Shellac and cypress. big problems???

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Forum topic by TNWoodwright posted 05-22-2012 11:12 PM 1568 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 3410 days

05-22-2012 11:12 PM

I’m making some windows and frames from cypress. The ones I am matching have been finished with shellac. I hand planed and scraped the frame parts. Well i put the first coat of shellac on a frame piece. When I cam back the thing looked like a plowed field. The grain had raised terribly. So just for more fun I did another with the same results. I’ve used shellac off and on for decades and never seen anything like this. The shellac flakes were fresh, the denatured alcohol was fresh from my industrial suppler. Not a box store. I thought at first it was my alcohol because when I looked at the Material Data sheet it said it was up to 20% methanol.. But i also had a can of zinzzer garnet that was fresh. When I sprayed with it the same thing happened. So right now I have no idea. And add to the mystery. I tried sealing one board with lacquer sealer first then hit with shellac. Same thing but maybe not so bad.

Does outdoor humidity have anything. Its been raining and I know alcohol sucks up water but I figured it would dry so fast it wouldn’t have time to be that bad. Oh yea
After the first peice dried I took a hand plane and very light cuts to bring it flat again. but the same thing happen
i could use any ideas


-- If you have a garden, a shop and a library, you have everything you need with apologies to Marcus Tullius Cicero

2 replies so far

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2282 days

#1 posted 05-23-2012 12:49 AM

Did you use a pre color conditioner before the shellack? It may help seal the summer growth and keep it from swelling up. At first it looked like the winter grain rose up but looking harder I can tell it’s summer softer growth. That must be some thirsty wood.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#2 posted 05-23-2012 03:03 AM

Did you check the moisture content of the wood before hand ?

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