Shellac!

Finally bought some shellac flakes. Super Blonde and Orange from Lee Valley.
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!
djb
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What took you so long? :-)

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. Seriously.
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 invisible.
Try that with yer poly. ;-)

Congrats. Next thing you know, you'll be playing around with garnet and buttonlac. Right, Paddy?
Chuck Vance
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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.
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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 alcohol?
Why don't you post pics in ABPW.
Thanks

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I bought a can from LV at the same time as the flakes. I haven't looked for a loca source yet.

Once the box is done, perhaps.
djb
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

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 ...
charlie b
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I jointed the boards for the coffee table top I'm working on with the jointer plane I inherited from Grampa along with the Veritas Jointer Fence <http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?pageA716&category=1,41182&ccur rency=1&SID=>
... but I still like my 'lectricity. <s>

Basement shop. Sigh.
Maybe I'll build a light box to sit the mason jars in.
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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.
bob
Dave Balderstone wrote:

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depends on the piece
I put on a couple coats of paste furniture wax after buffing with pumice
Bob wrote:

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Bob 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.
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Bob wrote:

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 common.
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:
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00060.asp
-- Jack Novak Buffalo, NY - USA (Remove "SPAM" from email address to reply)
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