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 Shellac and Metho -- a question of quality
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 9:29:07 PM on 18 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5092

IIRC, Vintage Pete has written before about shellac, and I welcome his comments here.

The last time I used shellac it was Feast Watson Orange flakes mixed with Diggers Metho -- both from Bunnings.

Although the result was passable, I was not happy with the mixing process. The flakes did not want to dissolve. I got the feeling that the cheap metho was diluted with water.

As I'm going to be using orange shellac in the next few months, I'm considering shelling out for so-called 100% metho (no water), such as:

https://www.carbatec.com.au/sanding-and-finishing/removers/metholated-spirit-dg3-un-1170-class-3-pg-11-100-1l-industrial

And, I'll probably use a different brand of shellac flakes, too.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 4:18:58 AM on 19 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 957

Hello G,
Shellac is not always good quality, If you want good quality it's best to buy it from the Trade.
This guy is excellent https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/362488409572

He ships Fast and it comes in a foil light tight pack. Excellent quality and service. I only deal with him now. Bunnings shellac is not worth bothering with.
He sells it in all colours and Alcohol too.
The Cut is important.The cut is what we call the ratio of the mix and people find it very confusing, particularly young people because the cut it always in pounds and ounces,,,,yet often shellac is sold in kg .
A pound cut will be cut with a ratio for a purpose, EG for filling a grain or a eye it will need to be thicker so less alcohol than a cut intended for polishing.
I will make a table and post it here for people so it's easy to determine the ratio of the cut.
As for metho, I mostly just use metho and in saying that I will have french polishers rolling over in their grave, but it's all about fast availabilities and everything must come in via the net and post because there are not many shops that stock for french polishers needs and if they do you will need a wheel barrow full of money ,so everything comes in via the net and post and that can be inconvenient. I've not had issues with good quality metho...only poor quality shellac in my past.
Shellac does not keep and once mixed it begins to lose it's hardness . In dry flake or powder it keeps , but not after being mixed with Alcohol.

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 1:35:02 PM on 19 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 957

Cutting shellac chart.... Alcohol Ratios

https://www.shellac.net/PoundCutChart.html


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 1:54:42 PM on 19 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5092

Thanks, Pete.

"Temperatures under 60° F will slow the dissolving. A hot water bath can assist in cold weather."

60°F is 15.5°C. I was making the mix at night in wintertime, so that may have been why I had a problem with the dissolving.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 2:33:59 PM on 19 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5092

Thanks for the table, Pete. I've converted the units to metric (rounded to convenient weights):

Metho (mL), 1 lb cut, 1.5 lb cut, 2 lb cut, 3 lb cut
1000, 125g, 180g, 250g, 360g
750, 90g, 140g, 180g, 270g
500, 60g, 90g, 120g, 180g
250, 30g, 45g, 60g, 90g
100, 12g, 18g, 24g, 36g

So, 250g of flakes to 1 litre of metho makes a "2 lb cut".


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 4:03:38 PM on 19 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5092

Also, thinking of buying one of these to take care of the mixing. I can make use of it for other mixing tasks, too:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/112615172474


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 11:56:52 PM on 19 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 957

It has give and take in and the Ratio in the chart is a guide, As people start to apply it they will be able to tell if it is too thick or thin.
Basically problems generally only happen is it is applied to thick. it will crack and craze if it was too thick. The only other issue is if it does not go as hard as it should in which case the shellac has gone off.
So always use thin coats and fresh shellac.
I don't do finishes as much as I use to because I'm occupied with the other things in life and if I am doing a shellac, it's combined as part of other finishes rather than a full shellac finish eg other types clears on-top of shellacs.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 9:38:22 AM on 20 April 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5092

I've ordered some shellac from the guy in West Gosford on eBay.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 10:08:54 AM on 20 April 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 957

Oh good G, you won't be disappointed with him or his shellac.He is a french polisher too and sells the products on the side.
Imports the rarer blends that only polishers use.
I only buy from him these days.

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 8:06:40 PM on 1 May 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5092

you won't be disappointed with him or his shellac

White non-wax received and I mixed my first batch today. I was surprised to see that it comes in a powder form, rather than the usual flakes, but it sure dissolves quickly in regular Diggers metho. After a few stirs with a rod, I left it on the magnetic mixer for an hour and it turned into a beautiful light honey-coloured liquid.

Thaks again for the tip, Pete, and a Thumbs Up for Restorers Choice.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 8:52:09 PM on 1 May 2019.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Cromer, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 957

Oh good G,
Yes thats the way to buy it and the place to buy it.
Just pour in through a paint strainer or such after the mix or before you use it.
Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 9:00:09 PM on 1 May 2019.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 5092

Just pour in through a paint strainer or such after the mix or before you use it.

Yep, I've got a supply of torn nylons on my paint tolls shelf for that.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 9:54:53 AM on 3 July 2019.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 3510

I used to work in a Lab & we used solvents for testing. And another had Gas Light Chromatography

One could very easily find out if a solvent was adulterated and what with. We did get a batch of Diesel that the forklifts would not run on. So even that it stank of turpentine; we could prove just how much of what was in it, it was sent back to point of supply.

The circuit board cleaner of one of the big radio supermarkets leaves residue, so its probably a cheap grade.

If you can filter it, Soda Ash will remove water from petrol. We often passed the solvents through it.


 
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