LumberJocks

Building a brace till #23: Shellacking the drawer fronts

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 01-10-2022 05:00 PM 514 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 22: Starting to finish the drawer fronts Part 23 of Building a brace till series Part 24: More drawer front finishing »

Today I didn’t have a lot of time, so I pulled four different sized (so I don’t get them mixed up) drawer fronts off and started shellacking them.

Tools are a pad,

which is stored in a jam jar when not in use,

a squeeze bottle of a 1 pound cut of shellac (1 oz per cup of alcohol),

and a smaller squeeze bottle of linseed oil.

I started with two coats of shellac, padded on. It takes two drops of shellac for the smaller drawer fronts, and four or five for the larger. I alternate between figure-eights across the grain and swooping passes with the grain.

When just shellac starts feeling a little “draggy,” I will start adding a drop of linseed oil to the pad for every three or four drops of shellac.

After six more sets of applications of oil and shellac, the pad started to drag again. You can often see wrinkles in the face of the pad at this point. That’s a signal that it’s time to take a break for at least 10 or 15 minutes. Longer won’t hurt. I’ll be coming back to these tomorrow.

Looking at the surface, I’m starting to get some nice gloss on the high-points of the surface, but I haven’t really started filling the grain at all. I guesstimate it’ll take two or three more sets of 6-8 coats before I’m happy with the surface.

-- Dave - Santa Fe



9 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3400 posts in 3521 days


#1 posted 01-10-2022 05:53 PM

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View mafe's profile

mafe

13647 posts in 4420 days


#2 posted 01-10-2022 08:10 PM

Looking good.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#3 posted 01-10-2022 08:26 PM

Thanks, Tom!

Thanks, Mads!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

10909 posts in 3374 days


#4 posted 01-10-2022 08:28 PM

A lot of coats but the finish looks great Dave. I’ve been number things like that for awhile now. I don’t think I would remember the four. LOL.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#5 posted 01-10-2022 09:51 PM

Well Dave, I don’t have to remember. All four are different enough sizes that they’ll only fit in the correct places. And I’ve got five for the next batch of finishing, but two of those are the same size, so I’ll number those. But I figure that’s a few days off yet.

And yeah, it’s a lot of coats, but they’re thin and go fast. I think I did eight or nine coats total this morning in about 20 minutes. I thought about using some rottenstone to speed up the grain-filling (it’s fine pumice, and abrades away a bit of wood which fills the grain), but I think it’s going quickly enough that I’ll get done soon enough.

I figure when he first set of four drawer fronts are getting glued on, and I’ve got the glue hot, I’ll also start working on the rocking chair, repairing joints on that between coats of finish on the next five drawer fronts. And then I’ll have the shellac out, so I’ll hit the chair with a quick coat or two of that to act as a primer.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

10909 posts in 3374 days


#6 posted 01-11-2022 04:31 PM

Dave FWIW. Instead of 2-3-8 coats to fill in the grain, try using a piece of old sandpaper to rub in the finish. You will get a grain free finish with one coat. You will see it getting slushy and just like you did it will start to drag. Then you can rub on as many coats of whatever you’re using to get your sheen. In this case I used a old 100 grit for illustration and a piece of oak. Similar mix with shellac, alcohol, walnut oil but this works with any finish you can think of. Try this on a piece of scrap and you’ll be surprised. Hope you don’t think I’m trying to hijack this blog, just trying to save some work and time.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#7 posted 01-11-2022 06:44 PM

Yeah, Dave. That’s about how the rottenstone works, but I wasn’t in a big hurry, and it’s getting there. Plus I’m retired so, as my sweetie says, if you get done faster, you’ll just have to [some chore I don’t really want to do] instead. ;-)

Took a break from finishing today though. The new bracket for the top wheel on my bandsaw arrived today, and I had to do some fiddling to get that to fit. All done but pressing the new bearings into the wheel and then reassembling, so I might even finish that today.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile

MikeB_UK

823 posts in 2365 days


#8 posted 01-11-2022 08:45 PM

Looks good, I must get around to trying shellac one of these days.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9282 posts in 1913 days


#9 posted 01-11-2022 08:55 PM

It’s the main finish I use, Mike. It’s not as hard as polyurethane or modern varnishes, but it’s fairly safe to use, and I always have a salsa jar (more like 3) of it mixed up and sitting in the shop fridge. I’ve heard people complain that it will go bad if you don’t use it fast enough, but I’ve never had that problem.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com