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Shellac???

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Forum topic by Grubby posted 03-01-2018 01:44 AM 950 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Grubby

5 posts in 289 days


03-01-2018 01:44 AM

Getting ready to finish my first furniture build. I am using 2 part ZAR oil based stain and 1 part woodkote jel’d stain, then finishing with shellac. However, when I contacted ZAR they do not recommend using shellac or lacquer. They only recommend using poly or varnish. Why is this? What do you guys recommend? It is a cherry dresser for my son.


19 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117328 posts in 3776 days


#1 posted 03-01-2018 05:22 AM

Welcome to Ljs
It might be a matter of using products that have similar solvents that could mess with your stain. If you’re new to woodworking where did you come up with this finishing regiment?

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Rich

3874 posts in 788 days


#2 posted 03-01-2018 06:38 AM

It’s hard to believe that “Wood Kote Jel’d Stain” really exists. Pretty punk. Unless there’s some weird quality to it, I’d think that spraying shellac or lacquer wouldn’t be a problem. Wiping or brushing might pull it up though.

Even though, if the company says not to, who am I to argue?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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LittleShaver

420 posts in 818 days


#3 posted 03-01-2018 01:12 PM

Test on scrap. Common wisdom is that shellac will stick to anything.

-- Sawdust Maker

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Planeman40

1307 posts in 2959 days


#4 posted 03-01-2018 04:09 PM

Shellac is the grand finish of fine antique furniture and old violins. Great stuff! Its only problem is it is cut (thinned) with alcohol, making it subject to dissolving should a wet bottom of a glass of an alcoholic drink is set upon it. It makes a wonderful wood sealer and sands well, making it an ideal clear primer for wood beneath other finishes like polyurethane. I use it all the time. I recommend you read all about (and buy from) at https://www.shellac.net/ShellacPricing.html or http://www.shellacshack.com/purchase-shellac-flakes.html. I buy it in dry flake and bead form and mix my own.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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Grubby

5 posts in 289 days


#5 posted 03-01-2018 10:27 PM

Mixing the two stains is what the plans called for. I am attempting the 6 draw dresser from woodsmith.

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a1Jim

117328 posts in 3776 days


#6 posted 03-01-2018 11:02 PM

Grubby I think mixing things are over complicating things, woodsmith has good plans but their finishing is just based on what their sponsors sell. If you just use a 1lb cut of shellac for the first coat and then a second coat of 2-3lb cut of shellac it’s fine if you want to stain it later you can use a water-based dye/stain over the top of it easily ,planeman is right about white marks of damage from acholic drips but he left out the point that shellac is easily repaired with a light coat brushed or sprayed over damaged areas or with white rings you can take them out easily with several methods. if you go with shellac make sure you go with the dewaxed shellac .

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Zinsser-1-qt-SealCoat-Wood-Sealer-824H/202070456

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Rich

3874 posts in 788 days


#7 posted 03-02-2018 04:58 AM

I can appreciate that someone building their first project from a plan would want to follow it to the letter. You see the finished project in the magazine and want to duplicate it exactly. Without a great deal of experience with different dyes, stains and topcoats, it’s smart to follow the advice given. It’s odd that someone would tell you to deviate from that recipe based on the magazine’s sponsorship, especially considering that they are a devoted pitchman for a product sold by a fellow LJ member. That seems kind of inconsistent to me.

Shaver’s advice to do test boards is solid. It’s something you shouldn’t even have to be told. Never apply anything to your project without testing first on boards prepared exactly the way they are on your project. Right down to sanding to the same grit, etc.

Finally, the notion that you can seal up your project with 2 or 3 lb cut shellac, and come back later with water based dye or stain is absurd. The dye or stain will simply bead up on that shellac and wipe off, leaving no color behind. I’ve done tests, and I know.

Anyway, I don’t have access to the project plan you are working from, but didn’t they recommend a topcoat? I’d expect a plan I paid for that included staining instructions to also include instructions for a compatible topcoat.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Lazyman

2609 posts in 1586 days


#8 posted 03-02-2018 05:34 AM

Are these from Woodsmith’s plans you purchased from their store or from one of the issues of their magazine (which one)?

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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a1Jim

117328 posts in 3776 days


#9 posted 03-02-2018 05:47 AM

Some people know what they’re talking about and some don’t. What I suggested to you Grubby is exactly what I did on this table it hasn’t seemed to run right off now has it :))

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Rich

3874 posts in 788 days


#10 posted 03-02-2018 06:01 AM

Some Charles Neil blotch control would have made that much more even.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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SouthpawCA

272 posts in 3432 days


#11 posted 03-02-2018 06:52 AM

You say you built the dresser out of cherry. I’m sure that was from the plan as well as the finish. I too use to follow plans to the letter … it really helps with the actual build. However, it’s another story when it comes to the finish.

