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Thread: What's up with my shellac?

  1. #1
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    What's up with my shellac?

    This is the first time I've used shellac flakes so I'll profess ignorance here. I bought some garnet shellac flakes and mixed them to a 2lb cut. After 4 days of soaking and regular shaking this is what I have after it settles for about 12 hours. Is this normal? or is something strange going on? Is this the wax? I understand flakes are not normally dewaxed and the wax will settle out, but I was expecting somewhere in the 5-10% range. If this is normal how should I proceed now? use it as is and give it a good shake up or use only the clean liquid on top? Forgive the ignorance but this is all new to me.
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    Mike

  2. #2
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    That does appear to be a lot of wax, and perhaps with a little water in it, too.

    Where did you get those flakes?

    What alcohol did you use?
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

    “The opposite of bravery isn’t stupidity, it’s conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”
    Roy Underhill, 2018

  3. #3
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    I use Zinsser pre-mixed but will watch with interest. You used Denatured Alcohol, right?
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
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    I've always used sealcoat in the past, but I wanted the dark color so I decided to try the flakes. My first go round doesn't seem to be going well. The flakes came from woodcraft and I used denatured alcohol from a fresh can bought at the blue borg. Should I try another batch or will it settle out? I'm open for suggestions at this point.

    Mike

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Toupin View Post
    I've always used sealcoat in the past, but I wanted the dark color so I decided to try the flakes. My first go round doesn't seem to be going well. The flakes came from woodcraft and I used denatured alcohol from a fresh can bought at the blue borg. Should I try another batch or will it settle out? I'm open for suggestions at this point.

    Mike
    It'll settle out quite a bit over the next several days, if you don't disturb it. Then you can carefully pour off the wax-free portion from the top.

    But... Do you really need the de-waxed? If you're using it as the final finish - topcoat - then using it with the wax still in it will be okay.

    If you're using it as a sealer, and putting something else over it, then you've gotta de-wax it. Even then, you may have adhesion problems.

    You can get de-waxed garnet flakes, you know. Homestead Finishing has them. Actually, I thought Woodcraft did, too.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

    “The opposite of bravery isn’t stupidity, it’s conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”
    Roy Underhill, 2018

  6. #6
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    I don't need it dewaxed as I intended to use the garnet shellac as the finish. I had planned on spraying coats until I got to the shade I wanted and then finish it off by padding. Should I try another batch or just shake this up and use it? If it's ok to use as is, I assume I want to strain this first right?

    Mike

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Toupin View Post
    I don't need it dewaxed as I intended to use the garnet shellac as the finish. I had planned on spraying coats until I got to the shade I wanted and then finish it off by padding. Should I try another batch or just shake this up and use it? If it's ok to use as is, I assume I want to strain this first right?

    Mike
    Shake what you've got up, then filter it, and try it on a sample board. If it dries okay, then go ahead and use it. If it stays tacky, then discard it and try again.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

    “The opposite of bravery isn’t stupidity, it’s conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”
    Roy Underhill, 2018

  8. #8
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    Thanks Jim. I've already did a test and it dried fine, I'll see how it goes from here

    Mike

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