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Thread: shellac flakes?

  1. #1
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    shellac flakes?

    dewaxed garnet hock flakes, 4oz flakes in a pint jar then filled to top with DNA -ground the flakes in a coffee grinder to help with dissolving as i had read somewhere earlier,, well that was yesterday and today they are still gooy and not all dissolved.. these are a couple years old and i didnt think flakes went bad? also to the finish wizards what cut will this make? i was thinking a 2lb cut. its bad went your memory takes a vacation on you
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  2. #2
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    I'll be watching this also,as i have some that have been sitting around for a few years also.

  3. #3
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    Yes, your ratio is correct.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    According to Jeff Jewitt (where I get all my shellac and methods of finishing), there is a shelf life to even flakes, especially if you have not stored them properly. From his website (Homestead Finishing):

    "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)."
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
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    thanks bill, well we got the storage right now will wait another day or so to see if iger the disolving right can you email me that chart for my finish room wall? thanks again for the help maybe my memory hasdnt left me

    got it bill ,,no need to send it
    Last edited by larry merlau; 12-16-2012 at 04:54 PM.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    How often did you stir the mix, or shake the jar?

    Mixing shellac is sorta like making sugar syrup - if you just dump the sugar (or flakes) in, without frequent stirring, you'll get an undissolved mess at the bottom. Stirring it helps with the dissolve.

    Sometimes, though, not all the flakes will dissolve, but you can just pour off the 'good stuff' and use it. The real test is whether the liquid shellac dries hard, or stays tacky.

    I have flakes - stored in airtight containers - that are about four years old (to me - who knows how old before I bought them) and are still good.

    BTW, a couple months ago Rob Lee (of Lee Valley) posted over on Wood Central that his cost for shellac flakes was doubling, and his prices would have to go up accordingly. I haven't heard any more since then, but it sounds likely that prices for shellac=based products are about to go drastically up.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    thanks bill, well we got the storage right now will wait another day or so to see if iger the disolving right can you email me that chart for my finish room wall? thanks again for the help maybe my memory hasdnt left me

    got it bill ,,no need to send it
    As everyone knows, it is very difficult to get 100% ethyl alcohol, but I found that Klean Strip Green Denatured Alcohol (found in your big box store) is at least 90% or more with only the rest as Methyl (bad stuff!). Much safer than what you will find with the others.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  7. #7
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    so that means i should get some fast if i want to afford it huh..jim.. and as for the stirring i have shaken occasionally jim will continue to moniture it..right now that is the least of my worries 6 month hiatis on design and completion process have shown me that i have "trouble in houston" and need to recheck things before any more cutting
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
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    Joel @ tfww had a couple of interesting blog entries on this. His first pass was that with sufficient agitation and good quality alcohol he could dissolve anything. He later changed his mind So I wouldn't give up yet, but its possible that they won't dissolve either.

    http://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/blog/235
    http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/s...The%20Followup

  9. #9
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    Larry methal is better to use.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  10. #10
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    You might also try warming the solution up slightly, this aids is the dissolving. You obviously need to do this in a safe way, sitting the container is a pot of hot water works....be sure to stir occassionally.

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