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Mixing Shellac
Author
Post
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 332
I have a few questions about shellac that I searched for and could not find.

1. Do you stain yours when you make it?
2. How long do you wait until you use it/strain it?

It has been about 18 hours and mine looks like a gelatin mixture still.

Aug 22, 09 | 5:17 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
If it's the consistence of a gelatin mixture you haven't got the ratio of alcohol to shellac correct. Don't attempt to use that mix start again with a correct ratio mix For a one pound cut mix 2oz of shellac flakes with 1 pint of alcohol. For a two pound cut mix 4oz with 1 pint.

Let it sit for 24hrs and then strain. If you grind the flakes to a powder and stir it will be ready in minutes.

My first attempt at French Polishing


Aug 23, 09 | 12:48 am
blues creek guitars Authorized Martin Repair Ctr

Total Topics: 52
Total Posts: 1011
What kind of Alcohol are you using? I use everclear. Denatured will work but isn't the best. Isopropol won't work at all.
This should mix readily.
John Hall
Blues Creek Guitar Inc.
Authorized CF Martin Repaircenter

Aug 23, 09 | 3:20 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
I am using everclear. I tried another batch and it is better but still after 24 hours it is more liquidy but there is still thick looking with gel looking clumps.

My ratio for a 2 lb cut was 12g of shellac for 50 mL of everclear. does that sound right?

Aug 23, 09 | 6:12 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
Very nice andy!

Aug 23, 09 | 6:12 pm
llajoy

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 295
I'm not a shellac expert, but Andy is suggesting a 1 to 8 mixing ratio. After converting 12 grams to .4233 ounces and 50 ml to 1.6912 ounce and dividing the ml/g you are mixing a 1 to 4 ratio. You may want to wait for some else to chime in, but it looks like you need to add a nother 50 ml of everclear.

Lance.

Aug 23, 09 | 6:33 pm
llajoy

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 295
Never mind, you ratio is correct for a 2 pound cut. I missed the second ratio in Andy's post. As I said, not an expert in shellac.

Lance.

Aug 23, 09 | 6:35 pm
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
I mix one inch of flakes with 2 inches of alcohol. I never get jello.

Aug 23, 09 | 9:04 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
It is not really jello consistency. The best way I can describe it is a very liquidy jar of yellow preserves (talking about jam). I guess i just need to know how it is supposed to look before staining. .

Aug 24, 09 | 5:17 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
Hugh, do you measure 1 inch flakes in one jar and 2 inches alcohol in another or is that on top of each other? Is that 1 inch of ground flakes?


Aug 24, 09 | 5:37 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
How much gel crap do you sift out? What is the final product supposed to look like...clear pristine yelow liquid?

Aug 24, 09 | 8:51 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
FYI i am using woodcraft hock dewaxed blonde flakes

Aug 24, 09 | 8:53 am
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Those are the flakes I use, too. Anyway from Woodcraft. I put an inch of flakes in a jam jar and fill it with dna up to two inches. Actually probably double both measurements or you don't end up with much. That 2-1 ratio measured by eyeball I saw somewhere else some time ago and have found it to work. It shouldn't look like jam, even if it is in a jam jar. All I can think of for it to look like is thick water, sugar water. That is not very descriptive. Maybe canola oil, thinner than good olive oil. You could put an inch of what your "preserves" in a jar and add alcohol til it looks good.

Aug 24, 09 | 1:14 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
I did a third batch today and eyeballed the 2 inch 1 inch thing. I also grinded the flakes up A LOT, which reduced the 1 inch down to 1/2 inch and then still filled the EtOH to the 2" mark. It already looks a lot better the the other 2 batches but still not clear like thick water.

Aug 24, 09 | 1:21 pm
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Sorry, it shouldn't be clear. My thick water was just describing the liquid texture. It is yellowish. I think to get past the yellow you have to get superblonde, or something like that. I've never ground the flakes, I think it does make it quicker.

Aug 24, 09 | 3:14 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
Let me ask you this, when you make your 2lb cut can you see through it very clearly? B/C mine is so cloudy with undissolved flakes you can't barely tell anything is behind it on the other side.

Aug 24, 09 | 4:49 pm
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
I am making a batch right now, I don't remember if I can see through it. I don't grind mine so it takes a day. There aren't undissolved flakes in the final mix though.

Aug 24, 09 | 4:59 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
Thank s for all the info Hugh. I hope your not making a batch up just for my questions. I will see tomorrow at work how mine looks after 24hours!

Aug 24, 09 | 6:13 pm
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
No, I'm in the middle of a J45 and I am going to put extra shellac on hoping not to sand through the stain when I sand back the pore filler. I hope your shellac works.

Aug 24, 09 | 7:36 pm
Hugh

Total Topics: 16
Total Posts: 309
Here's a page that shows pictures of different colored shellac, in dry and wet form.
http://www.woodessence.com/shellacdefault.html

Aug 24, 09 | 7:41 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
Well, I'm officially discouraged...

My third batch turned out the best by far. I crunched up the flakes quite a bit before adding alcohol. It still (after 24 hours) has un-melted flakes in it. I posted some pics of what it looks like:


Aug 25, 09 | 7:05 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330



Aug 25, 09 | 7:07 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
I would also add that I live in Oklahoma and it is hot and humid here. I have had these flakes since October 2008 and they have just been stored in the garage.

I guess they could have gone bad..?

I hate that I spent 22 bucks on flakes and they went bad that quick :()

Aug 25, 09 | 7:22 am
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
I think I am just going to buy the zinsser sealcoat.

my flakes must be old or something

Aug 26, 09 | 9:19 am
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
Very strange things happen. This is a job GSI ;-o

I know this is the stupid question of the month, but have you weighed the flakes before mixing ? Just asking cause you more than likely have.

Maybe the shellac *is* the problem. I wonder what would happen if you did a mix of the same amount of alcohol but half the amount of flakes for a 1 pound cut. That is 1 oz of shellac to 1 pint of alcohol.

Andy

Aug 26, 09 | 1:56 pm
Andy

Total Topics: 57
Total Posts: 350
BTW 1 ounce is approx equal to 28g. Just another spurious factoid ;)

Aug 26, 09 | 1:59 pm
000lover

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 330
The first batch i weighed the shellac and measured the EtOH. The second batch I did the one inch two inch thing and crushed the flakes up. The tird batch I did the 1 & 2 inch thing and cruched the heck out of the flakes. I even tried pouring half the second batch out and filling back up with EtOH, which i think would make a 1 lb. cut, and still looks the same. They just wont melt.

It's been 6 days since the first batch and it still looks the same.

I guess the OK humidity got to them or something.

Next time I'll wait to buy the dumb things until I need them and then store them in the fridge.

Aug 26, 09 | 2:56 pm
Adaboy

Total Topics: 64
Total Posts: 509
I'll bet it is your shellac flakes. I have some that have gone bad.

Aug 26, 09 | 3:03 pm



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