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Shellac Question

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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 04-12-2012 03:07 AM 1304 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


04-12-2012 03:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shellac

When using shellac as the sole finish on small projects (boxes, pic frames, shelves), how many coats (brushed) do you use?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm


13 replies so far

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William

9906 posts in 2308 days


#1 posted 04-12-2012 03:10 AM

I use three thin coats, sanding in between with a very fine sandpaper.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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Woodwrecker

3928 posts in 3042 days


#2 posted 04-12-2012 04:54 AM

Just like William says above.
(I usually top it off with a little wax).

-- Eric, central Florida

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a1Jim

115202 posts in 3043 days


#3 posted 04-12-2012 05:08 AM

Depends if you are going to use a buffer to rub it out, it that’s the case probably 5 coats, if you are finishing by putting on a coat and sanding it finer and finer then 3-4 if your applying a 2lb cut.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Monte Pittman

22040 posts in 1804 days


#4 posted 04-12-2012 12:28 PM

I tend to use the eye test & not count. Coat, sand, coat, sand till I like what I see.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#5 posted 04-12-2012 12:43 PM

Thanks guys, I’ve been using 3 coats of 2# cut and just wanted to make sure I wasn”t missing something.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Sirgreggins's profile

Sirgreggins

298 posts in 1701 days


#6 posted 04-12-2012 07:09 PM

my 2 cents…. As long as you’ve sufficiently sealed the surface woyu can apply as many more coats as desired. on my guitars i seal thew wood, then either 3 more coats or 2 of violin varnish(shellac based by behlen). Try the wiping method instead of brushing. it takes longer of coarse but, starting with a 1 lb cut. it comes out smooth as a baby’s butt in the end and makes the wood look incredible. i sand lightly with 400 or 600 between coats.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3557 posts in 2027 days


#7 posted 04-12-2012 08:33 PM

Andy
It all depends on the mixture, if you have a 1lb or 3lb mixture. I start with a thin mixture to raise any wood that might come up and it also seals into the wood better. Then for the next 1 to 2 more coats I use the 3lb mix and do a light sanding with 600g to get everything very smooth.

Arlin

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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JJohnston

1614 posts in 2757 days


#8 posted 04-13-2012 12:16 AM

There’s no need to sand shellac between coats. The solvent in the new coat dissolves a bit of the previous coat, and they become one, chemically. There’s no interface; no mechanical bond.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#9 posted 04-13-2012 12:40 AM

Sirgreggins, I tried the wiping/padding thing and made a big mess! The first coat was OK, then the next coat dissolved and wadded up the previous coat and on and on. Wound up sanding it all off and brushing. I even watched the ‘Padding shellac’ video. I obviously was doing something wrong. I would like to know how to do it but have given up for now.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View derosa's profile

derosa

1568 posts in 2302 days


#10 posted 04-13-2012 01:17 AM

I just added 3 coats of 1.5lb cut to the bed I just finished. Stopped at three because I thought it looked good. I’ll be sanding with a brown scotchbrite pad because two of the local woodworkers recommended it as the best way to finish shellac.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#11 posted 04-13-2012 01:50 AM

I use a gray Scotch pad on my shellac. Never saw a brown one. I have green, gray,burgandy, and white ones but no brown.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Sirgreggins

298 posts in 1701 days


#12 posted 04-13-2012 02:39 AM

This is for anyone else using this as a reference. Check out these 3 videos. here’s the link to the first and it’ll suggest to watch the other 2. Great info here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a159BCBwZX4
I take an old cotton t shirt and cut it into 5”x5” squares. (the older the btter because there’ll be less lint). Then put about 3-5 cotton balls in the middle and fold the shirt over the, and spin it to make the pad nice and tight. A rubber band will keep it from opening up. I use an eye dropper to wet the pad and apply the 1 lb cut of dewaxed shellac. (wet not dripping) I buy flakes from Rockler or wherever and mix it with denatured alcohol. (the rockler one has a meausring line on the mixing jar, you can get it off amazon.com too) Shake it often and let it all dissolve before applying the first coat. This is the cleanest way of doing it. Matter of fact I finish my guitars in my room sometimes while I watch tv. Don’t use the store bought Bullseye stuff. Mixing your own will give you a much better product and will be a lot less messy. If you’re pore filling i you could do the french polish (pumice) method discussed in the vids, or you could put down 1 coat (wash coat) and then use Timbermate filler. Works great everytime. 600 grit light sanding to level between coats and you’ll have one of the nicest finishes. Remember that shellac melts into previous layers don’t take long strokes when applying and over lap slightly. Don’t go back and forth like you would if you were brushing on paint or something. With this padding method you’ll want to do what some people call the airplane method. Meaning start off the work piece and glide on then off like a plane landing and taking off. That works for me and is never messy, well much less than just about any other finish.

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2156 days


#13 posted 04-13-2012 03:22 AM

Thank You!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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