Fixing shellac orangepeel?

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I used a spray gun attached to my air compressor (who knew? I thought all that thing was good for was to blow sawdust out the garage door) to put 10 coats of 1# (approximately--Zinsser store-bought, you see) cut on a blanket chest I bought for my wife. I somehow or other managed to load up the finish in a couple of spots, and I'm feeling some apprehension about a few things.
1. Did I put on _too_much_ shellac? I passed the point at which the wood grain of the cedar was, um, still visible. What I mean to say is that viewed from a very oblique angle, the finish looks like poly, or epoxy, or whatever. Except, that is, for the orange peel.
2. If I can fix it, how do I do it? I realize that I can just rub it out with denatured alcohol until all of the shellac is off the wood, then start over. However, I would rather not do that.
2a. If I wet sand (presumably with 400 grit and mineral spirits) right through the finish, how hard is it to match the finish? There's no stain on the chest, it was raw cedar, so I don't have to worry about that.
3. Can I spray a coat or several of maybe 1/4# cut with the hope that all the alcohol will somehow flatten out the finish?
4. Will a few coats of wax fill in the small voids in the orange peeled finish?
5. Am I just screwed?
What I was looking for, originally, was a dead flat, shiny finish for this blanket chest. I would hope that that's what I can still get from what I have. Is that a reasonable expectation for shellac? I'm sort of flying blind here, as I'm new to the whole shellac thing.
-Phil Crow
P.S. The damnable thing about polyurinestain is that it ain't very pretty, but at least it's predictable (to me, at least).
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Why don't you just try rubbing it with a pad dampened with DNA until it's smooth? Swat Eydoo.
It's crazy enough that it could work...
And then stop spraying the stuff. It's SO easy to pad it on.
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 22:28:55 -0600, Dave Balderstone

Welllll..... I'm still trying to get it to pad on without ridges and streaks. I know I'm doing *something* wrong, but I haven't figured it out yet.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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How heavy a cut are you using?
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 17:35:56 -0600, Dave Balderstone

About 1 1/2, it is Zinser (sp?) 3 lb cut about 50%. I try to wipe a very thin coat, but I get too much drag unless the pad is wet, rather than damp. At that point it is laying down a layer that is thick enough to show the marks of the pad. I'm going to try thinning it to less than 1lb tonight to try to get this thing finished.
If I want to sand to get a smooth surface before this (hopefully) last coat, some have suggested wet sanding with mineral oil, others with water(?), others let it dry thoroughly and dry sand. Any thoughts?
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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I'm no expert... I've just finished my first padding a few weeks ago.
I used about a 1.5 lb cut of the Lee Valley orange flakes mixed with denatured ethanol, and kept the pad wet rather than damp. Wet, wet, wet.
For sanding, I used a 3M 180 grit foam pad very, very, very lightly after about every 3 or 4 coats had cured for several hours to overnight.
I don't know what the Zinser is like. My mix was fairly fresh (about 4 months old, but stored in the dark in my (cool temp) basement shop.
Hopefully someone who knows more than I do will jump in about now.
djb
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 19:40:35 -0600, Dave Balderstone

I'm not an expert, but I can do a search on Google Groups. Here are directions from "Paddy Odeen" about how to do this. He posts on rec.woodworking about shellac issues now and again:
== Cut your shellac to #1.5. This should be plenty thin for wiping, which is what I always recommend for beginners. Heck, it's what I recommend for everyone. Yes, you can brush shellac. Yes, beginners can brush shellac. Yes, beginners almost always have a spazz when attempting to brush shellac, especially thick cuts. Don't ask me how I know this. Take an old sock; wool or cotton will work. Get a piece of an old pillow case or table cloth and wad it around the sock, pulling it tight so there are no wrinkles on one side. Dip it in a bowl of your #1.5 cut of spiffy shellac. Squeeze it out until it's just damp. You're wearing vinyl gloves, aren't you? Good. Now wipe the pad on the scrap. Take s short break. Count some nose hairs in the back of a finely polished chisel blade. Then wipe some more. Repeat.
When the pad begins to streak, do the dip-and-squeeze trick in your bowl of shellac. When the pad begins to stick to the workpiece, use a couple drops of mineral or raw linseed oil on the outside of the pad to lube it. When the shellac is dry, the oil will clean off with mineral spirits.
Let the shellac dry a couple days, come back, and mebbe one of these geniuses will tell ya how to rub it out to a glassy or satiny sheen... whichever is yer fancy. If we can't locate a polishing genius, we'll then I'll be back. Best of luck. Hope this helped. Paddy
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ROFL!
Paddy posted a link to a short vid demonstrating his technique a cupla weeks back.
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 12:01:55 -0600, Dave Balderstone

Hmm. I missed that. I'll have to try and find it to see if I can figure out what is going on.
Tim Douglass
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 12:01:55 -0600, Dave Balderstone

