Multi-tasking my shellac mixing...

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Blog entry by Ethan Sincox posted 09-10-2007 02:59 PM 2071 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I like to do a light (1 lb.) shellac sealer coat on fumed wood to help bring out the color after fuming. So since I’m going to be fuming my sgian dubh presentation box, I thought I’d make mixing up my shellac one of my projects this past weekend.

When mixing shellac from flakes, I always mix in smaller batches, just because I don’t use a lot of shellac over a six month period, being a small-project woodworker. So I usually mix a one or two pound cut in a small, 10 oz. water bottle. In order to keep it from “burning” (not dissolving properly), you have to swirl or shake the shellac/alcohol mixture every 15 minutes for several hours until the shellac is completely dissolved.

This weekend, I tried something different. I mixed my shellac just before I went out to mow the lawn. Then I tied a short piece of cotton rope to the neck of the water bottle and tied the other end to my belt. Every time I took a step, the bottle hit my right leg and “shook” a little. Every time I stopped to empty my clippings bag (about every 15 minutes), I swirled the shellac for 30 seconds or so. After an hour and a half (.477 acre lawn w/a push mower), my shellac was completely dissolved AND the lawn was mowed.

Oh, and then I grabbed a sharpie and wrote the date, cut, and type (garnet, in case you’re wondering) of shellac in the bottle. After six months, I’ll toss whatever I haven’t used – generally not very much.

If you’re interested in trying some really good shellac, but don’t want to get shellac’d on the price (hehe!), check out Vijay runs a one-man shellac shop, importing it directly from India. I believe the shellac is processed into flake form by members of his family in India. He has a sampler pack of garnet, orange, super blonde, and beige (4 oz. each) for about $14. If you already know what you like, a one lb bag runs anywhere between $12 and $15, depending upon the variety.

-- Ethan,

5 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4186 days

#1 posted 09-10-2007 03:07 PM

now isn’t that a brilliant multi-tasking combination!!!


-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4426 days

#2 posted 09-10-2007 03:12 PM

What a way to mow a lawn.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4062 days

#3 posted 09-10-2007 06:26 PM

So you took a distasteful job of grass cutting, and added the irritation of a bottle of denatured alcohol with bug excretions hitting you in the leg every step. Nice. Sounds like intentionally sticking your finger in your eye over and over again. LOL. It’s a good idea, though Ethan. I’ve wrecked a couple of batches of shellac by forgetting about them.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View ThreeJs's profile


84 posts in 3965 days

#4 posted 09-10-2007 10:50 PM

Nice. I was envisioning you duct taping it to the top of the motor, and shaking it the whole time. Guess the swirling would come when you turn around…

-- David, Charlotte NC

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4164 days

#5 posted 09-11-2007 02:44 AM

Ethan -

Great blog entry as always! A little polyphasic activity is good for the soul!

By the way, thanks for the great link for shellac.


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