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Thread: Denatured Alcohol UPDATE

  1. #1
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    Denatured Alcohol UPDATE

    Well, I learned today that denatured alcohol is not so easy to find here in Canada. So I'm hoping for some alcohol advice. I want to buy denatured alcohol for shellac.

    Apparently I can get Methanol pretty cheaply. About $3-4 per liter. For the sake of discussion, a quart is close to a liter, if you're used to imperial. As most of you know, methanol is a deadly poison.

    I can get Isopropyl Alcohol for about $6-8 per liter. Also poisonous, and it's usually cut with about 20-30% water.

    I can get Denatured Alcohol, known around here as DNA, special-ordered from my pharmacy. But it's about $20 per liter. Now many of you know that DNA is really Ethyl Alcohol (the kind you drink) that's had poison added to it so people won't drink it, and so it won't be taxed to death. In Europe they add a dye to it too.

    The fact is I can buy real Ethyl Alcohol at the liquor store. Cheap vodka would be less than $20/liter, and I could probably find something a lot cheaper than that if I don't mind a little color to it.

    So I'd like to know if any of the experts here have tried more than one of these and what their experiences were. Dave Hawksford are you listening? If ethyl alcohol is important, then I'll just head over to the liquor store rather than order DNA at the pharmacy. If it really doesn't matter at all, then methanol is cheap and easy to find. As the chemists among us know, all these alcohols are not the same. They are different molecularly, have different flash points, etc. etc., so I'd be amazed if they all work identically with wood and shellac.

    I'm all ears, and thanks to any and all replies.
    Last edited by Cynthia White; 03-08-2011 at 11:54 PM. Reason: update
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  2. #2
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    have you checked with your local hardware place cynthia ,,DNA isnt that big of a problem solvent..and our home depots carry it as well as most hardwares..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  3. #3
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    14 bucks a gallon here and every hardware store has it on the shelf. Even Walmarts stocks it. I guess there are some perks to living in the US.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    have you checked with your local hardware place cynthia ,,DNA isnt that big of a problem solvent..and our home depots carry it as well as most hardwares..
    Yeah, I went to my favorite island place, Slegg Lumber, this morning. And I checked with HD, and Canadian Tire, other borgs here. Yes, we have no bananas. Methanol only.

    I forgot to mention that with methanol you have to wear a respirator...don't know about the others. Also there's marine stove alcohol available cheap which is Isobutyl Alcohol, yet another type. It's about the same price as methanol.

    When I went to college in Tennessee we used to get pure grain alcohol (cheap) and make some delightful punch with it. I don't know if you can buy it up here. I wonder if people make rotgut up here......
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  5. #5
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    well here is a old link on the subject and it has pros and cons of all the alcohols..LINK
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    well here is a old link on the subject and it has pros and cons of all the alcohols..LINK
    Thanks Larry, yeah, I had actually read that before I posted this. It doesn't say what differences there are between the alcohols when you're using shellac. It does mention that you have to wear a respirator if you're going to use methanol--which I'm not.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Edgerton View Post
    I have been tossing the idea around of building a small Kiln. One I was looking into was the Logosol, a small unit that dries about 700 bd ft at a whack. The control unit was under a grand, and you had to build your own enclosure.

    Maybe if you are into odd wood, and have a local with a band mill that would be an option that would be fun as well. I know I am looking forward to having that potential. But of course I want bigger than I can afford.......

    I think someones been drinking the spirits...
    Last edited by Don Baer; 03-05-2011 at 12:05 AM.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
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  8. #8
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    Just as long as you don't run the sawmill while under the influence of alcohol ?




    Jim

  9. #9
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    Cynthia, have you checked Lee Valley?
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  10. #10
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    I think what you might be looking for is methylated spirits.

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