Is this the one:
http://www.klownhammer.org/movies/wiping.mov
That looks exactly like what I'm doing, but I end up with all this little ridges in the finish so it doesn't have that smooth, level, shiny look. I just set about wet sanding it all back down flat and will try one more time.
This is starting to piss me off...
Tim Douglass
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That's the one.
I can appreciate how frustrated you must be, but if you do what Paddy does you shouldn't have any problems.
I'm a total newbie when it comes to fine finishing of anything, but when I padded shellac on my most recent project is was a dream come true.
I folded the pad, wet it with ethyl, then squirted the shellac from a (for lac <g> of a better word) mustard squirt bottle and wiped away.
After a number of coats I let it sit for 24 hours, barely touched it with a 180 grit 3M pad, then padded again.
That simple.
I'll take some pix of the current project and post them to abpw, and I can set the camera up and film it if it would help...
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 17:49:00 -0600, Dave Balderstone

I sanded the bad parts down and it is actually looking better. I can't seem to get it perfectly smooth, but it is probably good enough for what I'm doing. I think I may be using too much pressure, because the parts I wiped real lightly seem to look pretty good, but the parts that I was rubbing it on sort of hard are where the problems are.

I think it is going to work this time, but I appreciate the offer. A bit more oil seems to be a part of the solution as well. Either way I'm going to finish this thing up start of the week.
Tim Douglass
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wrote:

I'm getting here late, Tim, but I've been where you seem to be, with the shellac thing.
Things I've found:
* About a 1.5 to 2 lb cut seems to work best for me. Heavier = bad. Lighter, I haven't learned to control it well, except for early coats.
* I make sure _not_ to drip anything on the surface, if I can help it.
* Fiddling with the surface, or 'brushing back', such as I would do to get an even surface with an enamel paint, is a bad thing.
* Once the surface starts to 'tack', I have to leave it alone, no matter what my inner child is screaming. Patience is not hereditary in my gene pool, evidently.
* this last bit is more important with objects which are small, and, by their nature, invite handling and close inspection. The inside surfaces of a shop cabinet are a different story. As is a workbench which will actually see work.
* Most importantly, 'sanding' should be most properly described as 'leveling', at least in my lexicon. 400-600 grit works best for me, the goal being to identify where the problems might be.
Good luck. Take and post pictures.
Patriarch
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On Sun, 27 Feb 2005 10:39:28 -0600, Patriarch

I'm OK there. By my figuring I'm using a 1 1/2 lb cut.

I learned that finally.

This seems to be a big thing. It seems like I pretty much get one whack at it and then need to leave it alone.

I have that patience problem myself.

Leveling seems to be what is needed. I have gathered from people in here that you pretty much can expect to have to sand/polish to get that perfectly flat surface. I am more conditioned to varnishes where you can brush them on and they will level while they dry. Shellac definitely doesn't do that.

Depending on how it comes out the pictures may be from close or far away.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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<snip>
The shellac I bought most recently included a quart of Jeff Jewitt's liquid 5 lb cut, extra pale, German refined product. Not only is it excellent bug spit, it goes from shipped product to ready-to-pad in about as long as it takes to measure the two liquids and shake. Highly recommended.
I'm going to try some dipping for a toys-for-kids project the woodworking club is getting ready to run. There are some neat designs for early years projects that can be done in short production run processes. The sort of batch processes that a woodworker can do between dinner and the late news. If the simple finishing process can be dye stain by dipping, dry, and shellac coating by dipping and drying, that would keep it simple and 'food safe'. Otherwise, Critter-spraying.
Love these projects!
Patriarch
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 17:22:00 GMT, Jim Weisgram

Yep. That's exactly the instructions I am trying to follow and it isn't working out too well. I've been messing around with shellac on a couple of projects now and really love the color and such, but I simply *cannot* seem to get anything approaching a smooth surface. I'm about to give up and just slap on some poly to get this project finished. I've been trying to get a decent finish on it for 3 weeks now and it still looks lousy.
Tim Douglass
http://www.DouglassClan.com
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Tim Douglass wrote:

Could always just use a brush. Works for me. Brush and sand, repeat about 10 times and enjoy. The results are fantastic, and I can't see how a French polish could be any more luxurious to behold. Faster way to get there, arguably that could well be true, but I'll go head to head against anybody on the final results. Shellac is very forgiving, and you can take as long as you need to get it where you want to be.
--
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On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 20:44:24 -0500, Silvan

My last attempt with shellac was with a brush - that disaster made this one look pretty good. It still hasn't really been fixed, but it looks fine from a couple feet away and anyone who looks closer is going to deserve to see what they see. The whole plan with padding was that it was supposed to eliminate the brush marks so I wouldn't have to sand all the time. No brush marks, but I have a lot of pad marks, which are shallower and easier to sand out...
Tim Douglass
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I'm a novice with shellac, but the few times I have tried it I've used a cheap brush with some Zinser #3 orange right out of the can. Never had a problem with brush marks. The only uneven-ness I've seen was on an antique oak top desk where the grain of the wood stood out.
This leads me to wonder if maybe you have some shellac that has gone bad?
-sam
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Tim Douglass wrote:

When applying shellac I apply 3-5 coats and then lightly block sand to level the surface using either 220 or 400 grit (depending on how bad I screwed up). I'll then apply additional coats leveling the surface by block sanding at approx. every third coat. After applying the final coat I use a felt block to rub out the finish with "FF" pumice and mineral oil followed by "FFFF" pumice. If a higher sheen is desired I'll continue using rubbing the finish out rottenstone.
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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