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Thread: What is commercial "clear" shellac equivalent to?

  1. #1

    What is commercial "clear" shellac equivalent to?

    Advice on another thread was to use "super blond shellac" as part of a finish for walnut. Would Bulls Eye "clear" shellac be the same in terms of color? Is the commercial stuff (any brand) dewaxed as I plan to put spray lacquer over the shellac. Any other brand suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Merzel View Post
    Advice on another thread was to use "super blond shellac" as part of a finish for walnut. Would Bulls Eye "clear" shellac be the same in terms of color? Is the commercial stuff (any brand) dewaxed as I plan to put spray lacquer over the shellac. Any other brand suggestions?
    "Super Blond Shellac is quite a bit more water clear (less amber) than Zinsser "clear" shellac. You will have to buy the Super Blond in flake form and mix it yourself.

    I don't know what you mean by "commercial stuff". The only brand of pre-mixed shellac sold in the US is Zinsser. The three they sell are amber and clear in a wax containing shellac and Seal Coat which is a blond dewaxed shellac. Many use the latter on walnut as being dewaxed, you can overcoat it with any other clear coat.

    For walnut, you can use any of the three. All look fine on walnut. To determine which works for you test each on some scrap walnut from your project.
    Howie.........

  3. #3
    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that Zinsser was the only brand available. Since I plan on overcoating it, I should go with the "Seal Coat" but as I have never worked with shellac flakes, this is the perfect time to try. I found a supplier nearby. Any links to threads on SMC for a beginner's intro to mixing and using shellac flakes would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    Dave

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Merzel View Post
    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that Zinsser was the only brand available. Since I plan on overcoating it, I should go with the "Seal Coat" but as I have never worked with shellac flakes, this is the perfect time to try. I found a supplier nearby. Any links to threads on SMC for a beginner's intro to mixing and using shellac flakes would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    Dave
    There's nothing to it. Buy a cheap digital scale, a quart of Bekhol, a mixing cup and a bag of super blonde flakes. If you want to get fancy, get an old coffee grinder from a garage sale.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/digital-scale-95364.html
    http://www.woodcraft.com/product/200...ixing-cup.aspx
    http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...uart-Cups.aspx
    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17650 (old picture...it will say Behlen on it now)

    Then download and print out this chart:
    http://pages.swcp.com/awa/Shellac_Cutting_Chart.htm

    I keep this taped to the wall where I mix my finishes.

    Now, all you do is....
    1) decide how much you want.
    2) weigh out that much shellac flake
    2a) optional: put it in a coffee grinder and make a fine powder...it will dissolve faster
    3) pour the chosen amount of Bekhol in the mixing container
    4) pour in the shellac flake
    5) swirl it around every hour or so....mix it up in the morning, and just give it a good swirl periodically during the day
    6) put it in your regular container (I use mason jars) DATE it with a marker and toss it after a few months.

    And that's it. Next batch, you can clean up the marker with some acetone and remark it.

  5. #5
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    I wholeheartedly agree w/ John on the coffee grinder - you can even get a new "cheapie" for under 10 bucks which is all you need. The powder will dissolve in a few hours vs. a day or two unground. Mix ur own is DEFINATELY the way to go ...

    I too use a mason jar, but I use a sharpie on blue tape and stick that on the jar; date/time mixed, color (or mix) and # cut. No need for acetone!
    Last edited by Jeff Hamilton Jr.; 03-25-2012 at 3:01 PM.
    A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.
    Ayn Rand

  6. #6
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    Here is another good source for info (after Sawmill Creek ) and for shellac product http://www.shellac.net/information.html.
    Sam

    ~ Hard to take a guy who looks like this seriously but his 2 is worth all of that ~

  7. #7
    Thank you all for the quick replies. The order is in for super blond and amber flakes as both were mentioned in other threads as working with walnut. The claro walnut I have has wild swirling grain in lighter and darker shades, with patches of end grain mixed in, so I will see which looks better on scrap first. I guess I will have to play with pore filling, too.

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