Finally bought some shellac flakes. Super Blonde and Orange from Lee
I've been building up a finish with the blonde on a box (made with some
doug fir salvaged from a 30 year old table) for my daughter's
drumsticks and brushes, and screwed up one side pretty badly.
What a joy to fix! Brush on some alkyhall, wait a couple of minutes,
and run a cabinet scraper down it... Clean and ready to start again.
I'm a convert!
Yep, and you don't even need to use the alcohol first. One of the
coolest wooddorking experiences I ever had (I'm easily amused)
happened once when I was finishing a walnut panel. I had applied
several coats of shellac when I noticed that there was a small blemish
on the surface of the wood. It was probably from a bit of sweat, but
I had missed it until then.
I didn't want to re-finish the whole thing, so I grabbed a scraper
and concentrating on that small spot, proceeded to pull little shellac
curlies off the board. I was able to tell when I had gone far enough,
because I pulled a curly that was half-shellac and half-walnut.
I pulled off one more curly and made sure the surface looked good,
and then wiped on a coat of shellac. Presto. It melted right in with
the other coats. A couple more wiped-on coats and the repair was
Try that with yer poly. ;-)
Congrats. Next thing you know, you'll be playing around with
garnet and buttonlac. Right, Paddy?
I stsrted with that, but I had built the finish up too quickly and it
was too soft so the scraper lifted scraggly chunks out of the 'lac.
'Twas easier to strip the whole thing.
I'll start again tonight.
On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 09:19:32 -0600, Dave Balderstone
I too bought Super Blonde and Orange from Lee Valley, I see you are
enjoying it now. I can't wait to test it on my mobile TS and cabinets
in my garage in Spring. By the way where did you get your denature
Why don't you post pics in ABPW.
Ah, yet another Shellacist! I guess no one's told you about
the tatoo - yet. You've taken another step along the path to
becoming a Galootitudinist - but we'll get to that later.
Some shops put up pin-up posters or nice screw charts to
brighten the shop. I like a mason jar or two of shellac
on the window sill. Maybe it's my past experience with
precious stones, but sunlight streaming through a jar of
dewaxed garnet ...
I too have discovered the wonders of the lac beetle. But I do have a
question as well for those in the know.
Do you cover your shellac with lacquer or some other top coat?
Basically I am wondering how durable a shellac finish is. Should I
always put a top coat of something or is it only for high use items
that would need this protective coat??
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Dave Balderstone wrote:
It's somewhat delicate, but lacquer isn't exactly bomb proof either. I
don't see any reason not to use it as a finish. It has been in use as a
finish for centuries after all.
I coat mine with paste wax for a bit of extra protection, and because I like
the look. I'm currently using shellac for everything except walking sticks
and turned pieces (poly and beeswax respectively), but I don't have any
old, well-used pieces, so I can't attest to how well it withstands the
ravages of time.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
I normally don't apply another topcoat. The only time I will do so is
when I'm using shellac as a barrier coat between incompatible finishes,
such as oil based stain and a water based finish, or when silicone
contamination is a problem.
Shellac is actually fairly durable. It has often been used as a floor
finish. I don't recommend its use when the piece being finished may be
subjected to harsh chemicals or in applications where scouring would be
It is important to match the finish that will be used to the service
required for the project. Here's an article written by Jeff Jewitt that
may help to determine what finish to use:
Buffalo, NY - USA
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