With woods like cherry and others I ask … why do you feel you need to change the color with a dye or stain? Shellac is a fabulous finish all by itself. You can have a satin finish or a high gloss or anything in between. Also shellac comes in multiple tints … from a clear platinum blonde to garnet with shades in between. Shellac enhances the color … it doesn’t change it. Cherry will change all by itself. As for botching… often times with shellac it will become a feature of the wood called chatoyance. I look for that wild grain that some would call botching.

Shellac is also a very hard finish. Much harder than poly. If you’re willing to wait for the shellac to cure about 3 weeks you can buff it to the desired sheen with those green, maroon, grey , and white buffing pads. Also, a recent article in Pop Wood Indicated the thickness of the finish is what determines resistance to water. In my own experiences I’ve spilled wine drops and left over night with absolutely no problems. My table tops have a minimum of 10 coats. If something does happen just buff it out.

Get Flexner’s book on finishing “Understanding Wood Finishing”

-- Don

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a1Jim

117328 posts in 3776 days


#12 posted 03-02-2018 02:06 PM

Lots of good Points Don
I find Charles Neil’s book,”Charles Neil: Finishing Simply Put: Chemistry Degree Not Required” covers some areas that Bobs book doesn’t all said and done it doesn’t hurt to have both.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

3874 posts in 788 days


#13 posted 03-02-2018 09:46 PM

I was curious about the suggestion that “If you just use a 1lb cut of shellac for the first coat and then a second coat of 2-3lb cut of shellac it’s fine if you want to stain it later you can use a water-based dye/stain over the top of it easily” [sic]

I replied that water based dye would simply bead up and wipe off, leaving nothing behind.

Figuring that the followup to my comment “Some people know what they’re talking about and some don’t.” was meant to imply that maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, I decided to do a test board this morning to see.

Below is a cherry board, planed, and sanded to 220. I applied “a 1lb cut of shellac for the first coat and then a second coat of 2-3lb cut of shellac.” Specifically I used a 2 lb cut of dewaxed shellac for the second coat. After allowing it to dry, I taped off half of the board and flooded the other half with TransFast Ebony dye, mixed at the concentration recommended on the jar. I chose ebony dye to provide the maximum contrast so any color absorbed would be visible. Not surprisingly the dye simply formed a large puddle, and then smaller beads as I wiped it. I used the dye soaked cloth I wiped it with to color the edge of the board just to show that this is a concentrated dye capable of providing color to wood.

There was zero color added to the face of the board. The left-hand edge of the board is the natural cherry without any treatment whatsoever, and the right edge is dyed. The face of the board was treated exactly as described in the post which I said wouldn’t work. Indeed, it didn’t.

It looks like I did know what I was talking about. Do I anticipate any conciliatory response? Nah, lol.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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a1Jim

117328 posts in 3776 days


#14 posted 03-03-2018 03:46 PM

Mr.Taylor AKA Rich, you seem to enjoy following me where ever I post on Ljs and trying to prove me wrong or add criticism where none is warranted even going into more stocking mode buy messaging me on Facebook to say I blocked you because you proved me wrong, I blocked you because you always follow me on most of my post and I don’t like your negative approach to myself an others on Ljs for all of your supposed expertize I don’t see you posting much in the way of projects you have on Ljs. I trust your way to busy being mine and others personal troll. If all you want from me is for me to admit I’m wrong, like lots of folks I wrong sometimes but in this particular case I’m not my dye worked just like I said plus a light sanding and General finishes dye/stain You are 100% right what you did, did not work but what you did is not what you did
So please get a new hobby and find someone else to harass or even take some time off and go make something. I know this is wishful thinking on my part and you will now respond like you always respond with whatever criticism of whatever, hijacking some individuals post that just came here for help. Just for the record, I don’t intend to respond to any of your posts anywhere on Ljs other than giving my advise where I feel I can help whether you have already posted there or not.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

3874 posts in 788 days


#15 posted 03-03-2018 04:13 PM

You mentioned nothing about sanding, Jim. If you are going to offer advice, it should be thorough and accurate.

As for the rest of your rant, I’ll let the quality of my projects, my informative blog posts, and my helpful and accurate responses to questions on here speak for themselves. Now, I have to head out to the shop. I have orders for two bathroom vanities, a mesquite hall table, and seven doors for a house to fill. How’s business for you?

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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