Question about shellac solvent

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Andy Dingley writes:

Well, nuts to that. I don't drink these days, but back in my boozing days, I can recall hitting some white lightning that really lived up to its name. By the 4th ounce or so, you thought you'd been hit by lightning. If you took another ounce, you woke up wishing you would BE hit by lightning.
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:

And the people who took the 5th ounce ended up in the mortuary. Good ol' corn squeezin's.
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On 15 Dec 2004 14:25:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote:

Here in the US you can just pick up some Everclear at the liquor store. Expensive as a solvent for shellac, but it gives great results.
--RC
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rcook5 notes:

Yes, well when you do that, you're paying the Feds the current $44 or whatever per gallon in booze tax.
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:

I'm curious--anybody have any experiences to relate with Behlen's "Behkol", which they sell as purpose-made for dissolving shellac flakes and which appears to be ethanol denatured with isobutanol instead of methanol. They charge a good deal more for it than one pays for regular denatured alcohol.

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wrote:

The Canadian use of "methyl hydrate" was the original source of discussion. By name it would seem it really is wood alcohol, http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/ME/methyl_hydrate.html which as we know is not the same a methylated (denatured) spirits http://www.birdbrand.co.uk/msds/Methylated%20Spirits.pdf . US doesn't add the dye to our mix, but the residue of some of the dehydrating agents can be tough on you, even in relatively small quantities.
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I think the wood alcohol is poisonous and the grain alcohol is the drinky kind. I think I have seen it for sale in booze stores?
Where does ethanol fit in?
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On Wed, 15 Dec 2004 12:30:03 -0500, Eddie Munster

Ethanol, good stuff, sometimes called "grain alcohol".
Methanol, bad stuff, sometimes called "wood alcohol".
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wrote:

Or Vodka....
Check the LD50, and it's not so benign either, though I have booked 0.36 that was still more or less upright.
95% is as good as it gets with ethanol, because the 95/5 azeotrope prevents further distillation. Anything beyond has to be dried another way, some of which are nastier than the methanol.
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Wood alcohol is methanol.

Thats the stuff in beer and wine. It would be the best solvent, because it's not so very poisonous (after all it you drink...), but because you can drink it it's loaded with a very heavy tax that makes it very expensive if bought without any nasty stuff mixed in.
BTW: glycerine is also an alcohol..
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There are many kinds of alcohol. From a chemical point of view, the word "alcohol" describes a large class of chemical compounds containing an OH group connected to a carbon atom. The three most common alcohols most lay people hear about are methanol, ethanol, and isopropanol.
What is commonly called "wood alchol" is methanol, and yes it is poisonous, even in very small amounts.
Grain alcohol is ethanol. In large quantities, it too is poisonous, as a few unfortunate college kids find out every year; chug a quart of whisky and you'll probably be dead before the night is out.
Absolute ethanol (not to be confused with the Absolut brand of vodka) is just very pure ethanol. This has no water in it (unlike vodka, which is more or less half water, depending on the proof). It is generally only available by special license to industrial customers.
There are also other extremely pure grades of ethanol (reagent grade, spectroscopic grade, etc) which are increasingly more pure, and increasingly more expensive.
Denatured Alcohol is absolute ethanol with a little methanol added to it, to intentionally make it unfit to drink. Since you can't drink it, the government isn't interested in taxing or controlling it, and it's much more widely available than absolute. For most uses as an industrial solvent (such as for disolving shelac), the little bit of methanol doesn't really matter. If memory serves, the addition of the methanol also aids in the removal of the last bits of water during the distilation process.
What's sold in most drugstores as "rubbing alcohol" is isopropanol (typically 70%, the rest is water). To the best of my knowlege, it's not toxic, at least in small quantities. The reason it's sold in drug stores is because it evaporates fast, so it makes a great cooling rubdown.
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Yes, it is toxic, even in small quantities. In fact, in rats at least, it's *more* toxic than methanol. The oral LD-50 (lethal dose to 50% of test subjects) in rats is 5040mg/kg for isopropyl alchohol, and 5628 for methanol. I believe that in humans it's not as hazardous as methanol is, but it certainly is not something you want to ingest.
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On 15 Dec 2004 13:12:17 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Roy Smith) wrote:

It's not always methanol. The bottle of Ace brand denatured alcohol is denatured with both methanol and MEK, it's more poisonous than it needs to be. I think the Kleen Strip brand is the one that has only methanol to denature it.

