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Thread: Cutting Shellac for sealing

  1. #1
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    Default Cutting Shellac for sealing

    I recall a post that mentioned a certain type of alcohol for cutting shellac, but have not been able to find the thread. I believe it mentioned that denatured alcohol could have finish issues from contamination. If anyone could let me know what the brand was (it was apparently drinkable but tasted awful) I would appreciate it.
    How much should I cut the shellac for a sealer coat?
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

    Any ultra high proof ethanol, like Everclear or Spiritus, will work. be careful, it is very flammable.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

    I think you are referring to a post of mine. I can't buy 190 proof Everclear in California. If you can get that, it's fine. I bought pure ethanol from Quality Chemical [Amazon] which is denatured only with a bittering agent to make it undrinkable, hence legal in CA.
    Shade Tree Fretted Instrument Repair
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

    Thanks, Everclear was what I remember. I believe it was your post Greg. As luck would have it the local wine store carries it.
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

  7. #5
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Mirken View Post
    I think you are referring to a post of mine. I can't buy 190 proof Everclear in California. If you can get that, it's fine. I bought pure ethanol from Quality Chemical [Amazon] which is denatured only with a bittering agent to make it undrinkable, hence legal in CA.
    I'm in EU, but I guess if you look around you'll find supply of absolute (anhydrous) ethanol with just tiny amount of the bittering agent added. What I use is sold as fuel for ventless fireplaces (I guess they are illegal in CA, too) but it has many other technical uses (degreasing etc.). Just read MSDS for ethanol content - should be above 90%, above 95% is better mine is 99.9+% which works absolutely great - everclear doesn't compare.
    Adrian

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  9. #6

    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

    Quote Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
    Any ultra high proof ethanol, like Everclear or Spiritus, will work. be careful, it is very flammable.
    Spiritus, as spelled, is denatured. Spirytus is plain ethanol. Dangerously close names. In the mostly lawless US, there are no restrictions on the toxicity of denatured alcohols. Anything can be the denaturant. Europe is significantly more intelligent in this area.
    Now that I’ve looked at a few MSDSs, I think I’m doing no more french polishing with denatured that can be 60% methanol.
    I don’t know which denaturant causes the finish problems, but I do know straight ethanol on a pad isn’t going to kill me.

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  11. #7
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Spiritus, as spelled, is denatured. Spirytus is plain ethanol. Dangerously close names. In the mostly lawless US, there are no restrictions on the toxicity of denatured alcohols. Anything can be the denaturant. Europe is significantly more intelligent in this area.
    Now that Iíve looked at a few MSDSs, I think Iím doing no more french polishing with denatured that can be 60% methanol.
    I donít know which denaturant causes the finish problems, but I do know straight ethanol on a pad isnít going to kill me.
    Spiritus is latin word for distilate, Spirytus (or spyrytus) is (I believe) Polish brand of ethanol products. None of the words is reserved for anything exact.
    I wouldn't use denatured with methanol for french polishing. It can get into body via hands and breathing (you will be sitting for long hours at FP job). Here in EU methanol is generally not used, typically bitrex and MEK in tiny quantities, sometimes gasoline for lower grades.
    Adrian

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  13. #8

    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

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    Seems to be a brand name, somewhere, and is denatured.

  14. #9
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    Default Re: Cutting Shellac for sealing

    I picked up a bottle of everclear. It is available at local licquor stores. What would be a good cut for sealing an instrument?
    Thanks a lot
    Bob Schmidt

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