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Shellacked Board thru Benchtop Planer?

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Forum topic by Vininnh posted 382 days ago 601 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Vininnh

3 posts in 385 days


382 days ago

Odd that I can’t find this anywhere…

Can I remove shellac with a benchtop planer?

I assume this is a bad idea, but I can’t seem to find a source that confirms this…


9 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

1475 posts in 994 days


#1 posted 382 days ago

I’ve read over and over (and believe) that planing finish off boards will dull your knives much more quickly. That said, I don’t see why. The planer knives are cutting into the wood under the finish, by the time it pulls the chip I’m betting the knife may not have even touched the finish. So, do it but you may have to sharpen your knives. BTW, shellac is one of the easier finishes to remove with a card scraper.

-- I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be (Merle Haggard)

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1000 posts in 871 days


#2 posted 382 days ago

Vin, like Fred said, I’ve had success using a card scraper to remove several very old layers of shellac from a chest. When I did it, I wiped on a liberal coat of denatured alcohol, waited a bit, then used the card scraper. It came off relatively fast in a nasty sludgy mess.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

9364 posts in 1507 days


#3 posted 382 days ago

Id run it through the planer without much worry. Like Ed said DNA will “melt” the shellac back into a liquid-ish form and should help it come off. I just had to strip down a project with a base coat of shellac and it came off like butter with a handplane and i didnt notice any dulling of my plane iron.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1660 days


#4 posted 382 days ago

I try not to do too much of such a thing, but I weigh that against the time it takes to do it another way. I don’t think it hurts to do this in a limited way.

But yeah, shellac is easily removed with DNA and a scraper.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1101 posts in 798 days


#5 posted 382 days ago

You can use ammonia as well. Cheaper, just use LOTS of ventilation.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1071 posts in 684 days


#6 posted 382 days ago

It will dull your knives faster, absolutely. The planer rotor head is cutting into the top of the finished board as the feed rollers push the board forward. Bits of finish will melt as this happens, sticking to the blade and creating more resistance as the blades cut through, heating up the blade, causing more build up. All of that dulls the blades.

But Jay makes a good point, which is the time saved might make it worth it. For a small board with shellac, go with the DNA and a scraper to remove it. If you’re prepping a bunch of reclaimed boards, plane away.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3032 posts in 1314 days


#7 posted 381 days ago

I have removed stain and lacquer from boards with the planer. I didn’t notice any change in permormance afterwards.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

6757 posts in 2149 days


#8 posted 381 days ago

As finishes go, I think shellac is less likely to dull the knives a
lot compared to other finishes. It’s pretty soft compared to
things like lacquer and the heavy finishes used in factory
furniture. Shellac can be softened with modest heat…
so putting the boards in the sun under a black tarp or
something like that should cause the shellac to get soft
and gummy. Then you’ll find you can get it off with a
paint scraper easily I think.

The alcohol is a good solution too I suppose. I’ve stripped
french polish that way.

View Vininnh's profile

Vininnh

3 posts in 385 days


#9 posted 369 days ago

Thanks for all the great replies!

A lot to think about!

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