Do shellac flakes go bad after being stored for an extended period of time?
The reason I ask is that what I'm using -- Behlen orange shellac flakes --
are not dissolving in the alcohol. Best guess is that I've had this
container for about five years -- they seem to look just fine, but something
is not right.
Here's a comment from Jeff Jewitt on that very issue:
"Dry shellac flakes store indefinitely under proper conditions, but
contrary to what you may hear, it won't store forever. Given enough
time, especially under hot, wet conditions, dry shellac reacts with
itself to form polymers that are insoluble in alcohol. Shellacs that
have been dewaxed are more prone to this. You can extend the usable life
of dry shellac flakes by storing them after purchase in a cool, dry area
-- a refrigerator is best. A test for suspected old shellac is easy --
simply dissolve the flakes in alcohol. Most shellacs should be totally
dissolved within three days. If you see a gelatinous mass after this
time, the shellac is past its usable life and should be discarded (don't
confuse natural wax with this). If you just purchased it, return it to
the company you bought it from. Sometimes in summer months, shellac will
cake together. This is known in the industry as "blocking" and is not a
sign of bad shellac. Break up the shellac with a hammer and dissolve it
in alcohol as usual."
On Sun, 14 Feb 2010 15:42:13 -0600, the infamous Swingman
With my last use of some old SuperBlonde Paddylac, it jelled and
didn't want to melt until I put the jar into hot water. After 15
minutes, all was liquid and it didn't give me a bit of trouble. The
DNA was about 48F, so warming it was what did the trick.
(Try that, Herb. It that doesn't fix it, you may not have kept your
flakes safe through heat and cold cycles over that time.)
It's a great life...once you weaken.
--author James Hogan
On Monday, February 15, 2010 1:54:12 AM UTC+5:30, Herb Robinson wrote:
Generally shellac is as good as fine with in three year under normal temperature .New shellac is better rather then old shellac.Shellac is loosing its porperty once it is getting old .
Shellac is always good while it is new .
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On Sunday, February 14, 2010 2:24:12 PM UTC-6, Herb Robinson wrote:
Swingman, thanks. I wondered why almost all shellac I dissolved had the mass in the bottom. It happened so often, I thought it was normal. Until I happened to get a very fresh package and it all dissolved. I just thought I got lucky.
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