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Finishing Schedule for Shellac

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Forum topic by rsain posted 08-11-2011 05:27 AM 1413 views 2 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rsain

50 posts in 1240 days


08-11-2011 05:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shellac finishing schedule

Greetings all.

Been lurking a while and finally created an account. I’m in the middle of a project and I wanted to get some feedback about a shellac finish. I’m doing a repair/refinish/new leaves for an early 1900’s QS solid oak table.

Current finish on it is shellac (with some stain underneath). I’ve got the color match down pat, but was wondering what some do with their shellac final coats. I’m looking for a semi gloss final state. I have no qualms with rubbing things out or sanding until my elbows hurt. Here are my thoughts:

1. 1st coat: 1/2 lb cut
2. dry 400
3. 2nd coat: 3/4 lb cut
4. dry 600
5. 3rd coat: 1lb cut
6. dry 800
7. rotten stone??

Ideas and criticisms always welcome.

- ryan


16 replies so far

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WayneC

12302 posts in 2849 days


#1 posted 08-11-2011 06:32 AM

Welcome to the site…. : ^ )

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2045 posts in 1245 days


#2 posted 08-11-2011 01:07 PM

I’m hardly a finishing expert, but I’m not sure the sanding between coats will serve a purpose other than to remove some shellac. Each successive coat will melt into the previous one, returning it essentially to the state prior to sanding (maybe without the dust nibs). Shellac is supposed to be a thin finish, I would put on whatever coats you deem necessary (remove nibs as needed), then polish it to the sheen you want.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View mtenterprises's profile

mtenterprises

837 posts in 1445 days


#3 posted 08-11-2011 03:09 PM

Sounds good. The sanding between evens out the surface gets rid of bumps bubbles and dust that settled while it was drying. Sometimes the final sanding is done with 0000 steelwool and oil.

MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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rsain

50 posts in 1240 days


#4 posted 08-11-2011 04:04 PM

Thanks for the replies! I did a bit more research – seems like going to 800 is pointless. Just clog up the paper and not actually work well. I’ll stick with the 600.

Fred – yes, what you say is very true about melting in. It’s a process that I use to get rid of dust – and to make sure it’s flat. Might not be as necessary with shellac – i’ll test a bit and see.

Mike – what sort of oil?

Wayne – than you much. I rather enjoy the tenor of this site! Even the politics are civil. :-)

- ryan

View Loren's profile

Loren

7826 posts in 2400 days


#5 posted 08-11-2011 11:47 PM

320 stearated between coats is fine. You can even go coarser. Scratches
on the wood itself will be much more visible. If you want the finest
finish, you scrape then sand by hand only in line with the grain. If you
have the equipment (industrial process) you can mop-sand across the
grain and this yields the most uniform wood appearance. Mop sanding
is used in the musical instrument industry before shooting “candy apple”
lacquers over the wood.

If you want to get super fussy with shellac, learn to french polish. The
effect of a real french polish is really nice, but the technique takes
some commitment to learn.

Blow with air and use tack cloth after sanding each coat. The best way
to avoid errant coarse sanding scratches in the wood (aside from using
methods other than sanding to prep the surface) is to be meticulous with
tack cloth when changing grits.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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rsain

50 posts in 1240 days


#6 posted 08-12-2011 02:28 AM

Thanks Loren – will test the 320 between coats. Will get into french polish eventually – but not for this project. On this piece everything has been scraped then hand sanded – then some color then more scraping and more sanding. LOL.

My finish skills came from the auto world so I’m very very friendly with my tack cloth. :-)

Cheers,

- ryan

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mtenterprises

837 posts in 1445 days


#7 posted 08-12-2011 03:58 AM

That was the way we did it back in school shop class. I have no idea what we used back then but I’ve just used good old 3 in 1 oil and it works. I know it wasn’t a regular finish oil like BLO or Tung or even mineral/vegitable oil it was just a light motor oil. Makes for a nice smooth shinny finish. Just a small puddle, a couple drops, and the 0000 steel wool lightly with the grain.

MIKE

-- See pictures on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/44216106@N07/ And visit my Facebook page - facebook.com/MTEnterprises

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rsain

50 posts in 1240 days


#8 posted 08-13-2011 02:44 AM

Test pieces came out great. Went with a heavier cut after doing some research.

First and second pass 1lb cut. Sand 320 after second pass. Third pass, 2lb cut. 320. Fourth pass, 3lb cut. Then used a little BLO on 2000 grit. Wow. Quite pleased. Even passed the wife test!

Thanks for all your help and feedback. This is going to be an excellent finish. Will post pics when done.

- ryan

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2605 posts in 1802 days


#9 posted 08-13-2011 03:32 AM

I’ll be curious to see how this turns out. I’ve played with shellac a bit, but have yet to really use it close to it’s full potential. Keep us posted.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View rsain's profile

rsain

50 posts in 1240 days


#10 posted 08-13-2011 11:58 PM

These pics do not do it justice. But I can’t find my camera…. just took these with the built in camera on the computer. Will get better ones later.

Turned out EXCELLENT. The flakes in the oak look more like curly maple than I expected. Especially on the aprons. One more leaf to go. Only difference on this compared to the process above is that I burnished the final finish with my palm and then buffed with an old t-shirt.

I’m blogging about this too. Thanks everyone for your help! Shellac has just become one of my favorite finishes.

- ryan

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rsain

50 posts in 1240 days


#11 posted 08-14-2011 12:07 AM

Here’s a better pic of the finish….

I would not have expected such a reflective finish with shellac. Very pleased I am.

- ryan

View Loren's profile

Loren

7826 posts in 2400 days


#12 posted 08-14-2011 12:18 AM

Yeah, Lacquer is so named because it’s a finish that imitates a
fine shellac finish.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2045 posts in 1245 days


#13 posted 08-14-2011 01:20 PM

That really did turn out nice! Congrats! Is that a super blonde?

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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rsain

50 posts in 1240 days


#14 posted 08-14-2011 05:09 PM

Thank you! Nope – the shellac is BT&C Flakes, Amber.

- ryan

View Richard's profile

Richard

1103 posts in 1442 days


#15 posted 08-22-2011 10:04 PM

Shellac has just become one of my favorite finishes. And it’s cheaper than almost anything eles too.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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