Pointy Stick Compendium - Spraying Shellac


SPRAY ON LOTS OF THIN COATS
If you already have a compressor that'll put out 50 to 100 CFM at 3000 psi you might want to get one of them Critter type sprayers or, if you have more than $40 US, get a real air gun, with fourteen tips, two or three finish cups and a viscosity cup. Fill the latter with brandy or cognac and quickly hold it over your open mouth. Begin counting "one Mississippi, two Mississipi" (do this mentally cause if ya try counting out loud while your poring booze in your mouth ya'll are gonna choke and cough) and continue counting until the cup stops dripping. Swallow the cognac and then write down the last "Mississippi" you counted, labelng it “Cognac 1”. Repeat this step three or four more times, recording your highest "Mississippi" and labeling it “Cognac 2” and so on.. Next, fill the viscosity cup with your shellac mix. As the shellac begins to run/drip/ooze out of the cup begin your "Missippies" count until there is no more drips of shellac from the cup. Write this number down and label it Shellac.
You now have the "Mississippies" for Cognac 1, 2, 3 and 4 along with the Shellac Mississippies. Add up Congac 1+2+3+4 values and divide by four. Write the results in the palm of your left hand if you're right handed or in the palm of your right hand if you're a southpaw. You want to record four significent digits - so try to write pretty small - but not too small cause ya'lls visual acuity is failing due to them four shots of whatever that stuff was. Oh - don't breath on no open flames fur a wile cause ya'lls mouth may 'splode - OK? Ya gotta be safety conshus yu know - don't want no fahrs or blowed up stuff in da shop. Ya unnerstand whut I'm sayin' man? NO fahrs! NO blowed up stuff! No man, I'm serious! Pay attention man! NO blowed up stuff in MY shop! Dis is really, really, really, really important - NO BLOWED UP STUFF IN MY SHOP MAN! You bet I was YELLING cuz I wanna make sure you unnerstand - n o ...b l o w e d ...u p ...s t u f f ...- OK? No fahrs neither man - OK?
What were we doin'? Oh yeah - viz coz oh tee. Divide the Shellac Mississississippies by the numbah ya wrote on ya'lls hand and write down the results in black marker on ya'lls fo'hed and then turn off the shop lights and try makin' it to ya'lls bed. Tammara, when and if ya'll can get outa bed ya'll will see somethin rit on ya'lls fo'hed when you look in the mirra while tryin' to toothbrush that bottom o da birdcage taste out ya mouth. By now the ole eyes shud be focusin enuff to read dat numba. Write it on da mirra with tootpaste so yu'll see it da nex day. Go back to bed and try an sleep it off. In a day or two yu'll feel well enuff to get back in da shop, but ya'll will be wonderin' who wrote on ya'lls mirror with toothpaste. Forget about that, just go spray on your shellac. The finish you get will look like crap, but when you're still hung over, the quality of the finish won't be a big deal - until tomorrow.
BTW - the alcohol in the shellac mix is highly flammable/inflammable. Do not light a cigaretter, cigar, pipe, joint or bong in a room full of a very fine mist of alcohol. An open flame in the same room, say in a furnace or maybe a water heater, can create the same potential disaster. At best, the flash burn you'll get won't look like the nice sun burned look you get in Cabo or The Keyes. At worst the BOOM can make the quality of the finish you get the least of your worries. On the plus side, the finish will have plenty of time to cure while you're in the hospital.
If you want to reduce the risk of burns and/or explosions, try an HVLP system. HVLP stand for High Velocity Low Pressure. That means you can apply lots of finish at much lower pressure than with a conventional compressed air gun. That means that more finish makes it to, and stays on, the work with much less bounces back into the air. That's a good thing and a bad thing. With this method finishing screw ups happen faster and worse than with conventional compressed air gun spraying.
Rather than a compressor generating a little air at a high pressure, HVLP systems use a single, double or triple turbine to move a lot of air. The turbine(s) are basically the same as that found in a household vacuum cleaner, only much more expensive. The turbine(s) are also LOUD and have to be relatively close to the HVLP gun and therefore to YOU and your ears. Wear hearing protection or get use to saying "WHAT!?"
While on the subject of safety, regardless of the method of spraying shellac, you don't want to get much of this stuff in your lungs. You can eat it, but don’t breath it. If you're going to spray in a confined space with poor ventilation, practice holding your breath for for to five minutes, the time it takes to apply a spray finish to the average piece of furniture, OR, get, and wear, a respirator mask - the kind with the activated charcoal cannisters. You'll have to decide whether you want to be a lung or liver donor should you die prematurely. If it's the lungs you want to donate then wear the respirator and/or do your spraying outside. If it's your liver you want to donate skip the viscosity procedure.
charlie b
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<snip of a long, detailed safety explanation>

So I missed the applicability to the pointy stick part, probably because I pad on shellac.
I very much agree with the part about not blowing up the shop.
Patriarch
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