mason jars... shellac...

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How big is a standard mason jar? A quart? Are these things available year round from places like Wally World, or only during canning season?
I've got a bag of weird orange fluffy stuff that I want to turn into wood finish one of these days. I already asked what to do with the unused portion, and it was suggested that I divvy it up into baggies. What I was thinking instead, though, was why not divvy it up into jars? Just buy a box of jars, then add alcohol as the occasion arises.
I have a bunch of jars already, but they're odd sizes from this and that that the previous homeowner washed out and stored. I can use those if needs be, but I was thinking just buying a new box might be easier and more certain. Plus I get a handy dandy box to store them in.
Approximately how much shellac flake/powder do I have to add to a jar to get what cut? I guess a quart is 1/4 gallon, so a 1-pound cut would be 4 oz. of flakes? Am I missing something?
Should I start with a big cut and subdivide it? The only shellac I've used so far was the Bullseye stuff, which was a 3# or 4# cut out of the can. I mixed it about 50/50 for my working batch, and then used the brush cleaner jar as a thin wash coat later on, once it got some shellac dissolved in it.
I haven't even built a project yet, and I'm way off from finishing, but I'm kind of eager to play with this. I might mix up a little bitty batch just to waste some. I want to see how the real stuff compares to the canned. I hope I'll be pleased.
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wrote:

Standard sizes are pint, quart, and half-gallon.

Should be available year-round. [snip]

Perzactly right. Not missing a thing.

I find a 2-lb cut is easier to apply than 3- or 4-lb. YMMV.
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Doug Miller wrote:

One of the big brand spaghetti sauces comes in mason jars, too. It's the quart size and if you make a lot of requests for pasta you might be able to get a good collection going pretty quickly. Even better, the jar covers are screw tops with a rubber type ring on the inside. Good closure over and over. Jar covers come tomato stained but I set them in the sunshine and the sun bleaches the orange out in a day or so.
Occasionally someone like Ace will set out white plastic one piece replacement covers, not suitable for canning but seems to be okay for short term shellac and oil based paint storage. These I'd be more likely to put a square of waxed paper between the jar and white plastic lid.
Josie
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Then there are the jelly jars. Though Silvan filters me, anyone else contemplating use of jars should remember that alcohol sucks water, so the less air the better in the container. Mixing shellac in the smallest possible container makes sense. As I apply with cloth, I find squeeze bottles best.
1 ounce (Av) = 1/16 of a pound 1 cup (8 Fl Oz) = 1/16 of a gallon.
What could be simpler?
Oh yes, if you look at food container cans and jars you see the same chisel in progress that you see with coffee. The jar is probably 15 Fl Oz by now, some less. The pound of coffee is 12 oz, but the old "three pound" size even chisels on that, being 34.5!!!!
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George wrote:

I do? I guess whatever it was, I'm over it now. :)
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The problem with using multiple jars is that they're a bitch to clean when you're done. If you're only ever going to use them for shellac, I guess that's not a big deal but I do a lot of canning and hate to toss them out.
And yeah, I know shellac is "food safe".
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

I'd be using them just for shellac, yeah. We don't can anymore.

Yeahbut denatured alcohol sure ain't. I would never think of reusing these for food.
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Silvan wrote:

Huh? When you did can, did you not pour out old liquid before putting in the new stuff to can? Maybe even wash the jars? No? Gross!
Seriously, do you think shellac can withstand boiling water for any length of time? Or withstand 95 percent alcohol? Or are all the statements on the negatives of a shellac finish wrong? such as water is absorbed and turns it white spots, it is dissolved by alcohol, it is not heat resistant, etc.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

No, actually, we haven't canned since I was a kid. There used to be a vacant lot across the street. Somebody plowed a bulldozer through it and stopped. That was a perfect spot for shooting used mason jars with my BB gun. :)

Seriously, denatured alcohol has a big skull and crossbones on the can, and it says it can't be made nonpoisonous. Sure, it probably all evaporated. Sure, boiling and washing probably got rid of every trace of it. But for the price of a box of mason jars, who wants to take a chance like that?! I don't eat out of something that has contained some poisonous chemical. Shellac may be edible, but I would not eat it unless it was prepared with pure boozing alcohol. I know all the solvent is supposed to evaporate, but what if some of it doesn't? It's just a stupid risk to take. (Not that I actually have any occasion to eat shellac, denatured alcohol or not. Not shellac I have applied myself anyway. If they use methyl alcohol to prepare food grade shellac coatings, I'll be really surprised though.)
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Silvan wrote:

Apparently you have never worked in a chem or physiology lab. Nor do you have any idea about what is in the food you eat (hair, rat droppings, insects, weeds, etc.. The risks from any meal during the day is thousands of times worse than from any denatured alcohol or methanol left in a mason jar after thoroughly washing and rinsing twice.
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On Fri, 17 Dec 2004 07:22:12 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

It won't clean off in a dishwasher. There's a big gap between "doesn't stand up to it as a finish" and "Can be cleaned off effectively by it".
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Ammonia. Pour out the remaining shellac, let dry or not, pour in ammonia and hot water, white stuff comes off with any kitchen scrubber. Save up a few jars and do them all at once outside.
Josie
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Andy Dingley wrote:

And how is a dishwasher related to boiling water? Do you know of any dishwashers that use boiling water? The dishwasher with heat augmentation get to a water temp of about 140 degrees; but many just use the water as it comes through the pipe. I mentioned boiling because boiling water is typically used in hot water canning, and then of course there is even hotter than 212 with pressure canning. World of difference between a bit of 140 degree water sluicing over the dishes and fully standing fully in boiling water.
Guess its time to go coat some glasses since I have a little 2 pound cut left over after a project I finished yesterday and see if it stays on the glass in my dishwasher. If it does, no problem, I'll just put the glasses in a pan of BOILING water.
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Might want to check the melting point of shellac before you do that.
HINT : it's < 140F http://www.shellacepc.com/properties.html

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George wrote:

Damn, that's a lot of information. But what is your point? My point was that soaking in boiling water would get rid of the shellac and that a dishwasher wouldn't.
Table III of your excellent reference gives the softening and melting point. The table shows that the melting point is 77-90 C, that's 170 to 190 F. Don't know where you got the 140 but the melting point is NOT less that 140 F. The low end of the softening point is 104-122 F.
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Yep, I was thinking of softening, which I've seen in direct sunlight at craft shows. It'll slide away. Also, given the basic properties of dish detergent, it will be chemically destroyed.

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wrote:

Clean out the shellac with denatured alcohol, then rinse thoroughly with vodka. :-)
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snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

A fellow around here inadvertantly took a swig from his shellac bottle. He died....but what a finish...!
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Silvan wrote:

The toxic levels for methanol are measured in grams. Any residual amount remaining in a mason jar after it has been sterilized (the boiling point of methanol is 67C, sterilization typically occurs at 100C or above) is not going to be a health hazard.
No, you don't want to drink the stuff, but it's not like it's a neurotoxin effective in microgram quantities or anything.
One must maintain a sense of proportion about this sort of thing.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Not for what jars cost. I wouldn't drink out of a sterilized toilet bowl either, no matter how sterilized it was. :)
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