Isopropyl rubbing alcohol can also come in 91% pure in the drugstore, this is what I always buy since it's better for sterilizing things than 70% is, plus I use it to keep the bubbles out of bar top epoxy varnish. I've heard you can use isopropyl for shellac but it dries slower and stays gummier longer (thus allowing more dust to settle on it). Ethyl alcohol is also sold as 'rubbing alcohol', which I believe is also a form of denatured ethanol. The label I read at CVS last night had all sorts of odd ingredients in it other than ethyl alcohol, in fact it looked /more/ poisonous than woodworking denatured stuff.
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Xane T. wrote:

Urk! What does MEK do to shellac? Nothing good, I would imagine.
That's vile stuff, but it sure is great for bonding styrene.
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Xane T. wrote:

to
the
the
is
ISTR that the brand with "SLX" on the label was denatured with methanol
only. I avoid anything with ketones because they are quite toxic as well as more noisome. At one time sulphuric acid was used as a denaturant. I remember an episode of "Untouchables" with Robert Stack as Eliot Ness in which the villian was a chemist who had found a way to 'renature' denatured alcohol. Assuming there was _some_ historical basis for that episode this may have been a referance to using sulphuric acid as a denaturant.

it's
drug
All alcohols are toxic. Ethanol is just the least toxic, well maybe some of the fancy alcohols used in mouthwash might be less toxic than ethanol but I doubt it. Isopropynol is plenty toxic, you just do not absorb enough through occaisional exposure to unbroken skin to be a concern. I _think_ methanol is better absorbed through the skin, but is less toxic when ethanol is also present, oddly enough.
In fact I'm pretty sure that all organic solvents and almost all organic liquids, excepting some oils, are toxic. Certainly all the common ones are *quite* toxic.

alcohol,
Quite often the ethyl alcohol (aka ethanol, aka grain alcohol) sold for rubbing alcohol is denatured with methanol just like the denatured alcohol sold for shellac thinner. The other stuff on the label may well have been added to enhance it's effect when used for, well, rubbing, or whatever you're supposed to do with it.
--

FF


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Andy Dingley wrote:

pyridine
My mistake, I thought methylated spritis was a synomym for methanol. It may no longer be available but from your description I daresay methylated spritis may be very similar to what we used to use for mimeograph copies. Though from what I remember of the odor it did not have pyridine in it.
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FF

...

> When I can get hold of it (friends in the lab trade) I use pure
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On 15 Dec 2004 08:04:30 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

I've never seen "Everclear" or equivalent in the UK. I've never even seen it in the USA - the last few times I've visited I've been on quick trips in uptown urban areas, not prowling the bodegas.
If I could find Everclear locally I'd be using it, just for the convenience - even with the taxes on it.
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Andy Dingley responds:

Next time you hit Richmond or some other semi-Southern city, check out the local ABC store. They'll have Everclear, though possibly not by that name.
Nasty stuff to drink by itself, though, unless you're already ripped. IIRC, most of it goes into punch bowls for the unwary, often at church picnics.
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:

Not anymore, I don't think. Could just be local, but I'm fairly sure it has been banned statewide. After too many dumbass college students accidentally committed suicide.

:)
None for me, thanks. I get pretty well hammered from three piss water American beers. I think if I ever had a shot of Everclear, I'd go straight for the coma.
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The college students can steal the 95% from Organic lab, like we did. They don't need to pay the money. Gallon of it, can each of whatever Hi-C juices were on the shelf to make up a 5-gallon Jerrycan worth, and off to the dunes....

the
name.
has
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