

Come on up for a visit John and we'll go shopping. B)

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24 minutes ago, Chet said:

People keep saying that California has banned items but in reality it is usually a county thing.  Everything that I hear mentioned by Southern California woodworkers that are banned, I can still by locally were I leave.  I think some of it comes from the fact that Southern California had a bigger problem with clean air situations so they are taking big steps now.

Come on up for a visit John and we'll go shopping. B)

It’s true that most of the strict rules are made in SoCal for the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), but some companies simply don’t ship/sell to California in general to avoid problems. They require strict reporting of sales and impose hefty fines for violations. They can fine the manufacturer for selling to a store/company that is outside the SCAQMD border but uses/sells to customers within the border. They list a small container exception for things like artist supplies in small quantities, but impose fines if the manufacturer doesn’t use specific wording on the package to state that it cannot be used in industrial applications (even though the size of the container makes this obvious), and their preferred wording changes without notice or reason. Therefore it’s much easier to just not sell in CA if it’s not a big part of their sales.

I have worked for a company that dealt with this. 

But it’s nice to know that some companies are taking the risk and some of it is still available in Northern CA.

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Thank you all for the answers. A few points:

1. I didnt post this for the California haters to jump in. I love California and understand it does things differently.

2. Everclear really isn't available in California, nothing stronger than 80 proof.

3. Northern California might as well be a different state than So Cal. It may have been more accurate to state that So Cal has banned Denatured Alchohol, my apologies.

I've got a line on a gallon of DA that should tide me over for a while until I source an alternative.

 

thanks guys!

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And I don’t mean this to be negative towards Cal., but can someone tell me the why about the DA and anything over 80 proof? I can understand, kinda, about chemicals that are suspect as cancer causing agents but, alcohol? Just wondering? 

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I tried to research this... and I gotta be honest it's really unclear.   It appears to just be South California, but I searched that southern california air quality district website and all I found was talk of a proposed rule 1143 back in 2008 including denatured alcohol.   But the rule 1143 they listed as current as of 2010 only mentions mineral spirits.

Supposedly it's because it's a VOC.... that's the only rationale I can see.

 

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1 hour ago, Minnesota Steve said:

Supposedly it's because it's a VOC.... that's the only rationale I can see.

That's the thing, the VOC's

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Definitely the VOC's, Mineral spirits also disappeared.

I'm just looking for alternatives to mix my shellac, not interested in debating why DA is no bueno, can't do anything about that.

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3 hours ago, johneone said:

Definitely the VOC's, Mineral spirits also disappeared.

I'm just looking for alternatives to mix my shellac, not interested in debating why DA is no bueno, can't do anything about that.

Give us a little bit to discuss this out. If VOC is the concern, we are likely to not find a good substitute for you. Understanding the nature of the ban helps us not suggest a list of other items likely to be banned. We mean you no disrespect. 

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There are some common solvents that have been “reformulated” to meet SCAQMD regulations, but most mentions I have heard about these reforumlated products are that they don’t work (Not in reference to the use of shellac, but in general)

However, there is some discussion on LumberJocks this month saying that some SoCal stores still have denatured alcohol on the shelves, often labeled as fuel. There is also discussion there on using 99% isopropyl alcohol, which can be found at some feed stores and electronics stores. 

Might be worth checking out all of the home improvement shops in your area, big and small, you might get lucky and find some. Or have you already tried this? 

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"haven't had that since 1969." Hotel California reference?  Neat. ;)

Isopropyl alcohol won't work for dissolving Shellac.  And it contains water which will make the finish blush even if it did work as a solvent.  You'll have to find some real DNA or Everclear, I guess.

David

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I find it somewhat ironic that they heavily regulate things that are kinda of dangerous but then deregulate things that are obviously dangerous like drugs and cigarettes are still legal....

I was of the impression that Ethyl Alcohol or Ethanol in it's pure form is a VOC but isn't necessarily a harmful one. Inhailing it's vapor causes and effect very similar to that of drinking it aka it makes you drunk. Though I'm the impact on longs for long term exposure wasn't listed. It was noted that in rats long term exposure caused higher addition like behaviors when compared to consumption.

From my research it's not the long term effect they are concerned with but the short term where people get too drunk to fast and poison them selves.... To do this you needed to heat the alcohol and the heat from the steam is what causes the reported lung damage. I'm not pointing this out to make it seem like it's safe I'd still use necessary PPE.

I digress... I wonder if you'd get in trouble if i sent you some in an unmarked container via mail? I'll write camp stove fuel on it or something... :D

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2 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

I was of the impression that Ethyl Alcohol or Ethanol in it's pure form is a VOC but isn't necessarily a harmful one. Inhailing it's vapor causes and effect very similar to that of drinking it aka it makes you drunk. Though I'm the impact on longs for long term exposure wasn't listed. It was noted that in rats long term exposure caused higher addition like behaviors when compared to consumption.

When I worked at a hardware store a coworker fell asleep on top of a pallet of mineral spirits, DNA, and other solvents in the back room. He said it was the best nap he had ever had...

You'd just need to check on the regulations for shipping flammable liquids, I think it's restricted to ground transport but I don't know if there are other labeling or packaging requirements.

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1 hour ago, difalkner said:

Isopropyl alcohol won't work for dissolving Shellac.  And it contains water which will make the finish blush even if it did work as a solvent.  You'll have to find some real DNA or Everclear, I guess.

You can use isopropyl, if it's 99%.  The stuff sold in drug stores as "rubbing alcohol" has too much water in it.

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John, just out of curiosity, have you checked any neighboring counties?

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5 hours ago, JohnG said:

There are some common solvents that have been “reformulated” to meet SCAQMD regulations, but most mentions I have heard about these reforumlated products are that they don’t work (Not in reference to the use of shellac, but in general)

However, there is some discussion on LumberJocks this month saying that some SoCal stores still have denatured alcohol on the shelves, often labeled as fuel. There is also discussion there on using 99% isopropyl alcohol, which can be found at some feed stores and electronics stores. 

Might be worth checking out all of the home improvement shops in your area, big and small, you might get lucky and find some. Or have you already tried this? 

Will look into this, thx

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4 hours ago, Chestnut said:

It was noted that in rats long term exposure caused higher addition like behaviors

So the drunk rats can add 3 digit numbers, but the sober rats can only count on their fingers?  :)

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