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!
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
On 13 Oct 2003 07:49:13 -0700, email@example.com (Patrick Olguin)
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
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
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
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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