Mason jars come in standard sizes (pint, quart, & half-gallon), and usually
have volume markings up one side as well, which makes it a *lot* easier to
consistently mix a particular cut of shellac. "All sorts of stuff" comes in
jars that are odd sizes (e.g. 14 oz instead of a full pint) and have no volume
If you want a particular cut of shellac, it's easier to calculate how much
shellac and alcohol you need if you're using standard sizes. A pound is
sixteen ounces. A gallon is sixteen cups. 1-lb cut = 1 lb per gallon or 1 oz
per cup. Easy.
So does a pint (or quart) mason jar with volume marks up the side.
If you use mason jars, they're already marked. It's molded into the glass, and
you don't have to worry about the alcohol erasing your markings.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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Corner grocery chain store carries pint and quart jars year round.
Protect the treads at the top of the jar so shellac wont seal them.
DAMHIKT. Jeff Jewitt uses teflon tape, others use vaseline. Pour 2"
of flakes into a jar then add alcohol to a 4" level and you've got
"about" a 2# cut. Six month shelf life after mixing. Mine stores in
garage fridge. Try French Polishing with you sample mixture.
On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 20:22:39 -0500, Silvan
As others have said they're hard to find out of canning season. I
found one of the few REAL, old style hardware stores here can
order them for me with a three or four day delivery time at the
normal price anytime. They're a little more that the box stores,
but for any size from 8oz to half gallon whenever I need them I'll
keep buying from them. I seem to remember a mention of using
plastic wrap between the jar and lid to keep the threads clean.
Yes. And they're plastic, at least around here, so breakage isn't a problem.
The smaller ones are great for all kinds of modest sized fasteners.
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." Sir Winston
Shellac begins to deteriorate as soon as it is disolved in alcohol
and continues to degrade until it is used and all the alcohol has
As the degredation process is slow but continuous and varies
with temperature and possibly impurities in the mix it is
impossible to say how long the shellac will stay 'good'
after it is mixed.
So the general reccomendation for best results is to ony mix as
much as you will use on your current project, assuming that you
will do all the finishing over a reasonably short time frame
like a couple of weeks.
As to safety issues I agree that there is no reason to suppose
you could not clean the jars adequately for later use for food,
but why reuse them?
A more important safety consideration is that glass jars break
easily, and the mixed shellac is inflammible (also flammible
;-0 ) which is one reason why most solvents are sold in metal
containers, not glass. That's another reason to not mix large
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