Question about shellac solvent

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Most of the directions I have seen for shellac flakes call to dissolve them in denatured alcohol. Is there a problem with using methyl hydrate. It is certainly cheaper and easier to find around here. I've tried it on some small stuff and don't see any difference immediately.
Rick
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Hi Rick - don't know the real answer to your question because being the chemistry genius that I am, I have no idea what methyl hydrate is. Though... you really shouldn't have any trouble finding denatured alcohol just about anywhere. Ace Hardware carries it, as do just about all of the chain hardware and home centers. It's really not that expensive to buy a gallon of the stuff and keep it around. You might want to also try automotive refinishing supply houses. Those guys often sell chemicals like that a lot cheaper than the home centers.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Around here (Southern Ontario) all the places I have checked carry methyl hydrate (basically methyl alcohol) instead of denatured alcohol (ethyl alcohol with a poison added so you can't drink it). I'ts labelled as a shellac thinner.
Rick
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You're not the only person to have reported difficulty in finding denatured ethanol in Canada. Google-search this group on "denatured alcohol Canada" for more information -- it's been discussed here more than once.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Hi Doug, If you know of anyone who might be interested in distributing denatured ethanol in the GTA or other parts of southern Ontario have them email me at woodpdg at sympaticodotca. JG
Doug Miller wrote:

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Might want to first find out why denatured isn't sold regularly. Here the denaturing is to avoid excise tax on booze. Might come up against your "revenuers" if you tried. Given the deadl(ier) nature of methanol, I have to believe that there's some legal reason why it's what's available rather than ethanol.

ethanol in the GTA or other

JG
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Hi George, Thanks for the heads-up but I have asked many, many clerks and managers in paint/finishing stores why they do not carry it. For the most part they do not know or care what they are selling. For those that do know, they tell me it is consumer resistance to spending more for ethanol over methanol. When I bring up the health concern they get that deer in the headlights look and then slink away. All it will take is a few stores to start carrying it and the rest will follow. Cheers, JG
George wrote:

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Look for a good pharmacy and ask for "rubbing alcohol compound".
Here in Saskatoon, Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs sell it in teeny little 100 ml bottles at outrageous prices (about $4). I get 500 ml bottles at a local independent pharmacy for about $5.
"United Pharmacists" brand, 95% Ethanol Anhydrous. DIN 00167630.
djb
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Methanol. I used to use Solox brand MetOH to thin and clean shellac brushes and it worked great. Never started with the flakes so can't say how that would work but as a thinner, no problem.
Mike Marlow wrote:

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Ammonia can be used to clean after using shellac, not as pricey as alcohol.
On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 12:40:37 -0600, Robert Galloway

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Mon, Dec 13, 2004, 10:42am snipped-for-privacy@gibs-web.ca (RKG) wants to know: Most of the directions I have seen for shellac flakes call to dissolve them in denatured alcohol. Is there a problem with using methyl hydrate. It is certainly cheaper and easier to find around here. I've tried it on some small stuff and don't see any difference immediately.
Comparing, I think I'd prefer to go with denatured alcohol. http://www.syndel.com/msds/denatured_ethanol_msds.html http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/ME/methyl_hydrate.html
If, and when, I switch to using shellac tho, I'm going to do some experimenting using ever-clear, instead.
JOAT We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. - unknown
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I too am in Souther Ontario and don't know what to use. When your certain either way, please speak up and let us know what you think. I can't find denatured alcohol anywhere. But I seem to recall that LV sells something called shellac thinner?
John
RKG wrote:

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Eddie Munster wrote:

I'm trying both right now, as far as dissolving the flakes I see no difference and both dry equally fast. The methyl hydrate appears to be a little more toxic but compared to some of the other finishes we use it's not bad. The LV website lists their shellac thinner as a mixture of ethenol methenol - basically denatured alcohol. A 32 oz can -slightly less than 1 L is 10.95 a 4 L jug of methyl hydrate at my local home hardware is 7. less then 1/4 the price.
Rick
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Shellac thinner will be some sort of alcohol or mixture of alcohols. I should think that you can ask LV what's in theirs and they'd tell you.
Ethanol is the least toxic of the alcohols.
Methylated Spirits, methyl alcohol, methanol, and wood alcohol, are all the same thing.
They will all disolve shellac, so will propyl and isopropyl alcohol but that usually has too much water in it to be a good shellac thinner.
--

FF


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On 13 Dec 2004 11:31:38 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

I thought you didn't have methylated spirits in the USA ?
Anyway, UK (and AFAIK, everywhere) methylated spirits is a mixture of four things - ethanol, methanol (about 1/3rd), purple dye and pyridine (a stenching agent).
Purple dye will colour blonde shellac, but it's not too hard to find undyed meths..
Pyridine stinks. I know methanol is a hazard, but it's actually the pyridine that I find the most offensive part of working with meths. Supposedly there have been pyridine-free meths blends, but AFAIK they're not available in the UK at all these days. Given the toxicity of meths and the risk of not having it "marked" in such a way, then I can believe this. OTOH, pure methanol is easily available unstenched.
When I can get hold of it (friends in the lab trade) I use pure lab-grade ethanol. This is safer because of not having the methanol in it, and it's much more pleasant to use as there's no pyridine. However the paperwork to get it is frightening, and the suppliers don't regard wood finishing as a suitable cause for supplying it.
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Andy Dingley notes:

Jeez. I just buy whatever the paint store has in stock. If it came down to it, I could drive a few miles--Franklin, one county over is supposed to be one of the centers of the bootleg booze production in the South. Pick up some second run distilled stuff at nearly 200 proof. That should do 'er.
Charlie Self "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Sir Winston Churchill
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Charlie Self wrote:

My distant relations have NO idea what you're talking about.
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Silvan responds:

Just don't buy that bridge they keep trying to sell you.
Charlie Self "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Sir Winston Churchill
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Charlie Self wrote:

Sell? That would be illegal. They GIVE the stuff away. ;)
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On 15 Dec 2004 14:25:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

We have _huge_ taxes on retail drinkable alcohol. As a result, "non-drinking" alcohol is very difficult to get hold of.
We also have practically no moonshine distilling. If you're so inclined, you're more likely to be making strong cider or beer.
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