Finishing Drawer Insides? Thoughts wanted...

Ok, so I'm building my first drawers and wanted people's thoughts on finishing the inside. The wood should be maple and plywood and I definitely don't want the clothes to smell or get residue on them. Should I finish them at all? Maybe use diluted shellac and follow with Wax?
Let me know, but please be gentle!
Thanks!
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A couple of coats of brushed on shellac on the raw wood (Zinsser's Bulls Eye SealCoat works well right out of the can). No need to wax.
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Last update: 9/21/03
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Ding ding ding! I'll second this. Shellac is a better sealer than poly and/or lacquer, and of course dries way faster than poly. Not to mention the smell is far more tolerable than either. Porous woods will tend to suck lacquer right into themselves. If you prefer the feel and appearance of raw wood, cut the stuff 2:1 with denatured alcohol, and then wipe instead of brushing. Make sure you've got adequate ventilation and don't get the alcohol/shellac on your skin. Didn't know this was going to turn into a shellacking treatise, but while doing typesy-typesy, I recalled a pair of geniuses who applied shellac-based primer in an enclosed space and became thoroughly intoxicated.
O'Deen -- http://www.klownhammer.org
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On 13 Oct 2003 07:49:13 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Patrick Olguin) wrote:

Is it really a better sealer than nitro lacquer? I'm not even being a smart ass (at present) but I'd like to know why that would be true. If'n it is true, I'd use it in preference to the lacquer on things like fittings to be used for clothing, as the lacquer smell does linger and, depending on final thickness and finishing schedule, the offgassing can be fairly prolonged. I've had customers complain about the smell getting into their clothing. (this mostly from wimmens who will gladly put lacquer on their hair but don't like it in their undies).

Yeah, but we got sanding sealers that do a pretty good job on this. I'd be more willing to use the shellacky in drawers if it didn't have that little problem of messing up my aluminium spray gun cup when left overnight.

I always thought of that as a freebie fringe benefit (now I'm being a smartass). To drop down into non-smartass gear again, when I'm going to be spraying for a full day I often wear these spiffy Tyvek bunny suits as I've already burned out enough brain cells to be happy most of the time and don't want to take it too far.
What's the real deal on transdermal absorbtion of alcohol/shellac when sprayed?
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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Tom Watson wrote:

yes -- many sealers (e.g. Zinser Sealcoat) are shellac-based
Quoting from Flexner: Shellac: Pros - excellent barrier to water vapor Laquer: Cons - only moderate resistance to water vapor
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Chris Merrill
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Ya know, I can see many similarities between the vagaries of finishing, and a person's so-called "reordered priorities." For example, in both cases you more than likely to encounter blushing, adequate penetration of the finish/dye/stain, water-based stain, high-solids film, fast-drying, runs, drips, hopefully no sags. wiping vs. spraying, multiplie coatings, spills, and requirements for adequate ventilation.
If you're concerned about your appearance as a perfeshunell, look no further than Northeast Ahiya, where Jeff Jewitt has his visage splashed all over books touting hand-applied finishes ;).
Ok, I think we've taken this far enough afield.
O'Deen -- http://www.klownhammer.org
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I, for one, don't like to finish the insides of drawers I build. I've built a lot of projects with maple and if it's been properly dried there is no smell or residue to deal with. I like a well sanded and smoothed drawer interior of raw wood. You'll find most commerical furniture is built this way as well. I've had a lot of luck building drawer sides using thin stock sycamore. It's cheap (in the midwest anyway), sands out nice with an interesting grain pattern/texture to it. Another consideration is how the drawer is contructed and slides. If there are no mechanical slides (i.e. it's a wood drawer meant to fit snugly in a solid wood opening) you may want to finish the drawer to minimize wood movement that could change the fit and slide of your drawer. With a typical drawer with a mechanical drawer slide, movement isn't an issue though.
Gary

definitely
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Drawers and Doors are the biggest call back that shops get in this business. When you cam minimize that to just about zero then you must be doing something right. Yes mine are in that area Production furniture companies do not finish their drawers to cut costs. I spray all my drawers with several coats of lacquer and always tend to be complimented about them from my customers. Ironically it is quite often that I am in someones house doing an installation and my clients will tend to get me to do a few repair's 9 out of 10 times it is on a unfinished dovetailed drawer that sort of fell apart. We won't talk about kitchen cabinets drawers that people bring me for repairs----Egads just when i thought i have seen all the cheap shit out there some one brings me a drawer that defies all odds. I do know lots of shops that do not finish their drawers but then again the outsides look a mess also. No matter what you use there will be a scent of finish material while the solvents are eveaporating but this soon goes away A little extra purfume or cologne in those sachets will undoubtably kill from there.
Good Luck, George

definitely
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I lacquer mine as well, almost all of mine are mechanical slides, some wood and I still cover them. My wife is a cleaner (freak) and she likes to wipe them out from time to time so they must be covered with something and I won't let her put the plastic stick on stuff that her grandmother used.
Jennnk wrote:

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I always give the drawer innards a coat of polyurethane or shellac. Anything that minimizes wood movement is good. And they are easier to clean.
Bob

definitely
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